Jodi Chromey is, well, me. It’s weird to write a brief bio-blurb about yourself. But really, I just want to set the precedent. I decided I’d go first, as a way to show all you readers (and future interview
victims subjects what this’ll be like. So yes, Jodi Chromey, the writer responsible for I Will Dare, Paul Westerberg.net, and Minnesota Reads. She’s kind of a doofus.
What book(s) are you currently reading?
I’m in the midst of quite a few right now including: Jean Thompson’s Who Do You Love?, James Salter’s Last Night, and Crazy Good by Charles Leerhsen (it’s about the horse Dan Patch, which my parents’ old bowling alley was named after)
Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character? Who?
I fell pretty hard for Ponyboy Curtis from The Outsiders when I was eleven. And, I am ashamed to admit it, but I really, really loved ‘ol Chi-Mo from King Dork. I feel little like I’m going to land myself on Dateline’s “When predators attack imaginary teen boys” or something like that.
If your favorite author came to Minnesota, who would it be and what bar would you take him/her to?
I’d take Mary Gaitskill to Grumpy’s downtown. Mostly because it’s the place I am most comfortable and it’s close to the Open Book and I’d like to give her a tour of the joint.
What was your first favorite book?
I think it was some sort of picture-book version of The Gingerbread Man. You know the “run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me. . . ” The book I had came with a record and you’d read along with the record. I distinctly remember the sound of the chimes that meant you had to turn the book. I couldn’t have been more than four or five. I remember it kind of scared me, and I loved that.
Let’s say Fahrenheit 451 comes to life, which book would you become in order to save it from annihilation?
This is a tough one. Whose brilliant idea was this? I keep looking at my bookcase and trying to decide who I would become. “Oh I love that one,” I say with each spine my eyes land on. But I think I’ll have to go with Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson (which is not the book I started typing). I like the idea of reciting that one out loud to people. It’s such a tender story of love, and it’s one that I don’t think very many people would pick.
What is one book you haven’t read yet, but would like to read before you die?
Ulysses by James Joyce.
I loved all the character names out of the The Outsiders… I’ve even referred to people by those names, a couple occasions, when they were acting the character. O)ne guy even knew what I was reference-ing and we ended up discussing Tex.
If you’ve never read Joyce, I’d advise against Ulysses as a first thing. Sure, it’s fun to jump into the deep end, but sometimes… Scan through a copy of The Dubliners for a few years. There’s a lot of good stuff in there.
I’ve read some of his short stuff — specifically Araby which I love with a passion and I’ve memorized Molly Bloom’s speech. Maybe that’s all the Joyce I need.