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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

THE WRITE STUFF: An Interview with Anke Zet

by Sharon Halliday

It was a balmy Monday night in February, where the heat of the day had subsided, and the breeze was cool enough to make it comfortable. A gathering was brewing. Before each of them had crossed the threshold to the clifftop apartment, the chitter chatter had begun. It was soon to be followed by an organised chaos of selecting seats and the presentation of an array of homemade sweet and savoury delights. Once the group had settled, it was time to get down to business and discuss the purpose of the evening: writing.

In between sips of tea and attempts to catch the crumbs of tasty treats, each member would take turns of sharing their current writing project and divulge any struggles they were encountering. A flow of solid, practical advice as to how to overcome those struggles would often ensue.

To say this group was a mixed bunch would be an understatement. There was the local doctor working on her second novel as part of a trilogy; the recently published grandmother now focused on writing a memoir; the war vet in the thick of promoting his collection of published stories from the Vietnam War; the accomplished author amidst a book tour for his suspenseful, supernatural murder mystery; the multi-talented artist in the process of creating a third book of poetry; the aspiring author undertaking the mammoth task of editing her manuscript in preparation for publishing; the author-come-book coach who was launching a writing course; the psychic medium and health advocate adding another published story to her long list of writing achievements; and the ex-corporate communications executive diligently working on her debut historical fiction novel.

Despite their varied backgrounds and genres, the one thing they all have in common is their love of writing. Such is their commitment to the writing group that when a member submits their work for critiquing, there would often be a healthy response of constructive commentary from accommodating members, all in the name of helping the writer improve their piece. As leadership specialist and author, Ken Blanchard, once said: “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” The group has a mutual appreciation of that very notion and all are well versed in championing each other’s work.

As the updates kicked into high gear, a question was posed: “Anke, how long did it take you to write your first book?”

“Eight years,” she responded. Yet, there was no judgement, no negative comments, just a few head nods and a collective understanding as to why one of Eurobodalla’s most beloved practising doctors, and mother of two, had been working on her book for that time. Her fellow writers appreciated that when it comes to writing a book, it takes as long as it takes. Anke, now working on the sequel to Deception: Book one (Unearthly Talents Series) – a suspenseful, family mystery and futuristic romance written for adults – was suffering from writer’s block. The group discussed how it was a natural, albeit frustrating, part of the writing process. One member remarked how it must be challenging to develop new material. “I even have to create new ways for characters to communicate with one another!” Anke said. “I want their dialogue to be fresh and interesting.” The group agreed: a writer who consistently considered their audience had a better chance in the relentless, yet incredibly rewarding world of writing and publishing.

As it often happened, the conversation turned to how writers stay committed. “I have to write every day!” somebody said. "It’s a ritual and I need to get in the mood,” another added. For every unique writer, there’s a unique method to his or her madness. The clock ticked 7:30 p.m., Anke excused herself, she was off to nurture her other creative love – dancing.

Anke Ziergiebel (or Anke Zet to her readers) is the author of Deception: Book one (Unearthly Talents Series 1), the first in her sci-fi, romantic trilogy, where a young woman hopes to unravel the reason for her mother's death as she fears it is related to her own unearthly talents.

Growing up in East-Germany, Anke studied medicine in her homeland and then completed her postgraduate general practitioner training in the UK. She has called Eurobodalla home since 2003 and has been working as a GP at Moruya Medical Centre ever since. She joined the Eurobodalla Writers Group in her mid-forties and has never looked back.

After losing her childhood friend to breast cancer, Anke promised to put her creative energy to good use through her novel and fundraising efforts. In 2022, she joined the Cancer Council’s Stars of Eurobodalla, raising almost $15,000.

Anke’s advice for aspiring authors is: “Always find ways to be creative. If it’s not writing, choose cooking, photography or dancing! And don’t forget to enjoy the little things in life, like smelling the roses.” Anke’s book can be purchased at

The Eurobodalla Fellowship of Australian Writers has two groups that meet monthly. The night group meets from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the first Monday of the month in a private venue. The group focuses on writing for works towards publication, developing stories and memoirs, group novellas, and building writing experience.

The day group meets from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month at the Red Door Hall in Page Street, Moruya. The group focuses on bringing a piece of writing to the meeting for critiquing. Either fiction, biography, up to 1000 words, 100-word Drabble, or poetry. Annual membership is $45. To join contact:

NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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