“As for rebuilding society, that is someone else’s genre. I enjoy tearing it down.”
Name: Neil A. Cohen
Serial Number: None of your damn business.
I am the author behind the zombie novel Exit Zero. Some would say I am the culprit behind Exit Zero for my murder of the English language, destruction of proper sentence structure, assault on tensing rules and criminal abuse of misspellings, typos and F-bombs.
1) What first inspired you to become a writer? And what compels you to continue your career as an author?
I never had an ambition to write a book. I never had an ambition to read a book. I hate both writing and reading, but I love storytelling. So having failed miserably as an actor and standup comic, I figured I would become a triple threat and fail at being an author as well.
2) What is the first book you read that made you fall in love with literature?
Can Playboy be considered a book?
3) What do you think is the most difficult part of being a writer? What is the most rewarding part?
I have ADD and OCD so sitting alone and writing for hours on end is torture. But I am also very manic and when I have an idea, I will stop everything and write for hours. Often I would get ideas in the middle of the night and write till dawn. Then I would go blank and have two weeks or two months with nothing, and then stay up for two days writing a dozen chapters.
4) What is your most recent work? What can audiences expect from this book or series?
My most recent, and only, work is Exit Zero. I have always loved pre-apocalyptic literature, or post-apocalyptic if it takes place very soon after the apocalyptic event. I found that books and movies would have a brief section covering the pre- and immediately post-apocalyptic events, and then jump forward to years later where people are either road warrior type savages or ninja queen zombie killers. I wanted to know what happened during the collapse, and immediately following. By the time the collapse is complete and civilization has already established new post-apocalyptic communities, etc., I get bored.
I am fascinated at how society would handle the very beginning and immediate aftermath of the collapse. As for rebuilding society, that is someone else’s genre. I enjoy tearing it down.
5) What do you think are the most common misconceptions about writers?
When I was first thinking about writing a book, I spent a lot of time going to Small Press Expo type events and talking with self-published authors. What I found is that many stereotypes do hold true. Most authors seem to be shy, or introverted, or intellectual. I am extremely social, extroverted and dumb. So I figured that I would stand out like a turd in the punchbowl in this community, so why not go for it.
6) Why did you decide to join Permuted Press?
I pursued Permuted like they were the only woman at the Fireman’s Ball. I was a customer of PP for years, and I only want to write dystopian, zombie, apocalyptic literature, so there was no one else I would want to work with.
7) What are your dreams for the future as a writer?
I would like to see Exit Zero become a movie or TV show first and foremost. That was the dream. But I would like to be able to publish at least three books within the genre and also become known on the zombie/apocalyptic genre speaking circuit.
8) Is there anything else that you would like for people to know about yourself and your work?
I know my limitations as a writer so I am not going to attempt to anything too ambitions. I write like I read. Short sentences, short paragraphs, short chapters. I would like to eventually team with a writing partner or two, someone that has more talent than I. Actually, someone that has A LOT more talent than I. I have several story ideas, and hopefully will be able to get them into print.
9) Do you have any events coming up such as conventions or book signings?
I will be appearing at several comic cons, small press expos and horror cons throughout 2015. I update all my appearances on Facebook and Twitter.
10) Where can people find more information about you?
Neil Cohen, Exit Zero