Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the four hundred and second, is of children’s author Gigi Sedlmayer. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at author-spotlights.
Gisela (Gigi) Sedlmayer was born in 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 again, 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, she and Albert decided to adopt and became parents two twin girls the year after. They lived in New Zealand for eighteen years and moved to Australia in September 1992.
Two years 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 improved so she pressed on to develop her creative writing.
Albert taught her how to use a computer and Gigi wrote many short stories. She entered them in competitions and often received very good reports, which gave her the 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 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 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fossicking), and enjoys good adventure DVDs or going to the movies.
And now from the author herself:
I am very creative with my hands. Love doing things. But it’s always periodically. First I started with pencil drawings on the big ship we came over from Germany to New Zealand. And seeing that I loved doing it, and seeing how the people loved them, I went on in New Zealand. But strangely enough, I couldn’t really sell them. So I went to oil paintings. I loved it as well, but again, I couldn’t sell them. Then came the next thing, cross stitching. And again the same story. I did always animal, since I love animals.
I started to write the Talon series for children for the age of nine years to teenagers. But, as reviewers tell me my books are for all ages, from nine to ninety-nine years.
Children suffer from all sorts of affliction and through my books they can learn how to cope with everything, as Matica did, the main character in my books. She had to learn it in her early life. Children can and should 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 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.
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.
We know that first-hand as well. We have adopted Indian twin-girls from Fiji. Mostly they were accepted, particularly in our church. But when I went shopping with the girls, some people looked at us, with the look on their faces that would say: How can she do something like that?
Since I went through the things Matica is going through, Matica is actually me. (I am not handicapped but faced lots of rejection in my life as well.) Matica and I we are one person and we are looking for acceptance.
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.
Some excerpt from my books:
“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.”
“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’.”
Not really, for not everyone can find a condor, but whatever they would like to find and love, as Matica loves Talon.
That is just what Matica does in my first book, TALON, COME FLY WITH ME. Now she can handle every obstacle…
You can find more about Gigi and her writing via…
and animation clips for the Talon books:
- First book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0ontac7S20
- Second book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqayANo77x0&feature=youtu.be
- Third book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXdNgy7Fw18&feature=autoshare
- Fourth book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJefAUG3dmI&feature=youtu.be
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