Cedric Long was born in Montgomery, AL. One of his favorite things to do is to work out and travel, riding to a new city and staying there for days at a time. He is also passionate about photography and enjoys the outdoor which includes spending time in his backyard garden where he grows plenty of fruits and vegetables.
His novels, while fictional, are based on his experiences working in the Alabama Department of Corrections for 41/2 years, as well as doing tours of duty at Staton Correctional Facility, Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women, and Frank Lee Work Release.
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
I’ve always been a good storyteller. Deep down I knew I had a book in me. Right before I decided to pursue writing I began researching on YouTube. I’d watch dozens of author interviews mostly of middle-aged white women. They were proper and good natured. Most had this heartwarming story.
I felt so out of place being a young black male who spoke a mixture of southern drawl, slang and Ebonics. I thought maybe I should try to emulate those authors. Something from within said, I bet none of them have ever been arrested in a prostitution sting like had. So, I’d better just be myself. Then I just said, screw it, I’m the Corrupt Author.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
Sure, Well I am currently promoting my Corrupt Officer’s Guide Series. It’s a trilogy. Books 1 & 2 are available only on my official website corruptauthor.com. There are fiction novels that follow the young black protagonist, John Youngblood. Youngblood works as a prison guard. The series follows him as he works in a chaotic prison environment. Each novel is a different journey written in the genre of true crime with elements of romance.
3) Where do you draw your inspiration from for the stories that you manage to weave together and the characters that you create?
From me actually. I’m a former correctional officer with the Alabama Department of Corrections. My story lines come from my real-life experiences working in a state prison. I saw so many insane things, it would have been a crime not to write a book.
4) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel? What projects are you currently working on?
I write wherever I feel inspired. It could be twelve to fourteen hours of straight writing when I’m in the mood. I outline everything I’m big on plot twists. Everything in my novel connects to something else in the story line.
I just finished a book Called Convict’s Candy by Damonamin Meadows. Currently reading Yolanda Reid Dillard’s book – Prison Entanglement. I’m trying to finish the third installment to my trilogy entitled, Corrupt Officer’s Guide to Ever After. Then I’m going to co-author a book with my brother who was just released from prison. The theme is two brothers on opposite sides of the fence. I was a Correctional Officer at the same time he was an inmate in the Alabama Department of Corrections. I’m very excited to start that project.
5) What’s the first book you ever read that really moved you emotionally? Who is your favorite author to read? What book are you currently reading?
I’m not an emotional person. Books take me on a visual ride. The Old Man and the Seas was the first novel that I truly enjoyed. As I read, I could smell the salty sea, I could hear the waves crashing, I could see the sun and white sandy beaches.
6) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
Achievement for me is traveling more using the excuse that it’s for my career lol. I’ve always loved visiting new cities. Meeting new people and building my network is also exciting. I’ve met a few celebrities at book events. Being an author has gotten me up close and personal with Terri Woods, Zane, Master P, J Prince, Common, Music Soul Child, Antoney Hamilton, Stacey Abrams, and Gabrielle Union.
7) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career? What is your advice for other writers to better be able to cope or navigate their way through the publishing process, be it traditional or self-publishing?
I’m one hundred percent independent. I’ve never felt rejected because I’m in control of my career. My advice is to have fun and enjoy your journey. Once you reach the mountain top there’s nothing left to achieve anymore.
8) Do you find it hard to juggle the creative side of being a writer against the business side of being a writer, in terms of marketing and promotion and things of that nature? How hard has it been (or easy) for you to build up your author platform?
No, I was a photographer before becoming an author. I learned that business is a part of success. Creating art is fun but fulfillment comes with other people appreciating your work. Marketing is a tool you use just like the pen or paintbrush. One must only take the time to master promoting to the world. My brand name, book titles and covers all fit into my marketing scheme.
9) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work. Do you ever enjoy reading your own work back to yourself after it’s out there for the rest of the world?
I semi-enjoy reading my own work. Maybe it’s because we have to proofread our own work. It’s hard to just relax and enjoy it as pure entertainment without being a critic.
10) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
No, time is experience which helps but passion is the steam that moves the engine forward. I never would’ve imagined I’d ever even desire to be a writer. Now, next to my daughter it’s my number one joy in life. Some of the most successful authors of our time became a writer in the later end of life.
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
Yes, writing can be very therapeutic. I wrote my first novel Corrupt Officer’s Guide to Money out of anger and spit. I wasn’t happy about a lot of things I’d experienced with corrections and in my divorce. It was a nice way to vent.
My second novel was a love letter. There was this girl, ever since the first time I laid eyes on her I knew she was the one. But I was too shy to say anything. I needed a way to tell her I was in love. So, I wrote Corrupt Officer’s Guide to Love. I’m thinking about walking up to her and handing her a copy one day.
My writing is authentic. I don’t try to portray myself in the best light. My good characters do bad things. My bad characters do good things. There’s good and there’s evil, in reality nothing is that black and white. We all fit somewhere on the spectrum of gray in between. My writing has helped bring change in Alabama’s prison system and create better wages and safer environments for staff.
I would like to give credit to Beth Shelburne, an investigative reporter who helped force changes in the Alabama Department of Corrections. Also, to ‘The Book Boutique’ in ATL for opening their store up to my novels. Support me at