An Interview with Exit Zero author Neil Cohen

“As for rebuilding society, that is someone else’s genre. I enjoy tearing it down.”

Name: Neil A. Cohen

Rank: None

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
Twitter: @exitzerozombie