Photo was taken at the home of Ryan Prior. It shows his bookshelf of works that informed and inspired him as as he wrote "The Long Haul"

Ryan Prior—The Long Haul: Solving The Puzzle of the Pandemic’s Long Haulers and How They Are Changing Healthcare Forever

Long Haul

Long Haul


Ryan Prior
Post Hill Press (Simon and Schuster), November 15, 2022, $28.00
ISBN-13, hardcover: 9781637581414; ISBN ebook: 9781637581421

Prior reports:

For the past 15 years–since high school–I’ve lived with a post-viral chronic illness. For the same amount of time, I’ve been driven to become an author.

During the pandemic, I was a features writer for CNN, and as the Covid-19 pandemic hit, I felt my destiny come into perfect focus. For Science Writers 2020, I was invited to moderate a panel alongside veteran magazine editor and author Pam Weintraub about how journalists should cover contested illnesses.

Ryan Prior

Ryan Prior

I told Pam I wanted to write a book about Long Covid. She connected me with Jennifer Weis, the editor of Pam’s brilliant Lyme disease book, Cure Unknown. Jennifer, who is now a literary agent, partnered with me over the next six weeks to put together my book proposal and shop it to publishers. From meeting Pam to ultimately getting a book deal offer took less than two months.

I signed my book deal while experiencing two months of disability from Long Covid. I continued covering the pandemic for CNN’s Features and Health teams through summer 2021. Then I pivoted to working on the book fulltime for the next five and a half months, racing to hit my deadline. I turned in 76,000 words February 1, 2022. By late May, the manuscript had survived a full fact check and two rounds of editing.

In writing the book, I drew on my own experiences living with chronic illness as well as my interviews with patients, advocates, scientists, and doctors. I kept up with the surge of ongoing peer-reviewed papers about Long Covid. Most of all, I relied on my own sense of mission to tell the human story at the heart of the greatest global health crisis of the 21st century. Researchers say Long Covid will have reverberations for decades to come.

This book points the way for patients themselves to drive some of the most important innovations of the future–shaping improvements in study design, raising money for research, and most importantly, using the power of their own stories to boost awareness of the challenges of living with post-viral chronic illnesses.

Contact info:

NASW members: will your book be published soon? Promote it by submitting your report for Advance Copy.

Tell your fellow NASW members how you came up with the idea for your book, developed a proposal, found an agent and publisher, funded and conducted research, and put the book together. Include what you wish you had known before you began working on your book, or had done differently.


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November 10, 2022

Advance Copy

The path from idea to book may take myriad routes. The Advance Copy column, started in 2000 by NASW volunteer book editor Lynne Lamberg, features NASW authors telling the stories behind their books. Authors are asked to report how they got their idea, honed it into a proposal, found an agent and a publisher, funded and conducted their research, and organized their writing process. They also are asked to share what they wish they’d known when they started or would do differently next time, and what advice they can offer aspiring authors. Lamberg edits the authors’ answers to produce the Advance Copy reports.

NASW members: Will your book be published soon? Visit for information on submitting your report.

Publication of NASW author reports in Advance Copy does not constitute NASW's endorsement of any publication or the ideas, values, or material contained within or espoused by authors or their books. We hope this column stimulates productive discussions on important topics now and in the future as both science and societies progress. We welcome your discussion in the comments section below.

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