Mark Cohen

A Unitarian Redneck

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Mark Cohen
Mark Cohen grew up in Denver, back when it was a nice little cow town without light rail, skyscrapers, or Major League Baseball. Back when the Broncos wore orange, by God, and played football at a place called Mile Hi Stadium -- not Invesco Field.

After graduating from Cherry Creek High School in 1976, Mark attended Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington -- the alma mater of former Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, Adam West (the original Batman), and Dirk Benedict (from the A-Team). During his college years Mark was way too serious. He majored in economics (because it was "practical"), studied philosophy and religion, lifted weights religiously, and spent too much time pondering the future. With graduation fast approaching, Mark knew that the alternatives to getting the dreaded "real job" were medical school and law school. On the morning of the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), Mark's buddies convinced him that flag football was more important than the MCAT, and thus began Mark's legal career.

Mark arrived at the University of Colorado School of Law in 1980. His two greatest accomplishments during three years of legal education were earning a "B" in taxation even though he never attended class after the first week, and his role in the liberation of a pair of stuffed squirrels from a local pub. It was during law school that Mark gave up on traditional religion and began attending the Unitarian Church in Boulder. He liked the theology of the Unitarian Church. And it was a good place to meet women. With law school graduation fast approaching, Mark again faced the threat of having to get a "real job." Instead, Mark joined the Air Force as a Judge Advocate (JAG) so he could "see the world." The Air Force sent him to Omaha. Aside from that, Mark thought the Air Force was "way cool" and he particularly enjoyed the fact that he could wear a camouflage uniform to work on Fridays. He also learned a lot of skills that would be useful later in life, such as how to command a fallout shelter and how to run a urinalysis program.

At the age of 29 Mark left the Air Force and went to work for an Omaha law firm. He practiced law in Omaha for eight  years, and is best-known for his successful (insanity) defense of an accused ax murderer. But after eight years in private practice, Mark was burned out, and decided to try to earn a Masters degree in philosophy at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. One year of graduate classes in logic cured Mark of any desire to teach philosophy, and his official status at UNL as of today remains "incomplete."

In 1995, Mark decided that 12 years in Omaha was about 11 years longer than he had ever planned on being there. So he and new wife (Tana) loaded up their truck and moved to Nederland. Colorado, that is. Mountains, hippies, and one frozen dead guy. Elevation 8,236 feet.

Upon returning to Colorado, Mark wanted to write. So he did odd jobs, including a stint as a Taco Bell inspector, and began writing The Fractal Murders. After numerous rejections by agents with the combined work ethic of a union sloth, Mark published the book himself. It received great reviews, and in 2002 was a Book Sense Top Ten mystery pick. It was at this point that the editors in NEW YORK CITY finally took note of this gentle man's obvious genius and endearing humility. Mark's fourth agent got him a two-book deal with Time-Warner. Bluetick Revenge was published in hardcover in 2005 and will be released as a mass market paperback in the summer of 2006.
Mark and Tana live in Nederland with their three children, two hermit crabs, one guinea pig, one border collie, and a bloodhound named Wyatt that Mark believes is his soul mate. 

Mark sees no inconsistency in the fact that he agrees with both the ACLU and the NRA on many issues. Or, as he puts it, "I don't always agree with the Democrats, but who wants to live in a country where the only people with guns are Republicans?"

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