Interview with Talented author, Gigi Sedlmayer
Today I’m thrilled to have author, Gigi Sedlmayer as my guest. Thank you so much for spending time with me today, Gigi. I’ve read two of your books and loved them. I know everyone will enjoy learning more about you and your books.”
We have lots to discuss so we’ll get on with the questions.
- How did you become interested in becoming an author?
Surviving cancer and finding myself still alive after two years of just sitting around, waiting to die, I finally came to my senses again. Since I couldn’t work at a traditional job any longer, couldn’t stand or sit too long, had too much damage through the radiation and is very painful, Albert, my husband, taught me how to use a computer.
Earlier, in my teen years, I wrote lots of little animal short stories by hand writing. Nothing came out of them, I just loved it.
I remembered this time and so I started to write, since there was nothing else for me to do.
In the beginning I wasn’t sure, in which language I should write. But then I decided to write in English, since my English became better and we live in an English-speaking country.
I wrote many short stories and entered them into competitions and often got very good reports back, which gave me confidence to go on writing and inspired me to go on.
One of the short stories was about Talon and Matica. Judges from the competition loved the story and so I thought, I could develop a series about Talon and Matica. And so the TALON series came to life.
You’re a very brave lady, Gigi, as well as talented. I’m so glad you started doing what you love!
- Have you always wanted to write stories?
When I grew up, I realized that I couldn’t go on in life what I was doing. I lived in a shell, as I described myself; I lived like a turtle, but hardly came out.
And this came, because my father had to go from city to city, wherever there was work. So I had to change schools around 9 times. In the end I didn’t had any friends anymore. I was afraid to get them then would lose them again. Hence I was in the turtle. No one was allowed to touch me, or get to me. And so, actually, I never really learned to communicate properly.
But I realized that I couldn’t go on like that. I was rejected by many people and in school as well. I was put down.
But then, when I met my husband, still in Germany, Albert, an Australian, I realized that I am a person as well because he treated me as a real person, that I am not a turtle and that I, like everyone else, have a right to live. My husband saw the real me, my inside and married me. And so I became the person I was meant to be. Then I learned that I was very good with my hands. I could create thing that people loved.
You’re a lady with many natural gifts, Gigi. I’m happy you’re using them to bring joy to yourself and others.
That is copy for a short story I wrote and love:
Still grinning and thinking of Talon, how they found his egg, how she raised him to become the great and mighty condor he is now, she closed her eyes. And there she found herself lying on Talon, feeling his feathers under her, flying high up over the mountain and directly toward the moon.
It was eerie for her to see the moon becoming bigger and bigger. It looked white and big with black lines everywhere.What is Talon doing? she thought. We can’t fly out to the moon? Can we?
Next she saw Talon’s head in front of her, grinning and tilting his head and looking at her with big eyes, then he blinked his eyes and opened his beak, as if he would show his teeth, if he would have some, or as if he would start talking to her. But then he grunted.
Just as she wanted to ask him, what it is, she found herself lying on Talon once more, flying towards the moon. When they were really close, a fracture appeared at the moon crust. They could follow the fracture with their eyes, as it spread over the moon crust and become wider. She actually could hear the crack and flinched. Even Talon flinched.
They kept hovering and watched and wondered what would come out of that.
Another crack followed and another, crisscrossing the moon crust. They also became bigger and wider and then big, black holes appeared where the moon crust was before.
All of a sudden the pieces they were left of the moon crust fell away and disintegrated into the atmosphere. One big piece flew directly into the line where she was flying on Talon. Instinctively she bent to the side, as Talon curved away as well. The piece soared past them. Then the moon cracked open, split into half.
Matica wanted to jump up and scream out: that can’t be.
But she was way too excited what was happening next and she had to follow and see the next seconds. She kept laying on Talon, watching amazed the transformation of the moon, as Talon still flew further.
No moon was left by then, instead a huge bird had immerged, unfolding its enormous wings. Then, very slowly the huge bird flapped its wings, one beat after the other and flew away, away from her and Talon.
She screamed out, ‘Wow, that’s amazing.’
Do you have a favorite author?
C.S. Lewis: The Chronicles of Narnia
Christopher Paolini: Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr
Cornelia Funke: Inkheart, Inkspell, Inkdeath
But then I love Science Fiction: Frank Herbert’s saga of: Dune, read all 16 books twice now.
Ben Bova: Mars and all his other stories
In a way, they all have inspired me when I started to write.
Now, since I do reviews as well, I do have a lot authors I do like, like
Paul G Day
John Holland and many, many more.
It’s amazing that you’ve done all that reading and written many wonderful books as well, Gigi. Thank you for mentioning me along with those esteemed authors. 🙂
I let Matica, my main character, speaking in her own voice. It’s best to describe her and the books:
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. w, 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.
- Do your books have a special message for the readers?
That people see and learn that they are not alone, if they have have a disability, or an affliction or anything they might think is wrong with them. My book is to guide them to get self-confidence, to learn and to cope and to deal with all sorts of afflictions, conditions and disorders even being rejected by other people; to learn to face and to deal with being different, as Matica is, but again can read it as an adventure story.
Matica learned after she made friend with the condors, that she can be the person she meant to be. Her parents never said anything negative to her, they always lifted her up, even Matica wanted often to run away or even would do other bad things. But thinking of her positive parents, she never did. And now she is happy to have that great adventure with her condors.
Mira, Matica’s mother is saying: ‘Look for your condor as my daughter has done.’ She doesn’t mean a real condor like her daughter has found, but something that works for you, relates to you. Like it, relate to it, love it and love who you are, or do what it takes to be who you want to be.’
I’ve read 2 of your books and loved them. You should be so proud, Gigi.
Quote from my book:
“If you don’t know how to go on in life, whatever it might be, even if you have a disability, find a “condor”. That is what Matica did. Matica found the condors, but every person can find something else that they relate to, stick to it and do and be confident with it to get there, where you want to go, where you want to be. And then, as Matica, you can handle every problems and difficulties. All the rejections are bounce off of you.
“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.
These are such valuable lessons for everyone.
What age are your books best for?
Children suffer from all sorts of affliction 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 none curable afflictions, should find something that let them forget what is happening to them. Finding a “Condor” would help them to overcome that.
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 book is for adults as well as for children.
That’s true, Gigi, anyone would enjoy your books.
- What do you like to do other than writing?
I love handcrafting, cross-stitching, 4×4 tours with my husband, gardening, swimming, and walking.
- What advice would you give to other authors?
Never to give up. Your success can be right at the next corner. When you gave up, you’ll never know.
- Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?Some Excerpts I like to write here:“Amos said, ‘Size is nothing. The heart is all that counts. And you have the best, softest and most caring heart I ever have encountered. Because of your heart, you survived the hardship the Indians have put you through.’
- Matica smiled. ‘Thank you, Amos.’“Lack of knowledge can do so much damage, cause so much pain.”
Her eyes clouded over when she continued. ‘Well, in a way they have told me, I know. But again, it is only now because of Talon. I see.’
He could hear bitterness in her voice.
- ‘Do not judge them and do not let it bug you. They did not know better. I thought you knew that. We still have to learn and understand not to reject unexplained things but help that person.”“Be you, yourself, be happy again. Don’t let life pass by you. Don’t look back, look into the bright future. The future is as bright as the promise of God. Smile – it’s the most beautiful attire.”
“I can do it. These four words are the most power-filled words.”
“Self-pity is a useless emotion.”
“Self-pity can ruin one’s life.”
“Love and acceptance for each other, without boundaries.”
Thanks for sharing these, Gigi. People will know more about your books now.
- Are you working on any new projects?
I have four books published in the Talon series now. The fifth book is on the way. It is called. TALON, ENCOUNTER. Just got the cover for it. It’s great. And I am working on the sixth book. Don’t know the title yet. I plan around 9 books in the series, as my imagination flows.
Please share the links where your books are available.
My website: http://www.gigisedlmayer.wordpress.com
YouTube animation clips for the Talon books:
First book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0ontac7S20