Anya Nanette Louw, born in 1989 was raised in the small town of Tarlton. My mother remarried after the death of my father and in mid 1999 we moved to Botswana. It was a lonely and boring life at first and both my brother and I coped with reading anything we could get our hands on.
We were soon enrolled in the schools there and my passion for English writing grew as time went on.
I wrote my first short story in 2005 and tried to hide it away however the english teacher made the discovery during a locker search and from then on encouraged me to write more, which I did. All through that year I wrote what was on my mind some comedy but more dark thoughts.
My parents however, were never to fond of what I wrote and I got my first setback in 2006 when my stepfather found my work and burned every single book I wrote, saying it was work from the devil.
Tensions were high after that and I dropped out of school early 2007 to live with my sister in Roodepoort. Boredom set in and so did depression. So I moved to my grandmother in Alberton. To fight the constant boredom I enrolled in Alberton High but yet another set back as I was put back a year.
My spirit sunk so low that I was placed in a mental institution for the duration of August 2007. My therapist told me to write my thoughts down but I always made happy things up, because having dark thoughts were frowned upon.
My mother took me away once again from the family and brought me to Zeerust, but the hatred for my stepfather festered. My mother tried to enroll me in school again but I refused and opted for home schooling instead.
The headmistress took me under her wing and slowly but surely, with the help of her husband and kids, build my confidence. She gave me a place to live and her husband offered me employment.
I always wrote, but always made sure no one knew about it. Fast forward to 2016 and I nearly lost my hand in an unfortunate accident involving a window. I started writing The Darkness Within Me. It took a two years to complete, with the most writing being done in 2018. If it wasn't for my fiancee's love and encouragement I doubt I would ever have been able to finish it.
So here I a, thirty years old, with a job I've been doing for over ten years, not counting the short period that I left for something else, with a six year old son from a previous abusive relationship,(hence the accident with my hand) a fiancee that loves and encourages me, and a passion and love for writing that I just couldn't suppress, still in a town that discourages who I am.