• Staff Spotlight: Carolyn Cohagan

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in WBN News & Events     Comments 3 comments

    Carolyn Cohagan, consultant and coachToday we’d like to introduce you all to another of the wonderful consultants and coaches who help keep WriteByNight running like the smooth, well-oiled writers’ services machine it is.

    Recently WBN welcomed to the fold Carolyn Cohagan, a funny and talented member of Austin’s thriving literary scene. Below is a Q&A with Carolyn, followed by a brief bio.



    Where are you from?

    Austin, Texas, but I’ve lived in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Amsterdam, and Paris.


    How did you get your start as a writer?

    I was a stand-up comedian for five years, so I started off writing one-liners.


    List some of your influences.

    Michael Chabon, Ann Patchett, Marjane Satrape, C.S. Lewis, Roald Dahl, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Kurt Vonnegut, Ian McEwan, Judy Blume, John Irving, David Sedaris, Philip Pullman, Jane Austin, Ray Bradbury, Nora Ephron, Barbara Kingsolver, and I could go on and on . . .


    What is the hardest part of writing for you?

    Getting my butt in the chair.


    What is your strangest writing experience?

    When I’m working on a novel, and I think I know where the plot is going, but a character does something completely unplanned. It’s my favorite part of writing–the characters start to take on a life of their own, and you realize that when you reach certain plot points that they would never do what you had originally intended.


    What is your favorite word and why?

    Gobsmacked, probably because I didn’t hear it until I moved to London and I couldn’t believe people actually used it in sentences. It sounds like something made up by JK Rowling.


    What’s the last movie you saw that was based on a book and how was it?

    I just rewatched Adaptation, which is such a bizarre and thrilling adaptation of The Orchid Thief. Worth watching for sure.


    Any words of wisdom for aspiring writers?

    Get your butt in the chair.


    Carolyn Cohagan began her writing career as a stand-up comic, performing in comedy clubs all over the world, including New York, Chicago, London, Amsterdam, and Auckland. After studying physical theater at the Ecole International de Theatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris, she began to write and perform one-woman shows, traveling to international theater festivals around the world. In Los Angeles, Carolyn wrote and directed short films, worked for Slamdance and the LA Film Festival and was a red carpet host for the Independent Spirit Awards. Carolyn’s first novel,
    The Lost Children, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2010 and became part of the Scholastic Book Club in 2011. In 2014, it was nominated for a Massachusetts Children’s Book Award. She has an MA in Writing from USC and is currently at work on her second novel.


    If you like Carolyn Cohagan’s style, express interest in working with her now


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    […] this week we introduced you to new WriteByNight writing coach and consultant Carolyn Cohagan, a stand-up comic and world traveler who now hangs her hat in Austin, Texas. Today we’d like you […]

    Emma Newman

    I really enjoyed reading the lost children with my dad. This book was AMAZING we can’t wait to read Time Zero. If you are ever in Massachusetts please contact us, we would love to meet you in person! Also if its possible I would like to join your writing club girls with pens. Our email adress is art_newman@hotmail.com

    Carolyn Cohagan

    Thank you, Emma! I love hearing that readers enjoy “The Lost Children,” and I love that you read it with your dad.
    If you want to send me your mailing address at carolyn@thelostchildrenbook.com I can send you a signed bookmark!


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