Having emigrated from Germany in the 1970s, Dieter Luske has worn many hats – electrical engineer, naturopath, website designer, adventurer, photographer and writer. He recently wrote a memoir, It Happened in the Seventies and his latest book, Chaos in Brainland is about to be released.
Have you always been a writer?
I always liked writing and I must have written about 1000 articles.
Because I used to be a counsellor and naturopath I constantly wrote non-fictions about how to feel good and diet for my clients.
When was that?
I had studied in Germany and finished my Natropath degree here. It was in 1981.
Naturopathy is fairly mainstream in Australia now but it wouldn’t have been then?
It was quite normal in Germany at that time.
You’ve written a few books similar to Chaos in Brainland – A Guide for Creating a Stress and Anxiety Free Zone.
The first book I wrote was in 1993 and it was called Do You Believe in You. I sold 1,000 copies.
At that time I was working giving seminars and workshops. That was easy, I just took books to the lecture and people bought them – possibly because they couldn’t understand my accent (laughs).
What is it like writing and speaking in another language?
It may not be perfect but it is perfect for us, it is normal. At home we don’t know what we speak – whatever comes easily. Most bilingual people have that.
The strange thing is when we go to Germany, we speak English.
You meet new people and don’t think to speak German; you think in English and then think, ‘Oh no, it’s German now!’
When was the last time you went to Germany?
When the last of our parents died in 2008.
Did you find the language had changed?
Yes, and people said we had an English accent.
It is really confusing when we go somewhere like New York and people ask if we are from Germany and we say no, we are from Australia!
Is It Happened In the Seventies your first memoir?
I have written one before but it is a private one. I call it The Hamburg Years. It basically went from when I was born; there were things happening when I was young because it was shortly after the war.
Are you semi-retired?
I don’t like the word retired because I still work.
I maintain websites. I maintain one of the largest yoga websites internationally, it’s called the yoga alliance.
How did you start doing that?
In the late 1990s my son learned a little bit of web designing at school. I said, “That is fantastic.”
I loved it, because I have a background in electrical engineering.
So that was right up your alley!
I built a large natural therapy directory with 14,000 listings. I still have the website but it is not a directory anymore.
Google started giving free business listings and social media started so people did more marketing in those channels.
What is next for you?
I want to write fiction; I’ve never written fiction and it is a totally different writing style. It is really interesting.
Dieter’s books are available on his website www.dieterluske.com and from Canungra Books and Art