Saturday, November 18, 2023

Interview with Author Anna F. Pompetti



1. What inspired you to write this book?

During my years working in aged care, I often found that the new staff fresh out of training school. had very little practical knowledge or experience in dealing with elderly people and especially elderly people suffering with dementia. Most of them had had only a few weeks of

placement where they did very little work as they were there to mostly observe. I felt they were not given sufficient “hands on training” that would then facilitate their understanding of the role they would be undertaking on the job. Also, more practical experience would help them to see if they were suited to or liked working in aged care. I also encountered families with loved ones at home that were struggling in caring for their loved one as they didn’t have, or were unaware of the process of dementia or ageing. These were the two main reasons I decided to write this book, in the hope of giving a little basic information to those who need it.


2. What exactly is it about and who is it written for?

Ground Zero The Frontline is about working with elderly people and people affected with dementia, whether in an aged care facility or at home. It outlines the skills and attributes the carer needs to understand and communicate with the people they are caring for no matter what condition or illness they may have. It’s also about looking at oneself and seeing a reflection of yourself in others and understanding that regardless of age, we are all human and need love, understanding, compassion and respect. There are real life scenarios set as examples of the many situations that may be encountered in this line of work. I wrote this book mainly for people wanting to follow a career path in the aged care industry or those that have the task of caring for their loved ones at home. It is written in a very simple way so readers from all walks of life can understand it. Simple, basic, to the point.


3. What do you hope readers will get out of reading your book?

I’m hoping that my readers will get an understanding of others and a little more understanding

of themselves as well as some basic practical information on how to deal with some difficult

situations. Just because someone is old and frail and may be suffering with dementia doesn’t mean that they don’t need the love, respect, compassion and care given normally to others. They need it very much and deserve it.


4. How did you decide on your book’s title and cover design?

Honestly, the book title came to me before I wrote anything. Ground Zero, for me, is where it all happens. Where the action is. The Frontline, is frontline workers. The personal carers, nurses and other staff doing the everyday tasks and caring to keep everything going, be it in and aged care setting or in a home environment. As for the cover design, I wanted something very simple yet significant, hence the elderly persons hand in a younger person’s hand. I also wanted it to be easily recognized and I think we achieved that with the pink and tan colour. My publishers were very good in the helping me with the design.


5. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers – other than run!?

Don’t run. I think from my personal experience it’s important to be passionate about what you’re writing and have knowledge and clear thought about what you want to get across. Do it no matter how scared you are. You’ll be glad you did. Many times I wanted to give up as the frustration set in. Then I thought of how I would feel if I didn’t do it and the regrets I would have in the future about giving up. That kept me going me matter how difficult it got. I’m very happy I did it. It’s always a grand achievement.


6. What trends in the book world do you see – and where do you see the book publishing industry going?

I see that there are so many more genres of books these days compared to 30 or 40 years ago. It seems that no subject is off limit (if ever it was). I suspect that more people are wanting to write about what they know and put it out to the world. Self-publishing is seeming to be a viable option for those who either are unable to, or choose not to go through a publishing company.  I find that there’s also a lot of competition in the genres so that means that the book publishing industry is alive and busy with something for everyone.


7. Were there experiences in your personal life or career that came in handy when writing this


Most definitely. The whole book is based on my work experiences spanning over 30 years. Having worked in the industry for so long you learn valuable skills and insight to pass on to the newcomers.


8. How would you describe your writing style? Which writers or books is your writing similar to?

I’d say that my writing style reflects my personality. Straightforward. Simple. Strong. True. I don’t beat around the bush as one would say. I believe in being honest about what I want to convey to my readers. Sometimes it can be confronting, but it’s the truth. Done with respect and tact of course. I’m not sure who I could compare my writing to. I believe that this comparison may be best made by others.


9. What challenges did you overcome in the writing of this book?

My biggest challenge was overcoming the fear and doubt that I was just wasting my time and that no one would read it and no publisher would want to publish it. Finding ways of writing that were very simple and could be understood by all while still conveying the message I wanted to get across was at times difficult. Deciding which information was the most important without overwhelming or confusing the reader proved a to be a challenge as I had to constantly think that I was writing for people from all walks of life with all different education levels and of all ages.


10. If people can buy or read one book this month, why should it be yours?

I believe my book will be useful to everyone at some stage in their life. We all know or have in our family or lives people that are elderly or have dementia, or both. Knowledge on how to

communicate with, how to understand, how to listen to, how to help and care for these people is necessary. My book gives out basic knowledge at your fingertips. If you know how dementia works and how the ageing process works and what you can expect, then you can deal with situations that arise without too many problems. Information is power.


About The Author: Anna was born in Italy and migrated to Australia with her family at the age of four. She trained as a nurse in Australia and worked there for a few years before travelling back to Europe in her early twenties, living in Switzerland and Italy for twenty-three years. During that time, she gained valuable skills and experience in the caring for the elderly and people affected with dementia. Anna then returned home to Australia in 2010, where she continued to work in the aged care sector, refining her skills and putting into practice what she had learned abroad. Some of those precious insights and experience she shares with her readers in her book. For more information, please see:


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