What, when, where, how and why … who am I?
Languawitchery Wordcraft is me, Anya Hastwell
Because everyone loves an origin story, don’t they? Well, here’s mine.
Late 1970s: I drew my first breath in this world one sunny spring day in a small town on an island on Earth called the United Kingdom. (I’m told this event happened in a hospital, not a Chekhovian cherry orchard.)
1980s–1990s: I grew up on aforementioned island – English being my first language – and with a forename that caused endless confusion for some, despite being a four-letter word. This enhanced my sensitivity to the power of words from a very early age (scroll down for footnote*).
1997: I realised that you could get paid for writing them when I had my first feature article published (a piece called The Ghosts of Surrey, if you’re curious – and £20 went much further back then!).
2000: I accidentally wrote the lyrics to a song that, just a little over half a decade later, ended up in an indie horror film of the variety you probably wouldn’t want young children to be watching. But if you’re really that curious, the film’s called Vampire Diary (2006; 18+; starring actor Anna Walton).
2001: The year I learnt that writing could also mean meeting your musical heroes, when I conducted a short, but sweet interview for my university’s student magazine.
All from a pen, a rickety old word processor, and certain words strung together in some sort of order.
2005–present: Publishers, businesses and organisations hire me to work on theirs: copyediting, proofreading and sometimes even writing** them.
When I’m not working, you might find me on a yoga mat, talking to a cat, or tour guiding in a London cemetery.
You can also find me on LinkedIn.
Headshot image by Mark Caldwell.
* Pronounced [an-yah]. And it’s quite common in Europe. For further phonetic guidance, please add me on LinkedIn and click the speaker emoji next to my name.
See also: the character Anya Jenkins, former vengeance demon, in the cult TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
** Prior to working as a copyeditor and proofreader, in the past (2005–10) I have worked in a journalistic capacity, as well as for creative content writing and business communications materials, none of which – for (a) client confidentiality reasons and (b) things change! – I can point you to today. However, please see here and here. [AVH, 22 June 2023]