... About Duncan Long’s Writing.


Duncan Long is an internationally recognized technical and fiction author with over seventy books and manuals that have gone into print. He also "moonlights" as an illustrator (more on this here).


Long's books deal with a variety of subjects. Title subjects include everything from chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons to health manuals to gun books.


Long even has a manual in print that explains the ins and outs of becoming a freelance writer. He also wrote the nine-book action/adventure Night Stalkers series (published by HarperCollins) as well as the SF novel, Anti-Grav Unlimited (originally with Avon Books, now published by Duncan Long Publications). Long's Spider Worlds SF trilogy was marketed by Harper Paperbacks.


Presently Long is ghostwriting books on a variety of subjects. You can learn more about this process of ghostwriting here.


"Sometimes I talk to other technical writers who tell me they could never write fiction," Long says. "Others say they could never do technical work. Personally, I find that being able to write in both forms (and maybe even create the illustrations for them) makes it possible to create a 'story' atmosphere in the nonfiction and a more realistic, hard edge to the fiction."


(For those who doubt this, Long points out that he wrote everything in this "interview" just to help you imagine a conversation that he might -- but did not -- carry on with an interviewer.)


Long's Books


"I have trouble remembering how many books I've written," Long admits. "It must be somewhere around 100 that have gone into print now. I guess after the first few, the new wears off. At any given time I'm working on several book ideas." And he's also generally editing or writing another book or newsletter.


"It takes a lot of organization and 'plotting' to keep on schedule," Long says. "But I enjoy the challenge. It's like preparing a major battle or mounting an expedition - without the blood. But everything has to be planned carefully if you're to meet the deadlines and see success."


When Long isn’t writing, he’s usually drawing or watching movies. He has illustrated many of his non-fiction books and also regularly creates pictures for other authors short stories and book covers as well as artwork appearing at a number of sites on the Internet. "There are even a few rock CDs with Duncan Long-drawn covers," the author admits, somewhat sheepishly.


Asked when he started writing, the author gives a funny look and then says, "As long as I can remember. I got a pencil and started drawing stick figures shooting at each other. When my mom told me how to spell two key words, ‘ow’ and ‘pop,’ I was set to add the dialogue and sound effects for the shoot out. Hopefully my technique has improved a bit since then - though I have critics who might maintain otherwise," he adds without cracking a smile.


Long majored in music (“meaning I was destined to teach forever or starve”) and started writing a small manual he sold by mail order to make some extra money on the side while he taught school. He gradually started writing for other publishers and quickly abandoned the mail order business so he could write full time.


Along the way he discovered, often the hard way, how to make money, research quickly, and get jobs instead of standing around waiting for work, eventually making a living writing.


"Things aren’t easy in the publishing business right now,” Long notes. “Some publishers are floundering because they’re failing to make the transition into the Internet age. Most still sell books with the same return system devised in the 1930s; tear off the cover and return it for a full refund - with the rest of the book or magazine tossed into the waste bin. Many print runs see half the books or magazines tossed without making a penny. In today’s economy, it’s hard to make money that way. Little wonder some sections of the publishing industry are near panic right now. But there are opportunities, and the small publishers seem to be taking up the space abandoned by the large publishers.”


Long sees pluses. "One of the many neat things about writing is that you can do it from almost anywhere in the world and at about any time in your life. It tends to be something people get good at later in life, unlike many professions where it seems the youngsters have better potential than the oldsters and once you hit 30 you’re a has-been. Writing is something that, once you get the knack, you can continue until they carry you out feet first or you no longer know who you are during the Springtime of your senility."




Long’s Books In Print


Long’s Home  Page         


Long’s FREE eBooks, PDFs, and Print Books  


Contact Information




Copyright © 2008 by Duncan Long. All rights reserved. No portion of this page or site may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission from Duncan Long.

Duncan Long's FAQs page about his writing and books.