Updated: Feb 8
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became a Woman In Horror writer.
I’m Neen Cohen and I’m an Aussie author. I always liked to write, ever since I discovered that stories were told by actual people, not just plucked from the ether. I was drawn to the dark scarier things in life, ever since I crawled out into the living room unseen by my oldest sister and her friends and watched Aliens. I was 6 at the time. That was just the beginning. The horror movies of the 80’s were printed on my impressionable mind.
What piece of writing are you most proud of and why?
A piece called ‘Make a Wish’ that has never been published. I have plans to give it away free to those who sign up to my newsletter, which I’m hoping to get sorted in the next month or two. It was the first piece of writing I was brave enough to share with anyone. And it received really positive feedback and some incredible editing and writing advice. It has been polished and has a beautiful cover. I’m so excited about sharing it.
What books did you read as a child that inspired you to become an Author?
There so many benefits to having older siblings (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). I would sneak into my older sister’s pile of books and find some of the authors I still love to this day, including Stephen King, Virginia Andrews, and Robin Hobb. This was when I discovered anyone could write stories, and so I started. I also read books I was allowed to check out at the library including Roald Dahl, L.M Montgomery, Anna Sewell, and Enid Blyton among so many others.
What’s your best revenge on the page story to tell us? i.e have you tortured your boss? Killed your MIL?
In my upcoming Novella, Cold as Hell, I may or may not have enjoyed taking out some frustrations on the leader of a cult. Too much or just enough *shrugs* who can say.
How do you feel about the past practice of women being advised to hide their first names when authoring books (J.K. Rowling, or a neutral name like Robin Hobb, for example) and do you feel we're past this in the writing world?
I think it sucks that it was an almost demanded expectation if women wanted to be taken seriously as authors, especially if they dared to write something other than romance or ‘chicklit’, not that there isn’t a market for those genres, but being limited to them isn’t really indicative of the full talent women writer’s have to offer. I understand why a woman would, especially wanting to get further into this career, but I feel like it simply allows the idea that ‘good’ writing is a male only trait to continue. I’m not sure we are past it, but I think we might slowly be getting there.
Any advice for girls or women who are considering becoming an author?
Read and claim your right to write. It also helps, every time you get the eyeroll, or scoff, or snide comment about girls only writing romance or chick lit to write the name down and plan unfortunate events to occur to their future characters. I’ve also discovered the therapeutic fun of throwing sharp objects at thick wood i.e axe throwing, knife throwing, archery. I would also recommend finding fellow authors both male and female, who write what calls to you and who are positive, uplifting, and encouraging to your endeavours.
Tell us about the first piece of writing you had published and how that impacted you?
My first piece of writing published was a horror drabble. It was so unexpected and encouraging. I danced around like the most unco version of talent ever, but once I got that rush there was no stopping me. Sure, I still have those moments of doubt and worry and bad days. But I haven’t stopped pushing myself to write, and more importantly to hone and learn more about this amazing craft.
NEEN COHEN writes LGBTQI speculative fiction and every now and then dabbles in romance to counteract some of the darkness.
Neen has been published in dozens of short story and drabble anthologies and in 2020 published her first poetry collaboration, Forgiving Reflections.
She owes much coffee and cake to the members of the Springfield Writers Group who have kept her relatively sane and encouraged her every step of this writing journey since 2018.
Living in Brisbane Australia with her partner, son, and fur babies, Neen is self-proclaimed country girl happily living in a sleepy city. She loves to roam cemeteries, botanic gardens, and construction sites and can often be found writing while sitting against a tree or tombstone.
Check out her latest adventures:
2021 is an exciting year with Neen’s first solo publications coming out. April 23rd, her horror Novella, Cold as Hell will be released while August 14th will see The Void, book 1 of the Fang Ripper Chronicles out in the world for all to devour, or be devoured.