When planning this collection of Senior Editor interviews—designed to celebrate Cleaver reaching the 5 year milestone and our 20th issue—I was excited to be the one to interview Christina Larocco, Nonfiction Editor. She and I joined Cleaver at the same time. We share the same fierce love for and dedication to Cleaver. And, ever since I too took on a Senior Editor role, she has been my partner in crime. If I need a second pair of eyes for a Life As Activism piece, she’s there. If I need comprehensive edits to send to a new or emerging author, she’s on it. Regardless of the time of day, Christina is there should I or another editor have a need. She, like the other editors on our team, truly deserves this spotlight.
Like our regular correspondence, this interview too was completed by email.
Rosie Huf: When did you start working with Cleaver Magazine?
Christina Larocco: I started working with Cleaver in January 2016.
R: Can you tell us a little bit about your journey from Reader to Prose Editor?
C: I just insinuated myself everywhere! I grew up in the Philadelphia area, but I lived in Washington, DC, for ten years before moving back in 2015. I wanted to get involved in the arts and culture scene here, and I loved the work Cleaver was publishing. Once I accumulated some publishing credits, I cold-emailed Karen and asked if there was anything I could do to help. She invited me to start reading, and I’ve been doing so ever since. I’m addicted to editing. I do it all day at work and then come home and just want to do more. I spent as much time on Cleaver as I could. There was never an official moment when I was “promoted,” but at some point Karen started asking for my opinions and feedback more. That is probably when I became an editor.
R: What do you appreciate most about your experience with Cleaver Magazine? How has this experience influenced other aspects of your life and career?
C: I love learning from other editors. I think I’m a good editor, but I’m always interested to see how people from different backgrounds—especially those who come from more traditional literary backgrounds—respond to the same piece.
In terms of my career, I could probably find remunerative labor in a number of different places—I could go into public history, or I could get back into teaching. But the writing and publishing world is what I love, and working with Cleaver has reinforced my conviction that this is where I want to be.