Interview with Author Gisela Sedlmayer – Ramona Portelli Blog

Interview with Author Gisela Sedlmayer

Author Gisela Sedlmayer was born on 19 May 1944 in Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin, Germany.  Met her husband in Munich and got married in December 1967. In May 1975 they moved to New Zealand, where they adopted Indian twin girls from Fiji in 1998.

Then they moved to Australia in September 1992. Diagnosed with cancer and surviving it, Gisela started to write. First only short stories but getting gut reports, she started to write the Talon series. And still write on them with 5 published books.  

Ramona: Tell me more about your latest book

Gisela Sedlmayer: It’s actually not my latest book, it is the first book of a series I would like to introduce. I didn’t like to start with the last book of the series.

Nine-year-old Matica lives in a remote village on a dry plateau in the Andes of Peru. She moved to Peru when she was five with Australian missionary and schoolteacher parents. Because Matica is trapped in the body of a two-year-old, her growth handicap has caused her to be rejected by the local people and they would not accept her into their community or allow her to play with the children.

With patience and a sense of adventure Matica befriends a pair of condors. A strong bond and love develop between them.

Matica rescues the egg the condors, Tamo and Tima, are trying to protect from poachers and nurtures it to hatching. The egg hatches on her 10th birthday and she names the new fledging Talon.

Many adventures unfold, including her finally being accepted into the local community. And something totally unexpected…

This is the beginning of many incredible adventures with Talon and Matica. It is a story of hope, determination and love.

Living in the remote village on a dry plateau in the Andean mountains, Matica, rejected by the locals, while handicapped, befriends a pair of condors, with patience and a sense of adventure.

Ramona: What was the most challenging aspect of writing?

Gisela Sedlmayer: To face myself but still I just wanted to get it out.

I wanted to write a story about a handicapped or challenged girl to show readers what they can achieve if they put their minds not to the negativity but to the positivity. (As Matica had to learn it as well, and I have done nearly my whole life myself. Being rejected in school as well, I was always an outsider, keeping to myself in the shell of a turtle, had hardly any friends.) And since I love birds, I decided to let her have a bird. But then came, what bird? And then the idea went even further. What is if she could fly on the bird? That would be something. But to do that, she has to have a disability to be very small. But again, the bird must be big as well. And there the condor came to my mind. I loved the condors before. Amazing birds. Intelligent. They are the biggest land birds and vulture on our wonderful earth. And so, the story about Matica and Talon came to existence. And then I had to set the scene in Peru close to the great Andes where the condors live. And so, it came, that I decided to let her family go to Peru as missionary from Australia.

Ramona: What motivated you to become an author?

Gisela Sedlmayer: I wanted to let children and parents know, that they don’t need to suffer more than they already do. So:

Being rejected in school and know how it can influence a child, in later life, I wanted to give children confidence in their lives.

Children suffer from all sorts of afflictions and through my book they can learn how to coup with everything, as Matica did, the main character in my TALON books. She had to learn it in her early life. Children can 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 book to younger children so they can see that they are not alone, but that they can overcome it in a positive way, not in a negative way.

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.

My books are not only for children. As I said, adults face some illnesses as well, so my books are for adults as well as for children.

Ramona: What brought you to write your books?

Gisela Sedlmayer: Surviving cancer, I was inspired to write the books for teens and children because of their peer pressure in school and at home. Many were driven to suicide or live a depressed life, not knowing how to cope with it and be the one, she/he want to be. My books can help them to overcome the fear and the peer pressure to do the things they like to do, and not being pushed into something they don’t like to be. And that something, can be an animal they love, or sport or whatever, and put all their energy into it. In my books Matica found the condors and she is doing everything she can, to preserve them. And doing that, she was loved and cherished and all the negativity was gone.

Ramona: How many books have you written so far?

5 books are published






TALON, WINDSONG (not yet published but by the editor)

TALON, THAT IS WHO I AM (started to write it)

Ramona: What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?

I have to say all of them. Because Matica, my main character, is me.

Ramona: What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Gisela Sedlmayer: That is not easy to answer, because everyone is different, but with me, I will never give up. So yes, never give up. You never know, what’s around the corner.

Visit Gisela Sedlmayer book links:-

One comment

  1. Very nice interview , Gigi. Congratulations

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