Interview with Scott A. Lerner, author of 'Cocaine Zombies'

Author and attorney Scott A. Lerner resides in Champaign, Illinois. He obtained his undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and went on to obtain his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. He is currently a sole practitioner in Champaign, Illinois. The majority of his law practice focuses on the fields of Criminal law and Family Law. Mr. Lerner lives with his wife, their two children, and their cat Fern. Lerner collects unusual antiques and enjoys gardening, traveling, reading fiction and going to the movies. Cocaine Zombies is his first published novel. Coming soon, the sequel: Ruler of Demons.
You can find Scott online at

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

I would love to provide you with an exciting tale of how this book sat in my belly like an angry chicken until it pecked its way out. In truth I just wanted to tell a different type of story, one that was scary and exciting but also funny and realistic. I also didn’t want it to take place in an exotic location. Trouble can find you no matter where you are located. Even in Central Illinois.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

In some ways this book was not difficult to write. To start with I chose a location I knew well, and the main character does share some of my characteristics. We are both lawyers and live in Champaign County. We do part ways when it comes to bravery.

There is a certain amount of luck involved with becoming a writer. Finding a publisher who shares your vision helps. Some of the most skilled authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson and Kafka were never famous during their lifetime. So if you get rejected it might not have anything to do with the quality of your writing.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

Camel Press it is a new imprint owned by Coffeetown Press. They were mentioned in the local paper in reference to a book they had recently released. The novels I found on their website were eclectic enough that I felt mine would fit in.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

It takes a long time from writing a book to finding a publisher to getting it published. I guess that shouldn’t surprise me but it did.

Q: Can you describe the feeling when you saw your published book for the first time?

It is like when dark chocolate covered cherries go on sale for half off the day after Valentine’s Day. It will be a lot sweeter however if people actually read it and enjoy it.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

The sequel Ruler of Demons should come out next. I am also toying with some other ideas but you will have to wait for those.

Q: Fun question: How does your book contribute to making this world a better place?

It is a book of fiction called Cocaine Zombies. Thus, it is unlikely to change the world. Although it is not a world shattering epic it does have something to say. One of the fundamental issues is whether or not humanity has abused the opportunities given to us by free will. It reminds us that people have willingly stood by throughout history and watched their fellow humans engage in murder, rape and torture. It also reminds us that these acts of inhumanity are not just part of our history but part of our present. Maybe the world would be a better place if we were continually reminded of that.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

I am good with the book being a fun read. I’m okay with people finding a moral in it as well. I’m no Mark Twain so I lack the credentials to threaten to banish those who find a moral in any case.

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

 Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity. I hope people will read Cocaine Zombies and enjoy it.

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