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Fall 2008 Writer Spotlight

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Writer Spotlight

For our Summer Issue, Literary Magic has chosen:

                Linda Cohn

        Author of Cohn-Head

This issue ESPN Sportscaster Linda Cohn joins us. She talks to Literary Magic about her new memoir, Cohn-Head, why Sports is so popular. Read the interview for advice on not only writing, but how women and men can succeed in life and attain dream career, like the author did.

 

Writer Spotlight: Questions for Linda Cohn

1) LM (Literary Magic): Why "Cohn Head"?

    LC (Linda Cohn): That's an easy one.  "Cohn-Head" was the nickname given to me by a former teammate on the Oswego State women's ice hockey team, Anne Potter. It was catchy, simple and fitting considering playing hockey was such an important part of my life back than as well as being part of a team and doing something I love.
 

2) LM: What inspired you to become a sportscaster?

    LC: I love sports so much. You see why in the book. I thought of what I wanted to be when I grow up. I wanted to do something that would make me happy. Everyone's dream is to have a job and to do a job that is fun, happy and doesn't feel like a job. And still today my favorite thing to do is to talk about sports to family, friends, even strangers. I couldn't be an actual player, so the next best thing was to talk about sports. Turned out to be a great decision.
 

3) LM: What made you want to write this book?

    LC: I thought I had a story people would be interested in.  I wanted people to see the whole Linda Cohn.  When I'm out in public, fans would approach me and ask certain questions, like "how did you get into the business" or You have such a natural talent for talking sports. Where does that come from?"  Also plenty of young women have approached me wanting to know the secrets of becoming what they called, "The next Linda Cohn." I also found that I had an unexpected appeal among successful non-white men who see my struggles against discrimination and the status quo similar to what they go through.
 
           Another area this book targets are issues women deal in their personal life.  Whether they should stay in a marriage if its not fulfilling and how to deal with a breakup of a long term relationship when its you who is doing the breaking.
 

4) LM: What are your dreams? Your goals in life?

    LC: In my job feel, I always want to feel challenged and have fun at the same time. I'm fortunate that I have a job that I can do that. It's also important for me never to get jaded about sports. I see that a lot from colleagues in the media sports business. They sometimes say to me, "Wow, how are you still a fan," and I don't want to lose that little girl fanatic that I have in me. My goal is to always keep that love going.
           My other goal is to help people who want to succeed in my field and who want to break barriers. I want to give them hope and confidence that it can be done, and I plan on doing this with talks, speeches and by mentoring young women and men and teaching them that their dreams can be reached. I also want them to understand that sometimes you may already have reached a dream job. Look at the bright side of your career, because not everything's perfect.
           Everyone out there, myself included, have to just accept and deal with it. Make the best of it. When I faced adversity at ESPN once, my best friend said to me to "be better, not bitter." It was a joke but we took it seriously: there will be times in life when you have to be better, not bitter--and just be happy where you are. You can make it a happy experience anyway.
 

5) LM: What's your favorite sport? Why? Which sport are you best at?

    LC: Ice hockey for both.  Why? Because I played the sport which gives it the edge over the others.  People still are stunned when they find out I used to be a goaltender.  Then I put them into shock when I tell them I made my men's high school hockey team in my senior year.
 

6) LM: You broke barriers when you became the first female sportscaster on a national radio network, then again later after being is the longest running female sportscaster at ESPN--sixteen years to be exact. How did that sense of accomplishment feel?

     LC: ts satisfying because these things happened while I was doing something I love.
 

8) LM: Will you be having any book signings, contests, readings or events in the near future?

    LC: Yes. Here they are, so far: The book will be released on September 9 (2008), by The Lyons Press. First signing is Sept 12th at the West Hartford Connecticut Barnes and Noble in the evening; Saturday, Sept. 13th at The Book Review in Huntington, Long Island. One in Seattle, Washington on Monday Sept 15th at Elliot Bay Books. Signing at the Barnes and Noble in Glendale, California, on Setp. 17 at 7 pm. Another signing at 2 pm on Saturday Sept. 20 at the Southbury Connecticut Borders. More to come!
 
 
9) LM: How can readers find out more about Linda Cohn and your book, "Cohn-Head"? Do you have a website? Where can your readers and fans find out more about you? Do you have a Website, forum, or fan page?

      LC: Yes. They can find out more about me and my book at my website, www.LindaCohn.net Or http://lindacohn.tripod.com. To purchase my book, they can also visit the Amazon Link.
 

10) LM: What are the type of audiences who would be interested in your book?


       LC: Who this book appeals to:
                    Male sports fans of course, many of whom have grown up watching me on SportsCenter, even athletes. To many men I represent a fantasy that they never thought possible: a heterosexual woman who knows and loves sports, and who they would like to know better. "You're my dream girl," they have said to me.
                    Aspiring women between 16 and 30 years of age. Young women come up to me all the time and tell me "way to represent" and that they want to be the "next Linda Cohn." I give these women a sense of empowerment and a feeling that anything is possible, whether they want to be sports anchors, lawyers or CFOs.
                    Professional women over 30. Career-minded women who know the ropes already can easily relate to my story of making it as a woman in a man's world. 
                    Anyone who's ever been discriminated against. 
                    Anyone who's ever gone through the break up of a long term relationship, especially women.


12) LM: Give us a short biography of your life and career.

      LC: Look on Book Cover for more Info.

 
13) LM: So, how's life as a sportscaster? What does it feel like to be on TV?

       LC: It's fun. To know you have an audience. That every night people are listening to what your saying. It's a wonderful opportunity to share the information you have. The best part of this book is that I am not like your stereotypical television anchor. Rather, I open up and am very personal in this memoir.
 

14) LM: Why do you like sports? What is it about sports that draws you and millions of other fans to love it?

      LC: Sports is unpredictable. Shocking. Full of surprises. It's all an emotional rollercoaster of rooting and having a team to support: even when the lows are so low you don't mind it because the highs are so great. It helps a lot of people growing up as something to enjoy. It gives you something to look forward to in life. People need that, no matter who they are. People need something to get excited about. And I believe sports gives them that.
 

15) LM: What was your favorite part about writing your book?
      LC: When it was done. (Laughs.)
 
 
16) LM: Do you have any comments on this interview? What do you think of Literary Magic in general?

       LC: I appreciate Literary Magic for their interest, and the editor who did the interview was outstanding. Got good answers out of me. Wonderful questions.
 
 
      LM: Thank you, Literary Magic. LM

 

      If you would like to be considered as a future Writer Spotlight for Literary Magic, or if you would like to nominate an author you know, please e-mail our editor at literarymagic@gmail.com.

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