Interview by Viv Dreva

https://theowlladyblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/76507/comment-page-1/#comment-12907

THE OWL LADY PRESENTS GUEST AUTHOR: GIGI SEDLMAYER

December 7, 2015 ~ theowllady

DSC_0126_2How the Talon story came to life

by Gigi Sedlmayer

After surviving a deadly disease and couldn’t go to work any longer, I wanted to be an author, to do something with my life and to leave something behind. The thought came, since I love birds, to write a story about a big bird and a handicapped child. It had to be a really big bird. And there, there was only the hug and majestic condor. But they live in South America. Well, so be it. The story goes to Peru.

But not knowing anything about the Indians in Peru and not much of the condors, I sat in the library for three full days, studying everything about the Indians, their culture and about the condors and their habits. At that time, there was not much available in Internet, but it was enough for the start. Unfortunately there were only a few pictures of condors but they were enough as well, to show what majestic birds they are. Now, anything is easy to find and lots of pictures of a condor as well.

Now I was thinking of the plot. I wanted to write a story (for children and adults) about a handicapped or challenged girl to show others (the world) what they can achieve if they put their minds not to the negativity, which means on their affliction, but to the positivity.

As with Matica, my main character in the story, I did not have an easy childhood and was always an outsider, keeping to myself. I love birds and 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 and 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. Amazing birds. They are the biggest land birds (vulture) on our wonderful earth. And so the story of Matica and Talon came to existence. I set the scene in Peru, close to the great Andes where the condors live and decided to let her family move to Peru as missionaries from Australia.

My motto was and 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. Many children of this age group have issues with acceptance and this is explored and resolved in a positive manner within the storyline 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 the world know that, when you put your mind to something and really want it, you can achieve it. Matica was rejected by the local Indians because of her disability. She hated it, but couldn’t do anything about it. As it is in real life. But, and there is always the ‘but’…

Matica was not always happy, even though she tried to be. And so she chose being kind over being right. She had to learn, but she learned it well because if you think that way, you will always feel good about what you do.

Because of my childhood challenges, I had to face being the hero in my own books. And as Mira, Matica’s mum says in my books, ‘Sometimes the worst and greatest problems in life cannot be solved. They can only be outgrown.’

The story has turned into fife books published. There will be around ten book all together..

Here is the voice of my main Character in my Talon book series, I’ll let her introduce herself to you:

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 really 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 mother’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 I am the hero 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 and I felt sorry for myself and cried a lot, wanting to run away or something worse. But did it help me? Did it become better? Did I grow taller? No, nothing of that helped me.

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. 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.

http://www.amazon.com/Gigi-Sedlmayer/e/B003U8G4WC/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

http://www.amazon.com/Gigi-Sedlmayer/e/B003U8G4WC/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

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About Gigi Sedlmayer

Gisela (Gigi) Sedlmayer was born on 19 May 1944 in Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin in Germany. Her family escaped to the West just before the infamous wall went up. They moved around in Germany until finally settling in Munich where Gigi studied architectural drafting and met Albert in 1965, marrying in December 1967. She worked as a civil draftsperson in various private consultancies in Munich. Since her uncle was a writer, she tried to write short animal stories herself. Nothing further came of it, but she developed a love for the written word and started to consume books. In May 1975, Gigi and her husband moved to New Zealand. Because of language challenges, she started a handicraft business. As a specialty, she made colourful parrots of which she sold thousands in a few years. In 1988, they decided to adopt and became adoptive parents of twin girls the year after. They lived in New Zealand for eighteen years and moved to Australia in September 1992. Two years later Gigi was diagnosed with cancer. After operations and radiation, she withdrew, thinking that she would probably soon be dead, like her friend who died of cancer, but her two little girls gave her the courage to keep going. After a few years, still among the living, her brain started to work again, so she thought, 'Get a grip on yourself and do something good with your life'. She remembered the time she wrote short stories and got inspired again, seeing her husband Albert writing the story of their adoption. Her English became increasingly better so she pressed on to develop her creative writing. Albert taught her how to use a computer and she wrote many short stories. She entered them in competitions and often got very good reports back, which gave her confidence to go on writing. One day the idea for the TALON series came to her and she spent the next several years bringing the story and the characters to life. She now loves writing and spends most of her time at the computer, developing new story lines. She also loves travelling, 4x4 touring, swimming, gardening, handcrafting, reading, fossicking and enjoys good adventure DVD's or going to the movies.
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