Please help me welcome author Gigi Sedlmayer of the Talon Series to Jemsbooks Interview an Author Segment.
Hi Gigi. So nice of you to stop in today to share your wonderful books.
1. When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
I actually never knew for sure what I wanted. In my early days, I loved oil painting. I was really fascinated with them and so I thought I could do some restoration of old paintings. But life didn’t let me realise my dream. But after immigrating from New Zealand to Australia, I was diagnosed with cancer. I couldn’t go on working. I was still in too much pain and unable to walk. Albert, my husband said, “Why not start writing?”
He had writing down the adoption of our twin girls from Fiji. I started to write short stories, of course, animal stories. I sent them in for competitions. Yes, I was brave, with my imperfect English which still is. I didn’t get the first prize but I was encouraged. That gave me motivation to go on. One of the short stories was about Talon and Matica. Then it came to me. I wanted to be an author.
jjspina: You are amazing that you persevered and continued to be creative in writing these inspiring books through this difficult time.
2. What process do you need in order to write?
Process? Well, I need quiet, no music or anything. But when I put my fingers on the key board, the ideas come, floating out of my fingers. It happens here now as well, trying to answer these questions. Thinking about the answers at first nothing came, but now, all is clear. So it is with my writing of the Talon books.
jjspina: It is amazing that all we have to do as authors is open our minds and let our characters take over.
3. How do you come up with ideas for your stories?
Ideas? I have no ideas, until I put my fingers on the keyboard. Strength? Yes. But it is like that. Sometimes when I am thinking of a scene in my book I think I could do it better.
Jjspina: Sounds like you have the magic touch when you use your keyboard.
4. What projects are you currently working on?
I am writing, well not quite right, re-writing the sixth book in the Talon Series. I have had to re-write it many times. First draft is only the skeleton, then the veins are coming, then the muscles, then the skin, and so on. So, I take time with the re-writing. It is called: TALON, WINDSONG. I have started with the seventh book, maybe 1000 words. It’s called: TALON, MYSTERY OF LIFE.
Jjspina: That is wonderful that you are working on two more books. I wish you much success with both.
5. What do you expect to accomplish in 2018?
I hoped to get the sixth book published, but it might not work. Time is going by.
Jjspina: Keep typing away, Gigi! You’ll get there.
6. What hobbies do you have when you are not writing?
Oh, hobbies. Yes, we love to go on a day-trip into the Hinterland of the Gold Coast. It’s so beautiful out there. We will do around 400 to 600 km going on holiday, mostly into the outback then. We love it there. There we collect stones, opals, if we can find them, and fossils from dinosaurs. I love doing gardening at home as well but I hate housework.
Jjspina: That all sounds like some exciting hobbies.
7. What is your target audience for your book?
I think the books are good for children from reading age to young teenagers. But many reviewers say, the books are for adults as well. They can see what one can do when putting his/her mind to it, not staying negative, but looking at the bright side and being positive. Life is much better looking positive at the world, instead of negative.
Jjspina: Yes, I agree. I enjoyed reading them all and I am well over being a teenager!
8. Please share your books with us.
TALON, COME FLY WITH ME
TALON, ON THE WING
TALON, FLIGHT FOR LIFE
New, not yet published, TALON, WINDSONG and TALON, MYSTERY OF LIFE
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 AWARD, 2017
Finalist with: IAN Book of the year award 2017 – The Independent Author Network
4 out of 4 stars review by Online Book Club
BOOK 2: Talon, on the wing
5 star Review by Readers Favorite
BOOK 3: Talon, flight for life
5 star review by Readers Favorite
SEMI FINALIST for BOOK COVER competition with AUTHORSDB 2017
3 out of 4 stars review by Online Book Club
BOOK 4: Talon, Connected
5 star review by Readers Favorite
FINALIST in First line competition with AUTHORSDB 2018
BOOK 5: Talon, Encounter
4 out of 4 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 AWARDS 2018
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
10. What advice would you give prospective authors?
Never give up. If you gave up, you’d never know if success could have been right around the corner. Even if you struggle, stick with it. Write and do what you think you have to do. But never give up. That is my motto as well. I’ve wanted to give up many times. But I won’t.
Jjspina: Excellent advice, Gigi.
11. Is there anything else you would like to share?
Yes, I would like to let Matica, my main character in my stories, speak for herself.
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.
I never gave up on life and had lots of adventures roaming around the plateau where we live in Peru, South America, with my mum’s and dad’s blessings. 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 cherished.
One day I looked up into the sky and saw the majestic condors flying in the air. Then and there, 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. I never run from conflicts.
Jjspina: Matica is quite an extraordinary young lady who is quite an inspiration to others.
12. If you could have one wish, what would it be?
Pay off our house and have money left over for travel.
Jjspina: Wonderful goals – I hope you will realise these goals one day soon.
13. What would you do if you were not a writer?
The writing bug caught me. Writing.
Jjspina: Well said.
14. Do you have any unusual talents? What are they?
I was and I am good with my hands.
In Germany I started to draw animal pictures with oil colours. I loved to see oil painting from the masters and thought, I could do that as well. I wanted to be actually a restorer for old oil paintings, but life didn’t direct me into that direction. When we immigrated from Germany to New Zealand on the big passenger cruiser Galileo-Galilei for 5 weeks, I started to draw animal pictures with pencil. Being then in New Zealand, and not really being master of the English words, I started a handcraft business. I created with the help of my husband wonderful colourful parrots, sleepy tigers, koalas. I sold thousands of them. People really loved them. When we became adoptive parents, of twin girls, I sold my business. But being creative I had to do something. I started to cross stitch animal pictures.
After we immigrated to Australia I was diagnosed with cancer, but survived with the grace of God. Thereafter I started to write.
Jjspina: You are quite a creative and talented woman, Gigi. I am in awe of what you can do.
My website: http://www.gigised.com
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, following where her dad got work. That meant she had to change schools nine times. In the end she never had friends, for fear, she will lose them again.
Finally, they settled 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 handcraft business. As a specialty, she made colourful parrots in several sizes of which she sold thousands in a few years.
In 1988, they decided to adopt and became adoptive parents of twin girls from Fiji the year after. They lived in New Zealand for eighteen years and moved to Australia in September 1992.
One year later Gigi was diagnosed with cancer. After operations and radiation, she withdrew. She thought 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 two 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, 4×4 touring, swimming, gardening, handcrafting, reading, fossicking and enjoys good adventure DVD’s or going to the movies.
Thank you, Gigi, for coming today. It was a pleasure to learn more about you and your books.
I’ve read all of Gigi’s books and included one of my reviews below.
FIVE STARS All ages will love this tale of friendship and love and acceptance of differences.
Talon is an entertaining and heart-warming story about a young girl who has a medical problem which prevents her from growing normally for her age. Because of this medical issue she is not accepted by other children and has to deal with ridicule and being an outcast. Matica finds it difficult to adjust to this new home that her parents, who are missionaries, have moved from Australia to Pucara in Peru. They came here to work with the Indians in the area, most of whom are illiterate. Matica is lonely and notices a couple of condors flying around her new home who she befriends. Some surprising events unfold that no one expected even Matica.
This is a lovely story that will capture your heart and hold tight to your emotions. All ages will love this tale of friendship and love and acceptance of differences. I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful tale and eagerly look forward to reading the next book in the series.
Thank you, readers, for stopping by to read about this creative author and her inspiring books. I hope you will hop over and take a look at her books on the links above.
REMEMBER: READING GIVES YOU WINGS TO FLY! SOAR WITH JEMSBOOKS.COM! HAPPY READING!
Reading is Good for your Health!
Blessings & Hugs,