This is a hard post to write. This past month has been hard to deal with. A close friend, and a brilliant Australian author recently lost her life to cancer, and I'm still not sure how to deal with it.
Steph Bowe was a shining star in the Aus YA sphere. She published her first book, Girl Saves Boy, when she was 16. Around that same time, we became friends online and bonded over our love of writing and books. I didn't meet her in person until the release of her third book, Night Swimming, when she moved down to Melbourne, and we were able to hang out more often.
God, she was such a weirdo. She obsessed over the strangest topics, and would gush in detail about them. She was always hungry for knowledge. The last time we saw each other, we had a decadent brunch, where she told me all about arousal nonconcordance. That was who she was. She loved psychology and the weird parts of brains, and she loved teaching people.
She was known for always being in gorgeous floral dresses, no matter what the occasion. She was always so bright, the most beautiful flower in a garden. You could sit down with her and talk for hours about nothing and everything.
This is the first time I've lost someone close to me, so I don't quite know how to feel. I'm numb. I cry every few hours because I'm reminded of something she would have liked. I look at beautiful dresses and my stomach feels like it's shrivelling up. I look at her books, set on my Aus YA shelf (because of course I have a shelf for #LoveOzYA) and I'm reminded that she'll never write another book again.
Just before the New Year, Steph was so optimistic that her bone marrow transfer was going to be a success, and she was excited to tell us about the new story that was brewing about in her head. I wish I could read that story.
The writing community lost a brilliant soul, I lost a great friend of 10 years, but her works will always remain. Read them. Reread them. Let Steph fill you with her words.