happy to have Author Gigi Sedlmayer, a resident of Australia, as my guest today. Thank you, Gigi, for joining me
on my website.
Gigi, can you tell us about yourself and your background? What do you currently do outside of writing?
I was born in Berlin, Germany, on 19 May 1944. Escaping to the
West before the wall went up, we moved a lot around. Changing schools many times, (Because my father had to go where he found
work after the war) was not good for me, since I didn’t make any friends. Why should I? I would lose the friend anyway,
when we are moving again. I crawled into a block hole, as I said, or into the shell of a turtle. Since I had to wear glasses
from my young age, I was laughed at. That didn’t help either, to get more confidence. I put my face into books, and
that a lot of them. I was reading, mostly animal stories, or adventure.
Finally, we settled in Munich.
Mum put me into a school to study architectural drafting. Because
she knew, I was good with my hands. Copying pictures. I met Albert there in 1965, marrying in December 1967. (He must have
seen something in me. and he still does.) I was still in my shell and started to write short animal stories. I loved it.
In May 1975 we moved to New Zealand. Because of language challenges, I started a handcraft business. It was very lucrative.
(Parrots, sleepy tigers, koalas.)
In 1988 we decided to adopt and became adoptive parents of twin girls from Fiji
the year after.
In September 1992 we immigrated to Australia.
In 1993 I was diagnosed with cancer. Surviving, I started to write short stories, as I remember I have written some
before. One of the short stories was about handicapped Matica and her giant condor, Talon. Since she faces a lot of challenges,
Matica is me and about my life.
What books have you written, and what are their genres?
What audience are they aimed at?
Talon book covers
I have written up to now five books and they are all published. They are aimed for children, reading age
and even for parents to read to their younger children. But, as many reviewers said, they are for all ages. Because they can
benefit from it as well.
The sixth book, TALON, WINDSONG in the series is nearly
finish. I am re-writing it in the moment. I have to do that many times. I can’t let the first or second go. The
seventh book, TALON, MYSTERY OF LIFE I have started to write.
TALON, COME FLY WITH
ON THE WING
FLIGHT FOR LIFE
What prompted you to write what you did? [or Where do you get your writing inspiration?] What message(s) do
you want readers to take away?
Because of my own life, and surviving cancer I couldn’t
go back to work any longer. Thinking back where I wrote some stories, when I was younger, I started again to write. And there
I wanted to let the world see, what damage can be done to a child, when a child is rejected. I wanted to put that in the story,
but not in a boring way, just telling my life, no I put it into an adventure, so children and parents can read the stories
and see and feel the heart ache children face they are rejected. But, when you put your mind to something you love, you can
change and see the world, not with dark eyes, but with the light.
The message is:
“Teaching Children Self-Confidence through
Service to Others.” Children today face immense pressure to fit in with their peers. This pressure is leading to record
rates of depression among preteens and teenagers and this to suicide. Parents look for ways to build their children’s
self-esteem; however, teens look to their peers and popular culture for acceptance rather than their parents. This puts parents
in a challenging situation. Most children of this age group have issues with acceptance and this is explored and resolved
in a positive manner within the story line of the Talon series, Matica shows children and teens that they can overcome great
obstacles with love, patience and a selfless attitude toward helping others and experience exciting adventure on the way.
I wanted to let children and parents know, that they don’t need to suffer more than they already do. So:
Children suffer from all sorts of afflictions and through my book they can learn how to coup with everything, as Matica
did, the main character in my TALON books. She had to learn it in her early life. Children can find a “Condor”
as Matica did. Not literally a condor, but every child or adult for that matter, they are battling with non-curable afflictions,
should find something that let them forget what is happening to them. Finding a “Condor” would help them to overcome
Parents can read my book to younger children so they can see that they are not alone, but that they can overcome
it in a positive way, not in a negative way.
I say: Children with special needs or with disability,
or are handicapped don’t have an illness, so there is no cure and it’s not contagious. They want what we all want,
to be accepted.
My books are not only for children. As I said, adults face some illnesses as well, so my books are
for adults as well as for children.
worst and greatest problems in life cannot be solved. They can only be outgrown.’ And I have been outgrown them. Many
times, I might say.
I wanted to write a story about a handicapped or challenged girl to show readers what
they can achieve if they put their minds not to the negativity but to the positivity. (As Matica had to learn it as well,
and I have done nearly my whole life myself. Being rejected in school as well, I was always an outsider, keeping to myself
in the shell of a turtle, had hardly any friends.) And since I love birds, I decided to let her have a bird. But then came,
what bird? And then the idea went even further. What is if she could fly on the bird? That would be something. But to do that,
she has to have a disability to be very small. But again, the bird has to be big as well. And there the condor came to my
mind. I loved the condors before. Amazing birds. They are the biggest land birds (vulture) on our wonderful earth. And so
the story about Matica and Talon came to existence. And then I had to set the scene in Peru close to the great Andes where
the condors live. And so it came, that I decided to let her family go to Peru as missionary from Australia.
Do you write short stories, articles, or have a blog? Where can we find them?
written a lot of short stories, before I started to write the Talon series. All these short stories I put into my books, mostly
as dreams of Matica, my main character.
No, I don’t write blog and so I don’t have a blog.
I have a website,
Barnes & Noble-Gigi Sedlmayer
My website: http://www.gigised.com
do you find the hardest about writing? The easiest?
The hardest for me was, when I started to
write the Talon story, to face myself. Because Matica is me. I don’t have her disability, but others. It doesn’t
matter what affliction you have, or incurable disease, it all is the same.
The easiest? Well, when I think
about the story what I would like to write next, nothing comes to my mind, absolutely nothing. But I know, as soon as I put
my fingers on the keyboard, the ideas floating at me. Then my fingers can’t type fast enough over the keyboard. You
should see, what sometimes comes out of my sentences. I laugh out loud. It’s really funny.
What’s next for you after [Your Book]?
I like to finish the sixth book, TALON,
WINDSONG so it can be published soon. But as I said, I have to re-write it again. I though I was finish, but reading
it again, oh boy, I am making too many changes. But I know, one time I have to declare, it is finish. After that re-write,
I guess. And then go on with the seventh, TALON, MYSTERY OF LIFE.
What special thing about yourself would you like to
share with readers?
Since Matica is me, I let her talk and tell you all about her and me. That is
special for me.
"My name is Matica and I am a special needs child with a growth disability. I am stuck
in the body of a two-year-old, even though I am ten years old when my story begins in the first book of the Talon series,
TALON, COME FLY WITH ME.
Because of that disability, (I am saying ‘that’
disability, not ‘my’ disability because it’s a thing that happens to me, nothing more and because I am not
accepting it as something bad. I can say that now after I learned to cope with it.) I was rejected by the local Indians as
they couldn’t understand that that condition is not a sickness and so it can’t be cured. It’s just a disorder
of my body.
But I never gave up on life and so I had lots of adventures
roaming around the plateau where we live in Peru, South America, with my mum’s and dad’s blessings. But after
I made friends with my condors I named Tamo and Tima, everything changed. It changed for the good. I was finally loved and
accepted by the Indians. I am the hero now and I embrace my problem. In better words: I had embraced my problem before I made
friends with my condors Tamo and Tima. I held onto it but I still felt sorry for myself and cried a lot, wanting to run away
or something worse.
But would it have helped me? Would it have become
better? Would I grow taller? No, nothing of that would have happened. I didn’t have those questions when I was still
in my sorrow, but all these questions came to me later, after I was loved and was cherished.
One day I looked up into the sky and saw the majestic condors flying in the air. Here and now, I made up my
mind. I wanted to become friends with them. I believed, if I could achieve that, all my sorrow and rejection would be over.
And true enough, it was over. I was loved. I even became famous. (You can read all about it in the series) And so, if you
are in a situation, with whatever your problem is, find something you could rely on and stick to it, love that and do with
that what you were meant to do. And I never run from conflicts."
How can we follow or contact you?
Barnes & Noble-Gigi Sedlmayer
My website: http://www.gigised.com
Google + -Gigi Sedlmayer
Linkedin-Gigi Sedlmayer-Talon Twitter-Gigi Sedlmayer
Where can readers buy your books?
My books are everywhere to find and can be
bought. See above.
Awards and Recognition for the Talon Series
AWARDS FOR ALL TALON BOOKS
BOOK 1:Talon, come fly with me
5 star Review by Readers Favorite,
Silver for BOOK
COVER competition with Authorsdb,
Finalist with: BOOK EXCELLENCE
Finalist with: IAN Book of the year award 2017
- The Independent Author Network
4 out of 4 stars
review by Online Book Club
2: Talon, on the wing
5 star Review by Readers Favorite
BOOK 3: Talon, flight for life
review by Readers Favorite
SEMI FINALIST for BOOK COVER
competition with AUTHORSDB 2017
3 out of 4 stars
review by Online Book Club
4: Talon, Connected
5 star review by Readers Favorite
FINALIST in First line competition with AUTHORSDB 2018
BOOK 5: Talon, Encounter
4 out of 5 -
star review by Reader’s Favorite
BRONZE for FIRST
LINE COMPETITION with AUTHORSDB 2017
GOLD for BOOK COVER
COMPETITION with AUTHORSDB 2017
Nominee by GLOBAL EBOOK
Sole Medallist Winner with New Apple in the
Young Adult General Fiction category of our Annual Book Award 2017 Book Awards for Excellence in Independent Publishing
Finalist with: BOOK EXCELLENCE AWARD, 2018
Thank for this wonderful eye-opening
in-depth look, as to why you wrote these books, but into your own journey through life as well.
In my next blog, I will interview Author Stephen Crabbe.
For now, Salve Atque Vale! Hail and Farewell!