I've seen some other authors like Samantha Shannon and Laure Eve writing these "10 Things About Me" posts and I was like... Hey, I am a person and there are probably ten things about me. Maybe I should do a post like that.
So here we are. What a wild ride.
Ahead of the publication of Our Chemical Hearts, which comes out in two weeks (OMG I'm not hyperventilating you're hyperventilating), here are ten interesting things about me:
1. I am deaf in one ear.
If we're having a conversation and you're on my left side and my eyes are kind of glazed over and I laugh at inappropriate times, it's probably because I can't hear you. I started losing my hearing my left ear when I was fifteen thanks to a condition called Ménière's disease. It also means that I have a high pitched buzzing sound playing in that ear.
Every second. Of every day. For the rest of my life.
People kind of freak out when I tell them that. Honestly, it's not so bad. It makes getting to sleep really easy because I just roll onto my good ear and suddenly all nighttime sounds (traffic, possums, ghosts, soul eating demons etc.) are blocked out. I can pretty much sleep anywhere because of my broken ear.
Places like bars and loud restaurants are a struggle though, because it's exhausting trying to hear people and pick out their voices over the din. I need to be able to see people's lips moving - and I need to sit at the left end of the table if I'm to have any hope of conversation. Super frustrating sometimes, but I've learned to adapt.
2. I've lived on three continents.
I grew up in Australia. Then I studied in Europe. I loved studying in Europe so much that I decided to study in Asia.
Living in countries where you don't speak the language is very humbling and character building - I'm so glad I did it.
3. I love Worcestershire sauce.
Worcestershire sauce is kind of a tradition in my family. My grandfather loved it all his life. When he was a kid, it was the only thing that made bland wartime food taste good.
My mother caught it off him. As a joke on her wedding day, someone gave her two four litre bottles of Worcestershire sauce - with teats attached.
I was kind of weaned off it while living in Asia, but I still enjoy it on eggs. And pasta. And pizza. And toast. Okay I wasn't really weaned off it at all.
4. I have two younger sisters who are both brilliant.
One is going to be a fully-fledged doctor at the end of next year. The other is beginning her international science degree majoring in genetics and French. They're both also really good writers. It's kind of unfair actually.
5. I hate the cold.
So much so that it makes me physically angry. I have been known to shout at the weather on cold days. Honestly, nothing makes me feel closer to a total psychotic breakdown than a winter's day. I just hate it. I wasn't built for the northern hemisphere.
6. I used to be a book thief.
As a child, I wasn't allowed to read anything that depicted witchcraft and was therefore banned from read Harry Potter. My family were Jehovah's Witnesses (we are no longer and haven't been for a long time), and that meant no birthdays, no Christmas, no Easter, no national anthems and no magic.
I considered this a great injustice and - curious as to what all the fuss was about - I decided to take matters into my own hands. Because I wasn't old enough to get my own library card (you had to be twelve for one of those, so mature) I had to smuggle a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone out of the library and into my bedroom.
Naturally, I fell in love. Eternal life be damned - ten-year-old me was more than willing to give it up for my next hit of J.K.Rowling. I read the series in secret for two years before my parents split and we left the religion.
I had my first Christmas at the age of thirteen and it was freakin' awesome.
7. Growing up, I wanted to be an actor.
When I was twelve or thirteen, I decided – against my mother’s wishes – that I was going to be a child actor. I thought it was a brilliant escape plan to get out of my small, humid hometown. Look out Hollywood! I sent headshots to agencies in Melbourne and Sydney, saying I was looking for an acting agent and was available for auditions. I got a lot of phone calls asking me to come in – which was difficult because I was thousands of kilometres away.
I begged my mother to let me move to Sydney by myself so I could be in movies, but she (thankfully!) declined.
8. Sydney is my favourite city in the world.
In a four way tie for second place is London, New York, Paris and Edinburgh. They're all far too cold though.
9. I once killed a cactus.
I'm definitely not ready for children.
10. I'm a struggling vegetarian.
Two years ago I was one of those "I'll always eat meat" people. Then I discovered the extreme impact meat production has on the environment and it's huge contribution to climate change, and I decided to cut down on my consumption.
It was really, really hard not to eat meat in Hong Kong (even vegetarian wontons come in pork soup. Everything has pork in it). Now that I'm back in Australia, I never prepare meat for myself at home, but I do eat it occasionally if I'm out with friends and sharing meals, or if I'm at someone's house and they've cooked for a bunch of people.
I think it's a good balance.
Since killing the cactus a few years ago, I've managed to keep mint, parsley and kale alive for a couple months now. I'm practically a card carrying adult.