Hello Everyone. I’d like to welcome the amazing Valerie Gilbert author of Raving Violet published by Black Opal Books. First of all let me say that I read your interview with Debbie Christiana and I thought you were funny, so I’m expecting funny today, but no pressure.
Let’s just dive into what interests me the most. In your blurb for Raving Violet you mention that you are a smartass metaphysician. What does that mean?
It means I like to have fun! I am a devoted student of religion, philosophy, mysticism, and the occult. Do you know what all that boils down to? I am a student of ME. That’s what all the fuss is about. I am a child of God, a chip off the old block. Do you know what that makes me? GOD! Yes! This is heresy and blasphemy to many. It’s good old common sense to me. Are you like your parents? Yes, and no. So, we have divine properties, since we are made of the “magic stuff” but the divine said, “Run free, little children, do what you want, you have free will! Be as magnificent or as small as you like. But I encourage you to be big, like me!” Most of us pretend we are nothing at all and there are cultural, societal, and dark historic reasons why we’ve been manipulated to be kept down.
But Jesus said, “All this and more, ye can do.” Jesus did not tell us to worship him. He wanted us to figure out all his tricks ourselves, since we were no less than him, his brothers and sisters. Of course, the biggest magic trick in the world is realizing that you are Love (God) itself and then loving yourself and the world. So, call me a Smartass. I think I’m God, masquerading as Valerie Gilbert for a while. I think you are God too. In fact, I think the whole world is God made manifest. All Creatures Great and Small. There is nothing on this planet that is not divine. Now, it’s up to us, God’s Kids, to bring Heaven to Earth by seeing with the Eyes of Love. I believe that is our job. Not “His.” Or hers. We are God’s representatives on Earth. We have work to do. It’s not God’s job to fix things. It’s ours. Just like a parent telling their kid, “GO AND CLEAN YOUR ROOM!” God’s just waiting...
What was your purpose for writing this book?
To express the sentiments above! To let my “madness” rip. I get so bored with traditional philosophy, psychology and religion. Everyone is so SANCTIMONIOUS about it. Do you know what gets me going? African drumming. African dance. Tap dance. Great singing. Great music. Brazilian music and dance. Good food and drink. WILDNESS. Love. Abandon. Powerful, free animals. That is God! We all have this pent up madness and magic in all of us, and what do most people do? Pretend they’re “normal.” They act and dress like everyone else and go to work everyday and pretend to be in control. HA! They’re nothing but repressed. Am I generalizing? Yes. Do I think the world and many people need help? Yes. Do I think I can help? Hell, yeah! I’ve broken out of my own box and am happy to inspire others to do the same. We were meant to be free and to live wild, unencumbered lives. Does this mean you shouldn’t work or pay taxes? No. Does it mean you can and should figure out what makes you wildly happy and do it as often as possible? Hell, yeah!
Is there anything particularly challenging you find about writing?
Nope. It’s no more difficult than talking. And I talk just fine. I’m very verbal. I’m smart. I’m expressive. It’s fun! Once you learn to trust yourself, you just let it rip. I’m a racecar in fine form…
Your cover is captivating. What does it represent?
Thank you! I love this question. Well, I told Black Opal’s art department exactly what I wanted. And our cover artist, Jack, told me what he thought of me and my opinion, and why he was ignoring what I wanted altogether. I loved his boldness in standing up to me and expressing himself. I loved his vision of me, and his artistic rendering of it. My thoughts were intriguing enough to Jack that he read Raving Violet, and he came up with the etheric/energetic hand holding out a sphere of light. I did request the galactic backdrop, and obviously, given my title, some purple-ness. Am I a bearer of light and information? Hell, yeah! So that’s my figurative hand and the ball of light represents the information I bring. I’m an Aquarian, the Water Bearer. I’m just doing my job, Ma’am.
If you could meet any person, alive only please, who would it be and why?
I never answer these questions because I’m not a natural groupie. But I will now. Hmmm….Okay. Valerie Plame. And not just because she stole my name. I am intrigued by mystery. I am impressed with her career as a covert CIA operative. I am impressed with the man she is married to, Joe Wilson and how he defended not only his wife, but made public the massive duping and raping of America’s freedom and integrity by the Bush administration. I am impressed by the incredible calm Valerie maintained (publicly) under pressure. If she had screaming fits in private, that’s her business. (She has a definite breakdown in the fabulous movie about her, Fair Game.) I am also intrigued, because through my encounters with mediums, I learned that my own father, a quiet toy designer who died when I was five in an “accident,” may have been working covertly for the CIA. And that his death may not have been an “accident.” Needless to say, I am researching this. It’s already been several years, and I’ve uncovered a lot of strange and unsettling information. This is a real life mystery I am attempting to unravel with the help of people both dead and alive.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Forget about writing. LIVE YOUR LIFE. Anyone can write. Not everyone can write well. I was always a decent writer, but had no particular flair, that I’m aware of. Nor did I want to be a writer. Ever. My mother adored literature and poetry (I hate poetry) and encouraged my literacy and education overall. I always loved to read. But you’ll have nothing to write about if you don’t live your life. Live adventurously. And this, from a hermit. I have very hobbit like tendencies. But when love called, and danger called, I accepted the invitation. I needed to live my life. My heart drew me to where I needed to go. And I regret nothing.
I experienced terrible pain, incredible drama, and now have fabulous stories to tell. But these experiences, hard as they were, helped forge me as a person. Because I took those lemons and made a very strong batch of hard lemonade. Experience is what forges us. What we do with that experience determines what you end up with at the end. If you’re a sourpuss, it’s your own damn fault. When you get smart about life, you suck up the pain, cry those tears, and LEARN SOME LESSONS.
Please give an analogy of what writing is like for you.
Like free form swimming. Or biking alone on country roads. Or improvising dance, or song, or a recipe in the kitchen. Yes, there is structure, I know grammar and punctuation and have good language skills. That’s a part of my makeup, my upbringing, and my education. But the SONG that pours out of me is from my heart. It may be from pain. From sadness. From joy, celebration, or laughter. What interests me is story, usually real ones, I don’t read fiction. I find non-fiction strange enough. I am always amazed by the resilience of the human being. By learning from others’ strengths and weaknesses, you find out what you’re made of. But you have to take action. You cannot just sit on your couch. Though the mind is the fertile ground you plant in, it needs data. And that’s why we leave the house and have adventures.
I am a humor magnet, and I have definite opinions on almost everything I experience. So, I form conclusions about what happened during the day and voila, there’s a story! It helps that I live in wild and crazy New York City, but I have intense stories from other places. I take what happens to me and shape it until it is a piece of art. That process is fascinating, like spinning a web. I lay out funny lines, story points, and some sentences, it’ll seem like a puerile mess. But once the “foundation” is laid out, that’s where the plastering and painting comes in. It’s exactly like carving a statue. You start with a block of wood, or stone. Over time, as your vision becomes clearer, the art emerges from your mind, your vision, and from the medium of wood or stone. That process comes from writing and rewriting. It’s repetitive, but it builds and peaks, like a symphony.
Thank you for joining me today Valerie. I enjoyed our chat. Before you go let us know how we can get a hold of Raving Violet. (I bought mine at Smashwords and I can’t wait to read it).
Aren’t you cute? Plug, plug. Okay, thanks Nana. It’s in print online at Amazon, Black Opal and shortly on Barnes&Noble online. The e-book is available through those vendors, as well as SmashWords, KOBO, http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html
Thank you for our virtual conversation! All the best to you and your writing, and your readers and their reading and writing. Remember, whoever has the most fun in life, wins! Life is supposed to be fun. If that were everyone’s religion, this would be one happy planet! I’m doing my part, and encourage others to do theirs. Love and Light are contagious. Be the Light. Blessings!
Wow! What an amazing woman. If you want to read more from Valerie check out her blog.