INTERVIEW by THIS IS WRITING.COM

INTERVIEW by https://thisiswriting.com/author-interview-with-gigi-sedlmayer/

Surviving cancer, but couldn’t go back to work, I decided to do something with my life. And the best thing I came up with was writing short stories and books. But then I thought, what can I write about? I loved animals. So, I started with that.

Since I was rejected in school and suffered much, I wanted to let parents and children know with my stories that they are not alone and that they can achieve their dreams and longings when they put their minds to it. With determination, one can achieve the things they dream about.

Please tell us something about yourself and your book/s

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 9 times. In the end, she never had friends again of 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 drafts-person 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 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, 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 after scribbling in notepads. She wrote many short stories. She entered them in competitions and often got very good reports back which gave her the confidence to go on writing.

One of these short stories was about Talon. Thinking the story through, she decided to make that story into a series. In the next several years she spent bringing the story and the characters to life.

She now loves writing and spends most of her time at the computer, developing new storylines. She also loves traveling, 4x4 touring, swimming, gardening, handcrafting, reading, fossicking and enjoys good adventure DVD's or going to the movies.

What inspired your story Talon Come Fly With Me?

I wanted to write a story about a handicapped girl to show readers what they can achieve if they focus on the positive and not the negative side of things. 

And since I love birds, I decided to let the main character, Matica have a bird. But then came, what bird? And then the idea went even further. What is if she could fly on the bird? Adventure. That would be something. But to do that, she has to have a disability to 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 before. Amazing birds. They are the biggest land birds (vultures) on our wonderful earth. And so, the story about Matica and Talon came to existence. But then I had to set the scene in Peru close to the great Andes where the condors live.

Give us 3 words that you associate your book with

Adventure, inspirational, acceptance

What has been your favourite part about Talon Come Fly With Me?

That would be chapter 34, where the little chick is hatching, and Matica calls him Talon. And chapter 57. Flying.

How different is the finished product from the original idea?

Well, not much actually. I tried to get the book published with conventional publishers but since that didn’t work out, I re-wrote it many times until I found a self-publisher.

How do you form your stories?

I don’t form them. I just write what comes to my mind. Sometimes it seems to me as if my fingers have their own lives. They fly over the keyboard and then I see what they have written down. Sometimes, it's really funny to see.

How do you select the name of your characters?

My daughter made up the name Matica. So, I adopted it for my main character. The other names, I have a book with names. 

Do you have a single approach in editing or does it vary for every book?

No, not really. I do re-write a lot. I say, the first draft is the skeleton. The next re-write is muscles, the next the veins. And so on. But I have to say, I at least re-write 7 to 10 times, until I'm really satisfied.  And then my editor still does the editing.

What’s the useful piece of advice about writing that you’ve been given?

I have been told never to give up because you never know what will come. If you give up, you might miss something very important, like the selling and success. I have to tell myself that again and again. It’s not easy to keep going especially when one doesn’t see any sales.  And that I should read a lot and write every day.

How do you promote your book?

I try to do advertising and send my book to many sites for awards.  Talon, come fly with me received the following:

  • Top 10 Finalist with Authors Academy Awards 2018
  • Silver Medal Award with Reader's Favorite in Children's' adventure 2018
  • Finalist with: Book Excellence Award, 2017
  • Finalist with: IAN Book of the Year Award 2017 - The Independent Author Network 
  • Silver for Book Cover competition with Authorsdb 2016
  • 5-star Review by Readers’ Favorite
  • 4 out of 4 stars review by Online Book Club

What are you working on now? What can we look forward to seeing next from you?

I am writing at the sixth book in the Talon series. I have published 5 books up to now.

 

Talon Come Fly With Me

by Gigi Sedlmayer

The adventure of a young girl will captivate one’s attention in this beautiful book. The words soar off the page and into your heart as you read this imaginative story.

Enjoy seeing the family dynamic from the first moment with her brother, to the gentle times with her mom, and the exciting scenes with her father.

A young girl, Matica, is jealous of her brother, Aiken's ability to have friends. But Matica's ability to form friendships is extraordinary. The trust and camaraderie between Matica and the condors is truly wonderful.

The way the author revealed each situation was fun to read and it made me anxious to see what's next. Acceptance was eloquently woven into the story without being blatant. And the other thing I learned was that when certain things happen, you don't always know why and just maybe something goodwill come of it.

Talon, Come Fly With Me is not only magical but inspiring. The author is expressive every step of the way and painted such vivid pictures with her words.

Gigi Sedlmayer
Gold Coast , Australia

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