Interview by Novelist Brenda Brown Elliott

Is this your first book?

I have written and published 3 novels in the Talon series.

1. TALON, COME FLY WITH ME

2. TALON, ON THE WING

3. TALON, FLIGHT FOR LIFE

The 4th, TALON, CONNECTED will be out very soon, at the end of September 2013.

And I am writing at the 5th TALON, HUNTING THE HUNTER

Where did your inspiration come from?

I am writing now for the last 20 Years.

When I survived cancer I soon began to think again and came to my senses. Since I couldn’t work at a traditional job any longer I started to write. 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.

Albert taught me how to use a computer and I wrote many short stories. I entered them in competitions and often got very good reports back, which gave me confidence to go on writing. One of the short stories was about Talon and Matica. Judges from the competition loved the story and so I thought, I could probably develop a series about Talon and Matica. And so the TALON series came to life.

What makes your book better or different?

“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. 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.

Do you belong to any writing/reading books? Goodreads? LinkedIn?

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9496765-talon-come-fly-with-me

http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=83666990&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

Tell us about “YOU”

I, Gisela (Gigi) Sedlmayer was born on May 19, 1944 in Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin in Germany.

My family escaped to the West just before the infamous wall went up. They moved around in Germany until finally settling in Munich where I studied architectural drafting and met Albert in 1965, marrying in December 1967. I worked as a civil draftsperson in various private consultancies in Munich.

Since my uncle was a writer, I tried to write short animal stories myself. Nothing further came of it, but I developed a love for the written word and started to consume books.

In May 1975, my husband and I moved to New Zealand. Because of language challenges, I started a handcraft business. As a specialty, I made colourful parrots of which I sold thousands in a few years.

In 1988, we decided to adopt and became adoptive parents of twin girls from Fiji the year after. We lived in New Zealand for eighteen years and moved to Australia in September 1992.

Two years later I was diagnosed with cancer. After operations and radiation, I withdrew, thinking that I would soon be dead, like my friend who had died of cancer, but my two little girls gave me the courage to keep going. After a few years, still among the living, my brain started to work again, so I thought, “Get a grip on yourself and do something good with your life.”

I remembered the time when I wrote short stories and got inspired again, seeing my husband Albert writing the story of our adoption. My English became increasingly better so I pressed on to develop my creative writing.

Give us a “reader” excerpt……

“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.”

“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.”

“Let your smile change the world, don’t let the world change your smile.”

“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 just what Matica does in my book, TALON, COME FLY WITH ME. Now she can handle every obstacle…

Talk a little about your main characters

Matica, my main character is speaking. It’s best to describe her.

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 happened 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, 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.

Was there any research required to write this book?

After I had decided to make the story about Matica and Talon as a series, I spend 3 whole days in the library to learn everything about Peru, their people, the land and of course about the condors. In that time, nothing was available in Internet as it is now. I also couldn’t find any real good pictures of condors. Now there are so many good ones. Love them all.

Where can your books be found?

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

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Gigi-Sedlmayer?store=book&keyword=Gigi+Sedlmayer

My website: http://www.gigisedlmayer.wordpress.com

Animation clips for the Talon books:

1. Novel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0ontac7S20

2. Novel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqayANo77x0&feature=youtu.be

3. Novel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXdNgy7Fw18&feature=autoshare

Describe yourself in one sentence…

“Let your smile change the world, don’t let the world change your smile.”

That is the sentence Crayn is telling Matica in my book and that is what I am and try to be and live it up.