22 Questions With Joe Citro
1. Name: Joe Citro (AKA Joseph A. Citro)
2. Age: Older than the dirt!
3. Hometown: Windsor (Birthplace of Vermont). But I was born in Rutland so have always had a fondness for the place.
4. How would you describe yourself in three words? Given to excess.
5. What’s something not a lot of people know about you? That I was the first Vermont writer to try to collect all the state’s weird tales in a single book. But I didn’t get all of them, so I keep writing …
6. How do you start your day? Generally by checking my messages to see if there is anything that will alter the course of my life.
7. What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life? Probably when I took off on my own to live in Europe after high school.
8. What’s your favorite food? Pizza: the one true food!
9. Do you have a day job? I work at staying awake.
10. What medium do you work in? I write. Fiction and things that might not be fiction.
11. Why this medium? Process of elimination. Obviously you have never seen me draw or heard me sing.
12. What inspired you / how did it start? I always loved stories. My dad told me stories. My mother bought me books. My aunt Ida read to me. The whole process started when I was very young.
13. Do you have a process for creating? Yes. I read widely and have many interests. Plus, I enjoy research. The stories I write are a product of combining all those in a weird alchemy.
14. When are you the most inspired / what’s your favorite time of day to work? My energy level has changed a lot over the years. I used to do my best work after dinner in the early evening. Now I seem to be at my best late morning. I’m not sure what happened …
15. Which artists inspire you? There are way too many to list. Early on it was John Steinbeck and H.P. Lovecraft. Later it was Howard Frank Mosher and Ernest Hebert.
16. What do you listen to when you work? The clack of the keyboard.
17. What are your thoughts on being an artist in Rutland? I like being an artist anywhere, if artist I am. I don’t use that term to describe myself. But I’m delighted to do it in Rutland! I have given readings for at least three bookstores over the years. I have spoken and read at the library several times and once at the Chaffee. I’m delighted to say they plan to have me back again to celebrate the second book I did with noted Rutland artist Robert Waldo Brunell Jr. — the soon-to-be-published Vermont Ghost Guide.
18. What’s your earliest memory of making art in Rutland? Simply coming into existence, I suppose …
19. Why do you think artists are attracted to Rutland?
20. Which arts organizations in town are you involved with and how has it impacted you? No arts organizations, exactly. But I look forward to some involvement with the Chaffee. And in the past I worked with the historical society to identify a local house that was designed by the spirits and built in the 19th century by a local Spiritualist.
21. What’s your favorite art exhibit/project you’ve seen in Rutland? I have always loved the Hallowe’en Parade. I recall its founder, Tom Fagan, with great affection. He generously helped me with some research for my first collection of Vermont stories.
22. What would you like to see for the future of the arts in Rutland? Overall, the arts in Vermont seem to be taking care of themselves and thriving. From my own myopic point of view, what I’d like to see is a good Vermont book publisher that would publish Vermont books. I have a wonderful publisher, but they are in Texas (of all places). They are great to work with, but I’d love to be able to publish my Vermont books right here in Vermont. And I dare say one or two others would, too.
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