Hello and welcome to another one of my Chats with my fave authors.
Today my guest is a wonderful lady whom I met not long ago and we hit it off right from the start.
Bubbly, fun, positive… I love listening to her voice reading what she writes, she narrates her own books too! In her books she tells her experiences in real life, meeting people, dealing with friends, doctors and opinions about every day life. She makes me laugh out loud, makes me think, with her awesome, variable voice pulling me into her narrations, her accents, gender variations are really good.
Please welcome Valerie Gilbert!
Her books to date are:
5 stars My review on RAVING VIOLET audiobook: “The first thing that drew me to this is the narrator’s voice! I usually stay away from female narrators, but Ms. Gilbert’s voice spoke to me. So much passion, very well spoken, articulate. I started listening out of curiosity, nothing like I listened to before, except Erma Bombeck yeons ago. The stories told by the author from her real life experiences are captivating. Some made me think, some made me laugh out loud and some made me shake my head and what they have in common is that most of us can relate to these. The accents and temperament of the different people she introduces are so wonderfully executed. I loved it all.”
5 stars My review on MEMORIES, DREAMS & DEFLECTIONS audiobook: “Just as the first book, this one too is very entertaining. I love Ms. Gilbert’s voice, such a pleasure to listen to her while talking about her real life experiences. She is hilariously irreverent, has opinions with which I agree on most things. This book made me laugh, think, nod and shake my head, but most of all I find it uplifting. I totally recommend it, as I do the first one, ‘RAVING VIOLET’. I am looking forward to Swami Soup.”
Almost finished recently released SWAMI SOUP audiobook, my review will be posted in the next few days, but I can tell you now, it will get 5 stars.
Now onto the chat!
Do you have a nickname?
I don’t! I prefer Valerie to Val. I allow certain people to call me Val, but while I don’t stand on ceremony, I find it presumptuous when I tell someone my name is Valerie and they respond by shortening it.
What is one word that best describes you?
Irreverent! I like to break the rules. I like to color outside of the lines (except in my beloved, myriad coloring books) I like to challenge people to THINK. And you only do that by breaking the norms yourself. Being a sheep lands you in herds.
What makes you laugh out loud?
Hmm…a good one. I rarely laugh out loud, but my friend Bill is quite good at it, because he’s not afraid to make fun of himself. There’s nothing better than a good laugh, and I’ll end up in paroxysms, choking, gagging, wheezing and weeping on the floor for I become weak in the knees when the fit hits. There’s nothing better than “losing it”. What’s “it”? Control, I suppose. Order. It’s good to be disorderly so you can see the world in a new way.
What is your favourite smell? What does it remind you of?
Coffee, which reminds me of chocolate which reminds me of food which reminds me of wine which reminds me to smile.
Favourite place to spend time in.
Hate to be a slug, but I love my bed. Even when I was a kid, settling into my sleeping bag on my bunk bed at camp was my favorite activity after a long, exhausting day. My camp was nicknamed “The Musical Army”. They ran a tight, tight ship complete with reveillie and taps.
Writing! What started it?
Aside from loving stationary and typography as a kid, needing to write papers in school (and excelling at that) I started “writing” when a college colleague asked me to co-write a comedic screenplay with her. I did not consider myself a writer, nor was I computer literate at the time. I learned in short order that I was both a writer, and capable of conquering the computer. As an actress, I also rose to the challenge from others that I should do stand-up comedy and one woman shows. This NEVER appealed to me. I preferred the words of others, and to perform in groups. But I did not deny my destiny, and once I got up on stage, realized I had quite a facility for telling my own stories (and jokes). Those tales are now in my three books. For someone who never wanted to be a writer, I’m a writer. You can’t fight who you are!
Audiobooks! How did you get into narrating them?
Well, I’m a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild. They offer lots of fabulous seminars designed to get their union members work. I’ve gone to a bunch of events and they never seemed to help me book a job. I went to one on audio books thinking it would be a snooze fest. When one grows up and wants to be an actress, the goal is usually not to hide behind a microphone and a book. You want the footlights! The makeup! The applause! However, I had nothing to lose by attending the free lecture. Once there, something lit up in me. I realized that not only could I do it, but that I wanted to. The only thing in my way was the fact that I did not have a sound studio, nor was I an audio engineer and editor. These skills are required today, as many books are produced by the narrators themselves. Since Audible, despite my fabulous audition at their headquarters and the producers’ assurance that he would “definitely use me” (ha!) he never did. Desperation (I was hungry) led me to kick out amateur auditions with the barest of equipment, my laptop and Garage Band software on my Mac. I booked my first job, and that author hired me 4 more times. Despite the sound quality not being terrific, she liked my performance! It snowballed from there, and I now have a home studio and terrific equipment. I’m an audio engineer!
Is there a genre that you refuse to narrate?
A few, really. I’m not into erotica or violence. Now, sex, that’s another thing. I think sex is great. But I also think it’s private. So, short of being a prude, I think some things are best left to the imagination. I don’t need blow by blows. In the right context, sex is sacred and a key to enlightenment. God knows how to have fun, and she wants us to, too!
Regarding violence, I think going into detail feeds a bloodlust which is best left to die on this planet. It’s like baiting a dog. I don’t want to contribute to the low level vibrations on Earth. I enjoyed a SAG screening of “Gone Girl” until the murder, which absolutely traumatized me, as did “The Silence of the Lambs” in its entirety. Why put that stuff out there? Do we really need those images haunting our dreams and psyches? Is the world not fucked enough without contributing to fear and sickness? When you produce that stuff, you grow the darkness on this planet.
Violence is primitive, addictive bullshit best left in the dust. It’s time mankind seeks higher ground. I’m here to lighten things up. Laughter is a key. Freedom is a key. Expression is a key. Follow your heart.
If you could choose another career what would it be?
Hmmm…I love food and cooking, but don’t think I’d want to be a chef. A baker, maybe, though I’m very healthy when it comes to that (whole grains, healthy sugars) I’m very spiritual and a lot of fun, so I think I’ve got a future as a personal growth teacher. It’ll be a natural outgrowth of my three books and my experience as a comedian and performer. Spirituality should be fun! Heck, sex is involved, if you’re lucky. That and chocolate, coffee and wine (in my book, at least!)
Does your work convey a specific emotion or message?
I am passionate about the restoration of this planet to her intended glory. It’s time we come together to heal our bodies and souls and become the magnificent souls that we truly are. I abhor superficiality, and the media encourages the small, the specific, the disposable (and the consumable). If we as individuals truly focus on becoming happier, we will de facto become healthier and more loving. We will not want to hurt others. We will not be jealous of others. There will be no reason to do so. We are all Gods. We are Children of God. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. But our apples have been encouraged to rot, to lay fallow, atrophy. Focusing on low energies like smut and violence keep us down, instead of naturally reaching for the heavens, sex, love, joy, health, beauty included. We are all intended to be Olympic champions, Greek Gods. We are that magnificent. Instead, people worry about their thighs and their cars. It’s called “distraction”. And it was calculated. There have been dark energies controlling this planet for a long time. Their number is now up, hence all the protests all the time all over the world. The people are reclaiming their Power and their Planet.
Who is your intended audience and why should they read/listen to your books?
Everyone! But I’m realistic. Traditional, conservative folk are not going to go for my stuff. I hope to reach people who may not be as crazy as I am, but are at least open minded about looking at themselves with new eyes, and thereby creating a new world. The old world (Madison Ave, Hollywood, Washington, Buckingham Palace) is due a fall. We’ve been living in a dark dream world, a contrived program right out of “The Matrix” and yet the sun shines every day, both outside and inside us. We need to focus on the Real. It ain’t on TV or in People magazine. It’s in your heart.
What is next in your writing?
Oh, more of the same! I’m always writing about my daily life, but manage to pull in a big picture as I weave my smaller one into it. I’m great at tying things together and forming profound and hilarious conclusions. When I’m on a roll in my writing, I crack myself up! And I know that in laughter is liberation. Rent or read “The Name of the Rose”. Laughter is dangerous to the establishment. It tears all the old walls down. People do not laugh when they are afraid. We have been kept in fear for thousands of years.
So, laugh, my friends. Be irreverent. Have fun. Be happy. Seek bliss. Settle for nothing less. And use my books as a tour guide, for I’m superb at analyzing my own journey from the depths of despair, insanity, anxiety and humanity, to the greatest heights of my Divinity. Rock on!
Thank you Valerie for joining me today, it was such a pleasure!
Hope you enjoyed the chat, I sure did.
To check Ms. Gilbert’s books out, keep up to date or just say hello, bellow are links
As mentioned above, Ms. Gilbert narrated many books besides her own, here is a link to her works, check them out:
What do you do when you are sad? What is your ‘cure’?
I escape in a book. Laughter is another one of my ‘cures’.
All who comment will get a prize. Your choice of one of the 3 audiobooks from Valerie Gilbert.
Comments will stay open until 3pm Friday, February 6, 2015. I will contact you with your prize, you have to let me know which one you want.
Until next time read a book, listen to a book and don’t forget to ‘hug’ an author by leaving a review!