Gigi Sedlmayer is an author, architectural drafter, and maker of soft toys. Her Talon series has won several awards, including Book Excellence Awards Finalist.
Find Gigi’s books HERE
Please join me in welcoming Gigi to my blog.
Tell us a little about yourself. I was born on 19 May 1944 in Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin, Germany. My family escaped to the West just before the infamous wall went up. We moved around a lot in Germany and I had to change Schools a lot. Have lost track about that. But it influenced me, not to make any friends anymore, because I would lose them anyway again. Finally settling in Munich where I studied architectural drafting. 1965 I met Albert in the drafting school. 1967, December, we got married. 1975, May, my husband and I moved to New Zealand. Here I made soft toys, because of language problems. Colorful parrots, sleepy tigers, koalas and many more. 1988 we decided to adopt and became adoptive parent of twin girls the year after. 1992 we moved to Australia. One year later I was diagnosed with cancer, withdrawing from everything, but still did my duties as wife and mother. After two years still under the living, I decided to do something out of my life. Since my husband wrote a book about the adoption of our girls, I thought I might could start writing something, since I couldn’t go working any longer. I started to write some short stories and send them into competition. I didn’t get first price, but was highly commended. One of the stories was about Matica and Talon. That was the start to write the Talon series.
What is the title and genre of your latest book? Who published it? My latest book is called: TALON, ENCOUNTER and was published by Aurora House, Australia. Genre? My books are for all ages, from young to old, because everyone should read them, to know, that they are not alone, when they have some affliction and they can’t be cured.
Tell us a little about your books. Children suffer from all sorts of affliction (even if it it’s only wearing glasses in their early years, as it was with me) and through my books they can learn to stand firm and learn and even understand how to cope with everything, as Matica did, the main character in my books. She had to learn it in her early life. (Most children have) Children can and should find a “Condor” as Matica did. Not literally a condor as Matica has, 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 “that” would help them to overcome that.
Parents can read my books to younger children so they can see that they are not alone, but that they can overcome their affliction in a positive way, not in a negative way.
What inspired you to write your first book? 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.
That’s what inspired me to write the story of Matica and Talon. To overcome it all, and have a good life.
When I was a young teenager, coming out of school, and before I went to the drafting school, I worked in my father’s place for two years. Since I was good with writing at typewriters, (the nice old ones, not a computer) I wrote manuscripts and some papers. But having time between, I wrote short stories for myself. It was fun.
What inspires you to write in general? My motto was and is: “Teaching Children Self-Confidence through Service to Others.” Children today face immense pressure to fit in with their peers. (As I faced in my own life) 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.
In a sense, Matica is me. (I am not handicapped but faced lots of rejection in my life as well.) Matica and I we are one person and we were looking for acceptance.
What authors have most influenced you? How and why? I was reading a lot and still read a lot, but all these authors didn’t influence me to write.
My husband did. He wrote the story of our adoption. And that did it. And the fact that I couldn’t go working anymore after I survived cancer but realized that I was still alive.
How do you write – outline or free flow? Free flow. Sometimes I discuss something with my husband, then I write it down.
What is your current writing project? I am writing on my sixth book in the Talon series, called: TALON, WINDSONG.
Tell us something you do when writing (your secret sin) that no one knows about? Laughing and crying with what I am writing. (I am very emotional)
Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it? No, I never had and I never will have writers block. Firstly, I don’t let it come, and secondly, when I put my fingers on the key board, the ideas spilling out of my hands. When I think beforehand about what I should or what I will write, nothing comes. But as soon as my fingers touch the key board, my books are on the screen, the ideas are flowing.
Have you received any awards? If so, what are they? I was finalist with “Book Excellence Awards” and Finalist with “The Independent Authors Network.” Both with the first book: TALON, COME FLY WITH ME
I also got “Bronc” for the fifth book, for ‘First line competition’ with “Authorsdb.” Also silver for the cover competition for first book, with “Authorsdb.” Also gold for the cover competition for fifth book, with “Authorsdb.” Also 5-star reviews for book ONE and book TWO with “Readers Favorite.”
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing? Any hobbies? I love traveling with my husband, 4×4 touring, swimming, gardening, handcrafting, painting, cross-stitch pictures, reading, fossicking and enjoy good adventure DVD’s or going to the movies.
What do you wish to say to your readers? Be open minded when you read my books. There stands a lot between the lines, even it is written as an adventure. Never give up, even everyone and everything is pointing against it. Determination brings you to places, giving up, you go nowhere.
What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your books? They are books of hope and determination and unconditional love. Because these things will bring you to places, because we are in fact all connected. And, Matica’s disability is her greatest strength. So, it can be for you as well, will be for you. If you have the determination. Bravery, honesty and love. And still, one can have adventure. You will meet danger on the way, laughter and tears. And we are all connected.
BLURB: Talon Encounter
Will they manage to fulfill Elcano’s wishes to spread his ashes over the mountain?
Planning their big holiday in Australia, Matica is devastated. What will await her back there? Will she lose the birds? Will they stay and wait for her? And most of all, will she cope without her beloved birds?
To overcome her fear to lose the birds, she is flying endlessly with the birds and has many adventures and near misses.