Matica, Hero of Talon, Come Fly with Me by Gisela (Gigi) Sedlmayer

What is your story?

The title of my story is: TALON, COME FLY WITH ME.

My name is Matica and my story is for children as well as for people of all ages to teach self-confidence, to learn and to cope and to deal with all sorts of afflictions, conditions and disorders, even being rejected by other people, to learn to face and to deal with being different, as I am different. But in spite of being different, I’m not a person that looks negatively into the world. I am a positive person looking positively into the world. My mother always tells me: ‘There is something special out there, just for you.’ And I must say, yes, there is.

I say: If you don’t know how to go on in life, whatever it might be, even if you have a disability, find a ‘condor’. That is what I did. Read it in my book, TALON, COME FLY WITH ME. Now I can handle every obstacle. And then I was loved by everyone, not rejected anymore.

Who are you?

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 happened 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 really 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, with my mother’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.

Where do you live?

I was born in Australia and moved with my missionary and schoolteacher parents to a remote little village, Pucara, in Peru, South America. Here the local Indians didn’t accept me because of my handicap and because of that I wasn’t allowed to play with their children. Since I had no friends, I was lonely and so I roamed around the plateau of our village, Pucara, with the blessings of Mum and Dad. They understood my misery. After two years of loneliness I finally made friends with a pair of condors. From this day on, they were my life.

Are you the hero of your own story?

I think I am the hero, because my mother, Mira, told me again and again:

‘Sometimes the worst and greatest problems in life cannot be solved. They can only be outgrown.’ And I have been outgrown them. Many times, I might say.

Yep, I certainly am the hero of my story. I am even a hero in how I befriended the condors I named Tamo and Tima. I am also a hero raising Talon, the offspring of Tamo and Time, to the majestic condor he needs to be. I am a hero because of defeating the poachers.

Do you embrace conflict?

I had embraced my problem before I made friends with my condors Tamo and Tima. I held onto it and I felt sorry for myself and cried a lot, wanting to run away or somehing worse. But did it help me? Did it become better? Did I grow taller? No, nothing of that helped me. 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. 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.

Do you run from conflict?

Well, right, I did. I wanted to run away, then later, when I made friends with Tamo, I wanted to fly away with him, away from the Indians with their rejection and their bad words and their teasing. I couldn’t hear it anymore. But now I face them because I have learned to face all sorts of conflicts. What would I have given to change myself. But it wouldn’t work. I had to face myself. And so I did, with making friends with the condors. It wasn’t always easy, being a special needs child. And so I was lonely and I cried a lot in the beginning after we arrived in Peru and the locals didn’t let me play with their children. But when I made friends with the condors, I knew my life would change. I didn’t run away, even though I wanted to. Actually I wanted to fly away with Tamo from the day I made friends with him. But not anymore.

How do you see yourself?

Now, after the time I was rejected by the Indians in Pucara, and I learned with the help of my condors how to cope with rejection and other things, I see myself as a girl who doesn’t let anything stand in her way anymore, ever again. I know bad stuff happens, but I don’t let it get to me and let it drag me down, not anymore. Why? Because I found out that I can overcome whatever problem I have, if I set my mind to it. And with that, I win, and so can you. Don’t stick your head in the sand like an ostrich when it’s afraid. It won’t solve your problem. All you gain is getting sand in your eyes. I now meet the problem head on. Look for your condor as I have done. I don’t mean a real condor like I have done, but something that works for you, relates to you. Be like it, relate to it, love who you are, or do what it takes to be who you want to be.

How do your friends see you?

My best friend Amos sees me as a strong person – loyal, trustworthy. My four-year-old brother Aikon sees me as his big sister, even though I am smaller than he is. My parents see me as a success.

Do you have a goal?

Oh yes, my goal is high. I want to be someone in my life. And if it is to live with the condors, then it will be living with the condors, helping them to survive, that they will increase in their numbers again.

What are your achievements?

I have overcome the disability that had taken over my body. I am somebody and the local Indians love me now. But not only my Indians in my village, far beyond our village I am loved and cherished and appreciated. That is my achievement and I am proud of it.

Do you talk about your achievements?

No, I do not talk about them. I show them through my actions, my deeds.

What do you regret?

I regret that I hadn’t started earlier in my life to see what I can achieve, instead of brooding and feeling sorry for myself for having that growth disability. But that is over and forgotten now and I won’t think back. But now and then it takes me over and then I regret it, deeply.

Do you have any handicaps?

Yes, I have. It’s a horrible growth handicap. The local Indians didn’t accept me because of that and so I wasn’t allowed to play with their children. They thought that I was demon possessed or something like that. And being lonely, I made friends with the condors and helped raising their offspring, Talon, after poachers nearly stole their egg. How I did achieve that, you have to read my book, TALON, COME FLY WITH ME. It wasn’t easy, but with determination and never giving up, I succeeded. And so can you, whatever you put your mind to.

But now even the Indians regret that they have rejected me and have apologised to me because they didn’t know better. Now they have learned and understood not to reject unexplained things like being handicapped or disabled but help that person because that person is not sick.

Did you get along with your parents?

Yes, I did get along with my parents because of their positive attitude. But sometimes I thought, before I made friends with my condors, why didn’t my parents do anything to me, to let me grow? But when I became older, I understood that there was nothing they could do for me. So I very slowly accepted it, but with bitterness, sorrow and sadness. But my parents always lifted me up, never spoke negatively to me. And so I finally thought, maybe they are right, maybe there is something out there for me. I only have to find it.

My parents always told me that I am special, that I am made for something special and that I will find it one day. And so it was. I found why I was made as I am, with the growth challenge, being so small. In the beginning the teasing of the Indians in Peru aggravated me a lot. But Mum told me: Don’t let yourself become aggravated from the teasing of others. It’s not worth it. And now I am loved, never having to face that ever again.

Have you ever had an adventure?

My whole life became an adventure with befriending the condors Tamo and Tima and then raising Talon to become the majestic condor he has to be. I live for the adventure.

Where can we find out more about you?

You can find my book by amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Talon-come-fly-Gigi-Sedlmayer/dp/1921578726/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1317276412&sr=1-1

as kindle http://www.amazon.com/Talon-come-fly-me-ebook/dp/B004Y6DQH0/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=A24IB90LPZJ0BS&qid=1317276412&sr=1-1

as a short animation clip on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0ontac7S20

barnesandnoble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/talon-come-fly-with-me-gigi-sedlmayer/1020753509?ean=9781921578724&itm=1&usri=talon2c%2bcome%2bfly%2bwith%2bme

also amazon.com.uk and amazon.com.ca

Gisela (Gigi) Sedlmayer, Author of “Talon, Come Fly With Me”

What is your book about?

My book is about Matica, the main character in the Talon series. She has a rare disorder of her body. She is trapped in a two year old body even though she’s ten years old, in the first book of the Talon series, TALON, COME FLY WITH ME. It’s her story about her adventure, her courage, her inspiration, her love.

Matica’s missionary school teachers moved from Australia to Peru, South America, into a small community. Here the local Indians don’t understand what is wrong with her, so decided that she wasn’t allowed to play with their children, thinking that she is demon possessed or something similar. Lonely and with the blessings of her parents, understanding her misery, she roamed around the plateau of Pucara. Often she was thinking of running away so she didn’t need to face the rejection and the bad talk of the local Indians. But one day she saw the condors flying high up in the air and there and then, she made up her mind, to make friends with them, thinking that they could help her to become somebody, to get self-confidence and so would be accepted by the local Indians. Because she actually wasn’t a negative thinking person, she was a positive thinking person and hated her life as it was. So she had to change it and she did. Her parents always lifted her up as well and told her that there is something special out there, just for her. And she believed them and after two years she found it.

What inspired you to write this particular story?

After I survived a deadly disease, I started to write short stories for competitions. I didn’t get the first prize but very good comments. That inspired me to go on. And so, one of those short stories I wrote about Matica and Talon. And there it came to me, that I could actually write a book about her, and then why not a series? And so the Talon series started.

How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?

Matica is me, in all aspects. Not that I have her affliction, but other things and I was rejected many times as well. So yes, Matica is me.

Tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite? Why?

Her name is Matica and her story is for children as well as for people of all ages to teach self-confidence, to learn and to cope and to deal with all sorts of afflictions, conditions and disorders, even being rejected by other people, to learn to face and to deal with being different as she is different. But in spite of being different, she is a loving person in her nature. She loves to help, to be there when needed. But she couldn’t do it in the village, because of the rejection she has to face.

How long did it take you to write your book?

I started to write when I recovered from the deadly disease and that was now nearly 20 years ego. I have rewritten the first story TALON, COME FLY WITH ME many times. I have sent it to conventional publishers again and again. But I always got the rejection letter back. Then I thought I might need an editor, since English is my second language. And so I found Annette Hansen, thinking that’s what was wrong. After she brilliantly edited my manuscript I have sent it to more conventional publishers, my editor even sent the manuscript to several publishers. But still we would get that rejection letter back.

Then I decided to self-publish it. And so the first book was published by BookPal end of 2009. And now I am in the process of letting the second book TALON, ON THE WING and the third book TALON, FLIGHT FOR LIFE publish with the same self-publisher. I hope with these three books out, that the world will see what they have with them.

Did you do any research for the book? If so, how did you do it? (searching Internet, magazines, other books, etc.)

I spent three full days in a library to get full information about Peru and their people, the land and about the condors and everything else I needed before I started to write the first book. In that time, there was nothing really available on the Internet yet, as it is now.

How (or when) do you decide that you are finished writing a story?

I write the story as it comes to my mind. I am not much of a thinker. I just write it down as it comes to my mind. But then comes the polishing, and that is the main thing for me and I love that part of the writing. And that means rewrite it, and rewrite it and rewrite it until I am happy and satisfied with it and can’t find any other words for it. That can be after 15 to 20 or even more rewrites. But I have to be completely satisfied with it.

What is your goal for the book, ie: what do you want people to take with them after they finish reading the story?

That people see and learn that they are not alone if they have a disability or an affliction or anything they might think is wrong with them. My book is to guide them to get self-confidence, to learn and to cope and to deal with all sorts of afflictions, conditions and disorders, even being rejected by other people, to learn to face and to deal with being different, as Matica is, but again it can be read as an adventure story.

Matica learned, after she made friends with the condors, that she can be the person she was meant to be. Her parents never said anything negative to her, they always lifted her up. Matica even often wanted to run away or would do other bad things. But thinking of her positive parents, she never did. And now she is happy to have that great adventure with her condors.

Mira, Matica’s mother is saying: ‘Look for your condor as my daughter has done.’ She doesn’t mean a real condor like her daughter has found, but something that works for you, relates to you. Be like it, relate to it, love who you are, or do what it takes to be who you want to be.’

Quote from my book:

If you don’t know how to go on in life, whatever it might be, even if you have a disability, find a ‘condor’. That is what Matica did. Matica found the condors, but every person can find something else that they relate to, stick to it and do and be confident with it to get there, where you want to go, where you want to be. And then, as Matica, you can handle every problem and difficulties. All the rejections bounce off you.

What challenges did you face as you wrote this book?

To face myself. When I started to write the book, I never thought of the things they came out then. I wanted to write an adventure story for children and see what came out of that. Because, like Matica, I was rejected in school, not because of the growth handicap she has. I had other things. I had to face what Matica is facing and learned, even from writing the book, more and more to cope with myself, to overcome my own rejection and to realise that I have survived a deadly disease.

Do you think writing this book changed your life? How so?

In a sense it changed my life as well. I have more confidence now as I never had before. I never thought I could write a story like that. But now? I can and I will write more stories about Matica and Talon and her adventure, her life. I plan to write about 8 books in the Talon series. The second book TALON, ON THE WING and the third book TALON, FLIGHT FOR LIFE are getting published right now.

What are you working on right now?

I am writing on the fourth book of the Talon series, TALON, HUNTING THE HUNTER. It is finished but I am on the first rewrite. Many still to come. I would like to get it finished by the end of this year with all the rewrites.

Are you writing to reach a particular kind of reader?

I like to reach every reader, not only the ones who need to get more confidence or have to face rejection in their lives, because it’s still an adventure story behind all that. It’s the voyage of Matica.

What’s been the most surprising part of being a writer?

That it is so very difficult to get published. I don’t understand that the conventional publishers don’t see the potential in my book or even for that matter, for all the other new writers out there who are in the same boat as I am. I have the feeling that these publishers might not even read the manuscripts they are getting from new writers and so, without reading the manuscript reject it because of the writer being a new writer.

What advice you would give to an aspiring author?

Never to give up. That is my motto and I am sticking to it since I got so many rejection letters back from the conventional publishers. But I will get there. So, never give up. One day it will happen, because you don’t know when it will be, it could be just around the corner, just tomorrow even.

What words would you like to leave the world when you are gone?

‘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.

‘Love and acceptance for each other, without boundaries.’

‘Self-pity is a useless emotion.’

‘Self-pity can ruin one’s life.’

‘Don’t say negative words. They don’t help you.’

Where can people learn more about your books?

My website: http://www.writersportal.org/Gigi

YouTube animation clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0ontac7S20

http://www.amazon.com/Talon-come-fly-Gigi-Sedlmayer/dp/1921578726/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1317276412&sr=1-1

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/talon-come-fly-with-me-gigi-sedlmayer/1020753509?ean=9781921578724&itm=1&usri=talon2c%2bcome%2bfly%2bwith%2bme

Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Talon/135624816470795

Click here to read an excerpt from: “Talon, Come Fly With Me” by Gisela (Gigi) Sedlmayer