About Joshua C Cohen
I began writing Leverage after reading a news account of a horrific attack by a group of high school seniors on their fellow underclassmen teammates. When the victims reluctantly came forward they were ostracized by the surrounding community for sullying the reputation of the school and causing a cancellation of the football season. My fascination with that part of human nature--the need to keep quiet when awful things occur and how that leads to victims getting wronged twice--is what started the whole story that eventually led to "Leverage".
I grew up in Minnesota and was an avid athlete in many sports but I fell in love with gymnastics and devoted most of my time to training in that sport. Unfortunately, I was lanky and tall--a bad body type for a wanna-be Olympic gymnast. I found out quickly, when I walked on to the men's gymnastics program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, that there was no way I was going to compete at the collegiate level. I promptly walked myself right back off the team and chose, instead, to live vicariously as an elite level gymnast by rooming with and befriending members of the squad.
Leverage allowed me a perfect opportunity to combine my love of gymnastics, football and underdogs into one story.
After college, with limited job prospects, I began taking dance classes for fun and was lucky enough (after many additional years of ballet and modern dance training) to parlay my acrobatic skills onto the stage. Eventually I had the great fortune to tour world wide with dance companies such as MOMIX and musical theater productions such as West Side Story.
I also happen to be a huge football fan and suffer every season while continuing to support my Vikings. Having my heart ripped out watching the Vikings come so close only to lose it fits the whole Minnesota notion of not setting your expectations too high (See much more famous native Minnesotan Garrison Keillor's musings on this topic).
To all the aspiring writers out there I just want to say that my manuscript was picked up from the agent's slush pile. I've been writing with the hopes of getting published for way too many years and really never thought it would happen ...until one day it did.
If you are a writer, please keep the faith and keep writing and keep submitting. I had virtually no connections, no inside track and I finally, finally, made it. You can, too!
Hope that helps get things started!