Corey Michael Dalton has been a writer since before he was born and his mother has the scars to prove it. His writing has appeared in publications such as The Saturday Evening Post, So It Goes, Jack and Jill, Punchnel's, Humpty Dumpty, and Mythic Indy (a fiction anthology that he also edited). He has worked as a newspaper reporter, a medical writer, a comic book reviewer, a standardized test grader, and a blogger—but not, alas, a logger. He has a B.A. in English writing from DePauw University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Butler University, the combination of which allows him to buy Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers from Wendy's Right-Price-Right-Size Menu for the low, low price of just $1.99 apiece.
At OIP, we love the fact that everyone has their own set of “classics” (i.e., books, songs, recipes, comics, food, objects, movies, shows, etc. that shaped you). What were some of your favorite childhood classics?
My favorite classic dinner recipe to feed a family of 5 for less than $10 is Hoosier goulash. Per my mom, it consists of ground beef, a chopped onion, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, some spaghetti, a dollop of catsup, and a can of tomato soup. It’s a true one-skillet wonder.
What inspired your piece for Playing Authors?
I’ve always been a big comic book fan and one of my favorites was the original Captain Marvel (now often referred to as Shazam). I found the concept of a wimpy kid being able to transform into a powerful superhero just by saying a magic word to be appealing for all of the obvious reasons. As I grew older and saw some of my close relatives go through end-of-life dementia, however, I began to think more critically about the concept. What would happen if an omnipotent superhero was being controlled by a benevolent but terribly confused mind? That’s the question I set out to interrogate in “Lightning Flashes.”
Favorite word / font / letter?
Because my day job is writing documents for the pharmaceutical industry, I get to use a lot of scientific and medical terms, many of which are fun to say. My favorite might be “sulfonylurea.” It just kind of rolls off the tongue. I also think it could be a fun basis for drag queen name—Sulfona Yooreeya.
Where would your adventure be set: underwater or in space?
It would be set underwater in space—on a spaceship with a gigantic aquarium taking up most of the ship.
Snacks while you work? If yes, what’s your go-to?
I’ve gotten into a dangerous habit of having bubble tea delivered to me while I write. I often get two, one to drink immediately and one to have as a reward when I reach my daily goal. My stomach is perpetually filled with 50% boba.
What mashups do you wish existed?
Star Trek plus The Golden Girls. The Fast and the Furious plus The Golden Girls. Lord of the Flies plus The Golden Girls. Really, anything plus The Golden Girls.
Any recommendations for the OIP community? What have you been enjoying lately? (Or, something you are working on that you would like to share?)
I recently completed a manuscript for a YA adventure novel that’s a mash up of Mission: Impossible and John Hughes-style teen movies set in the 1980s that I would love to recommend. Unfortunately, no agents or publishers seem to want it! Maybe the ’80s nostalgia era is finally over...
Thank you so much, Corey! We love what you make, and we’re so excited to publish your work.