Pigeon Pages Interview with Corey Mead
Do you have a bird story or favorite feathered friend?
When I was growing up, our cat was a ruthless hunter who regularly left bloody, decapitated birds on our kitchen floor, some of whom would still be in their death spasms, so my bird associations are generally traumatic. Aaannnnnd next question….
What is your most memorable reading experience?
Making the rounds of the children’s sections of various Oakland Public Library branches as a child. I’d spend hours on the weekends reading my way through the stacks.
What makes you most excited about The Lost Pilots?
I love the way the book is really three different books in one—it’s a true crime story, an adventure story, and a love story. Those three elements provided such rich material to work with, once I got over an embarrassingly long case of writer’s block. I genuinely had fun writing the book after that, and “fun” isn’t a word I usually associate with writing.
To tweet or not to tweet?
I’ve done about two whole tweets in my life. I’m more of a “lurker” on twitter, in that I prefer reading other’s people’s feeds, especially those of the journalists who are keeping tabs on our current shitbag administration.
What books do you have in your bag right now?
Laura Sims’ fabulous forthcoming novel “Looker,” which everyone should pre-order RIGHT NOW. The fact that I’m married to Laura has nothing to do with the fact that everyone should order her book RIGHT NOW. You’ll be glad you did.
Can you tell us your favorite rejection story?
Honestly, the writing life is pretty much ALL rejection, at least in my experience, with occasional surprise moments when an editor or agent says “yes.” But those moments are by far in the minority.
What literary journals do you love?
Does National Geographic Kids count? Because my 7-year-old son loves reading it, and so I do, too.
What shakes your tail feathers?
Right now the world of ‘80s hair metal is providing me with endless enjoyment, as my friend and I work on a project that is set in that ridiculous milieu.
What advice do you have for fledgling writers?
Really, the ONLY advice for writers is to sit your butt in the chair and write (or use a standing desk, whatever). There’s nothing else—no waiting for inspiration, no sitting around until the mood strikes you. That can be a hard lesson to learn, but it’s the essential one.
What other eggs do you have in your basket right now?
We just moved from Brooklyn to New Jersey, so right now I’m working on not being embarrassed when I tell people that I live in New Jersey. Because it turns out that New Jersey is actually pretty fucking awesome.
Corey Mead is the author of THE LOST PILOTS: THE SPECTACULAR RISE AND SCANDALOUS FALL OF AVIATION'S GOLDEN COUPLE (2018), ANGELIC MUSIC (2016), and WAR PLAY: VIDEO GAMES AND THE FUTURE OF ARMED CONFLICT (2013). He is an Associate Professor of English at Baruch College, CUNY.