When I started writing Talon, I knew it had to be set in Peru, as only can you find the majestic condors. I sat in the library for three full days, studying everything about the Indians, their culture and about the condors and their habits. At that time, there was not much available in Internet. Now, anything is easy to find.
I wanted to write a story about a handicapped or challenged girl to show others what they can achieve if they put their minds not to the negativity, but to the positivity.
As with Matica, I did not have an easy childhood and was always an outsider, keeping to myself. I love birds and 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 and be very small. The bird has to be big as well. And the condor came to my mind.
I loved the condors. They are amazing birds. They are the biggest land birds (vulture) on our wonderful earth. And so the story of Matica and Talon came to existence. I set the scene in Peru, close to the great Andes where the condors live and decided to let her family move to Peru as missionaries from Australia. The Condor stories have turned into a ten book series.
My motto was and is: “Teaching Children Self-Confidence through Service to Others.” Children today face immense pressure to fit in with their peers. 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.
Many children of this age group have issues with acceptance and this is explored and resolved in a positive manner within the storyline 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.
I wanted to let the world know that, when you put your mind to something and really want it, you can achieve it. Matica was rejected by the local Indians because of her disability. She hated it, but couldn’t do anything about it. As it is in real life. But, and there is always the ‘but’…
Matica was not always happy, even though she tried to be. And so she chose being kind over being right. She had to learn, but she learned it well because if you think that way, you will always feel good about what you do.
Because of my childhood challenges, I had to face being the hero in my own books. And as Mira, Matica’s mum says in my books, ‘Sometimes the worst and greatest problems in life cannot be solved. They can only be outgrown.’
Gigi 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, settling in Munich where Gigi studied architectural drafting and met Albert, marrying in December 1967. She worked as a civil draftsperson in various private consultancies in Munich.
Gigi lived in New Zealand for eighteen years then moved to Australia in 1992. Since then, and once her cancer was gone, her writing has flourished. Improving her English as she went, she entered many writing competitions, receiving back positive results.
She now spends most of her time writing, and researching new storylines. Gigi also loves 4×4 touring, swimming, gardening, handcrafts and reading. She also enjoys fossiking, or watching adventure DVDs or going to the movies.
Today, Gigi lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.