Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age? Where are you from?
Thank you, Fiona, for giving me the opportunity to express myself.
My full nameis Gisela Sedlmayer, but I go under my author name, Gigi Sedlmayer.
I was borne in Germany, Berlin, Potsdam. Now I live with my husband and adopted twin girls in Australia, Gold Coast.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I, Gigi Sedlmayer was born on 19 May 1944 in Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin in Germany.
My family escaped to the West just before the infamous wall went up. We moved around in Germany, wherever my father would get work, and so I had to change schools around 7 times. Making friends for me, was always difficult, and in the end, I had none, knowing I would lose any again.
Until finally we settled in Munich where I studied architectural drafting and met Albert in 1965 in that school, marrying him on the 28. December 1967. I worked as a civil draftsperson in two different private consultancies in Munich.
Because of work challenges and my husband was Australian, we moved in May 1975, to New Zealand. Because of language challenges, I started a handcraft business. As a specialty toy, I made colourful parrots of various sizes, of which I sold thousands in a few years in New Zealand.
Since we had no children, we looked into adoption. Good friends of us had adopted their children from Fiji, so we looked into that. And…
In 1989, we became adoptive parents of Indian twin girls from Fiji.
In September 1992 we moved to Australia. My husband wanted to go home.
In November 1993 I was diagnosed with cancer. Treatment was bad enough. Have lots of damage at my rib case and surrounding tissue from the radiation.
By the grace of God,Ifound myself still under living after two years. I survived. (I cared for my family, but that was all. Waiting to die.) And so, I wanted to do something with my life.
Since I couldn’t go back to work, too much pain every day and having bad feet, and seeing my husband writing the story about our adoption, I wanted to write to.
started to write short stories for competition, in English, since my English became increasingly better.
So, my husband taught me how to use a computer and I wrote several short stories in English, since my English became increasingly better and we live in an English-speaking country.I entered them in competitions. Didn’t get any price, but often got very good reports back, which gave me confidence to go on writing.
One of the short stories was about the handicapped girl and Talon. With that story I thought I could start a series. But first I had to know more of the setting of the story, and spent three days in the library to study all.
And so, for the next several years, I brought the story and the characters to life.
I love writing the story and spends most of my time at the computer, developing new story lines, since I can’t go back working.
I also love travelling with my husband, 4×4 touring, swimming, gardening, handcrafting, painting, cross-stich pictures, reading, fossicking and enjoys good adventure DVD’s or going to the movies.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My latest news is, developing the sixth book in the Talon series. It’s a challenge for me.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing, after I found out, that I had survived cancer, but couldn’t go to work any longer. Because of the pain (but it’s getting so much better) mainly now because of my bad feed.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I had published my first book in the Talon series. TALON, COME FLY WITH ME. I had the first published book in my hands. I was holding it, thinking, wow. I’m an author.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My husband was inspiring me. Since he wrote about the adoption, to hold it for ever and to remember, how it was. But again, I have to say, when I was a young teenager, coming out of high 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.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Oh, well, Talon, I named the chick Talon, when it hatched, Come fly with me, just came to me. Like the story came to me.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Reviewers say, that I do have a unique writing style, not that I noticed, but they love it. They said, similar to that writer or that one. Not so much as challenging for me. But I was facing myself in my main character. That was a bit a challenge und surprised me.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Only facing myself in my main character. She is me. I faced similar rejections, but I am not handicapped. But with other things. I have to wear glasses, and in that time in school, I was rejected and was named names. It was horrible. That was one of the things as well, that I didn’t had friends. So, the book is realistic and based on me, but the adventures she is facing, well, that are adventures.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No, don’t need to travel. Only occasionally looking at the internet, (how easy is that now. When I started, I had to go to the library) for something, it might have changed over the years.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My publisher has a designer, he does the cover for me, but I tell him, how I like to see it. He is doing it, but has to change it, when I don’t like it. But it hasn’t happened yet. He’s very good.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
YES there is.
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.
I let Matica 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.
But I never gave up on life and so I had lots of adventures roaming around the plateau where we live in Peru, South America, with my mum’s and dad’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 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 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. (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. And I never run from conflicts.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
Strangely enough, I am writing for children, so that they will be accepted, but I read different books. I love sci-fi. Reading them. And yes, I have my favourites. Ben Bova, Frank Herbert, but now as well, Don Viecelli, Jay Allan, And more
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Ouch, I have to say, no one. Only my husband supported me, and still support me. But again, my publisher. She loves my books.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would love to have it as a career, but, the media is thinking differently.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Never thought of that. So, probably no.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes, I learned with Matica. I became more a person, with own ideas, not put down. I found myself, my self-confidence.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I don’t know about that. But it would be great as animation. Several reviewers said it as well. Like the movies: “How to train your Dragon”
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Only one advise: Never give up. I wanted to give up many times. But, if I really would do it, how do I know, that success was just around the corner? So stay with it.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
“Be you, yourself, be happy. 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.”
“Love and acceptance for each other, without boundaries.”
“Self-pity is a useless emotion.” “Self-pity can ruin one’s life.”
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Nanomachine War –Book 1, by Don Viecelli
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I think it was book about a horse. I love horses and tigers.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Cry: Family movies. Laugh: comedy and Simpsons.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
My Dad. He passed away, way to early. Before I learned all that and learned self-confidence and writing my books. Would love to tell him and would love to hear his opinions.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Before I started to write and be the author I am now, I did pencil drawings, oil paintings, cross stitches. They were my hobbies. Making the toys, they were my work. My husband and I we love going for a drive into the outback of Australia. We love it there. Go fossicking as well.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Crime stories, but strangely enough, I don’t like reading about that. Sci-fi movies, Star Wars, Star Trek. Avatar. Independence Day, Guardian of the Galaxy. Jupiter Ascending. And many more.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Food: Since I grew up in Germany, I like the German Food. It’s different, from the food they eat here in Australia, more the English one. Don’t like that much. Like Italian food.
Music: I don’t know, really.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Traveling into the outback of Australia, live there.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“Award winning author” with billions of books sold. (hehehehehe)
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
My Website: http://www.gigised.com