Ten Questions with Veronica Giguere

Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of having a sitdown with the amazing Veronica Giguere. I’ve had the honor of knowing Veronica for nearly ten years, and she is one of the most creative, talented people I’ve had the opportunity with whom to work. Based out of her semi-secret lair in the Sunshine State of Florida, Veronica was, like many, an avid player of the online game City of Heroes, and it was here I met her and the rest of the RP Congress, a “guild” or group of players for the game. Veronica wrote many stories featuring her characters, and helped me write a few of my own, culminating in the story “Number One With A Bullet”, my first collaboration of that length with anyone. I’ll repost it here eventually, as it’s one of the best short stories with which I’ve ever been involved.

Veronica has since gone on to become a hot commodity in the fields of writing and especially voice talent, performing in the HG World series “The Diary of Jill Woodbine” as the voice of the title character, writing alongside best-selling authors Mercedes Lackey, Dennis Lee and Cody Martin for the podcast series “The Secret World Chronicle”, which if you haven’t yet checked out, go on iTunes and download it and listen to it, as it is astounding. Veronica has also read for such authors as Justin Macumber, Nobilis Reed and Abigail Hilton, among many others. This lady’s voice is everywhere, and for good reason: she’s one of the best. Ever. Of all time.

It’s an honor and a privilege to introduce the ever-wonderful Veronica Giguere. Thank you, Veronica, for taking time to visit and answer a few questions for us.

1. I guess the first question for those who don’t know you is the obvious one: How did you get involved in the podcasting and voiceover world?

The short answer is that I volunteered to help out some friends. When the folks responsible for The Secret World Chronicle podcast series had trouble finding consistent narrators, I offered to read one of the stories. When I finished the first, they handed me another, and another, and soon it was a consistent gig!

2. “The Secret World Chronicle” was how you got into voice acting and podcasting. What was your first foray into the creative writing world, and do you still have that story?

Well, I’ve always written stories. I wrote stories about friends and our alter-egos in high school, and I ran a Sailor Moon fanfiction site for several years. I do have the fanfiction stories on my hard drive, but I don’t think I’m going to share those. Besides, they’re somewhere on the internet. The wayback machine is an amazing yet scary thing.

3. I don’t think most folks realize how difficult it is to read aloud for an extended period of time. How do you prepare for a voice work session?

Aside from making sure that things are quiet, I warm up through general conversation and a bit of coffee or tea. I also make sure that I stretch my back and shoulders, since I stand when I record. I skim the part that I’m reading, take a deep breath, and start reading.

4. Who have been your biggest influences?

Wow… I’m not sure. When I started doing speech and drama competitions in high school, my parents were the ones who told me about tricks to estimate time based upon lines of copy and ways to improve my diction. When it comes to writing, it might sound silly, but Kevin Smith’s movies and the way he presents his dialogue helped to change the way that I gave life to my characters’ words.

5. What was the longest work you’ve ever done?

If we’re talking series, SWC is still going, so I suppose that’s the most continuous gig that I’ve had. Outside of that, The Ballad of Iron Percy by Edward Clark is the longest single narrative work that I’ve done. The script clocked in at over 650 pages!

6. Like most creative folks, you likely have a day job. What do you do when you’re not wowing people vocally?

I masquerade as a mild-mannered academic at a private university in central Florida, running first-year student transition programs and academic strategies courses. That means I teach things like time management, note-taking and reading strategies, and exam skills. It’s one part academic and one part life-skills, which means that not everyone sees that it’s relevant. I teach classes that many students don’t want to take, so I find some amusement that folks can’t wait to hear me read the next SWC or Jill Woodbine chapter, but my students sometimes wish that I’d just stop talking.

7. I imagine some of the scripts you work from have some very emotional moments. How do you deal with those?

To do those sorts of stories well, I find it best to just fall into character. It’s never reading the words on the page; rather, it’s acting out the story which includes the emotion behind the words. I move through the story and let myself become invested in the characters, and if I need to take a moment after I finish, I step back and breathe, then move on.

8. Also, I suspect that, as you deal mostly with fantasy and science-fiction, you have those passages with words that would trip most anyone up. How are those handled and what’s been the most tongue-twisting word you’ve had to say?

Gasp. I know that our protagonists gasp with fright or shock, but that word always catches me because I don’t want to swallow the second consonant. I slow down and let the words flow so as not to trip, but sometimes it just takes three or four tries. As for the tongue-twisting, I know for a fact that Misty and Dennis (SWC authors) love to find the most challenging Hungarian, Russian, and German combinations to give me in stories. They’ve even written in some Klingon.

9. You’ve worked with some absolutely amazing people. I won’t ask who’s your favorite, but I will ask what were a couple of the most memorable moments working with these folks?

There are so many… One of my favorite memories is meeting up with Dennis Lee, Cody Martin, and Edward Clark in Atlanta and just talking about characters and stories over mediocre food and crummy beer; the conversation was gourmet. Another involves “The Diary of Jill Woodbine” written by Jay Smith and the first time Jill spoke about the character Red Molly; Jill balances emotion so beautifully, and Jay’s words are a joy to read. And I’ll never forget reading a story for Nobilis Reed that had me in a fit of immature giggles for half a minute as I tried to get out the first few lines of a rather creepy-crawly erotica tale.

10. Finally, what projects have you got planned for the short and long term?

Short term? Finish recording “A Minor Magic” for Justin Macumber and keep on the scheduled recordings for The Secret World Chronicles podcast. Long term, I’m doing the second draft of Hollow, my graphic novel script turned urban fantasy novel. I’ve also got some collaborative projects in the planning stages with some authors for the second part of the year. Other recording plans include the sequel to Edward Clark’s “The Ballad of Iron Percy” and more novels via ACX. Oh, and if I play my cards right and get the paperwork set, I’ll graduate with my Education Specialist degree in Science Education by July.

Again, Veronica, I want to thank you for giving me a few minutes to give everyone a chance to meet the lady behind the voice. It’s a pleasure as always, and I’m looking forward to the next episode of “The Secret World Chronicle”. Readers can find Veronica at her own site, http://www.voicesbyveronica.com, which showcases her talents; http://www.secretworldchronicle.com, home of The Secret World Chronicle podcast; and http://www.incubatorpress.com, where she is a contributing writer and worldbuilder.

~ by Walker on February 8, 2013.

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