Long is by no means down for the count with first novel

William B. Carroll

West Point native Lynn Long was at the Bryan Public Library Wednesday to promote his first novel, a thriller called “Down for the Count - A Gulf City Saga,” during Luncheon With Books.
“Down for the Count” tells the story of Wilson Wood, a reporter for the newspaper in the fictitious town of Gulf City. A one-time prize fighter, Wood drifted between jobs before ended up on the sports desk of the local newspaper. Now he is covering the local fights from an arena on the seedy side of town. His editor wants Wood to develop his talents, but Wood resists putting in the extra effort. When a local boxer gets murdered, his editor assigns Wood to write a background feature about the victim. Wood realizes the police are more interested in closing the case quickly than solving the murder. Seeking the actual killer, Wood follows the few available clues and runs into the dark underside of Gulf City.
Long said that an injury several years ago led to him writing and completing his first novel. Long explained that when his family moved from West Point to Wilmington, North Carolina he began taking up basketball, he continued playing until 2011, when his vocal cord was paralyzed trying to make a steal. Long explained that when he leaned over to make the steal, the other player struck Long’s throat with his head, causing the injury.
“It took three years for it to heal,” Long said. “People who have vocal problems sometimes end up in a shell because it is difficult to talk. I realized that was happening to me. I found that writing was a good way to break out of that mold.”
Long said he started out by formulating an outline of what he thought the book should be and then slowly began writing. He said he had previously tried to write a book, but stopped some 20,000 words in.
“The first book I wrote, I didn’t want to tell anyone because I thought they would ask me about it,” he said, noting that he realized that if people did ask him about the book it would in a way force him to finish it.
Long explained that it took him a little over a year to complete the book, and he offered suggestions to others hoping to follow the same path.
“Find some good editors,” he said. “By that I mean, find some friends who will give you an honest opinion.”
Read the rest of this story in Thursday's Daily Times Leader.