By Christopher Smith
It’s not Lee Lunsford’s life, but he said he “lived it nonetheless,” if only on the pages of his book.
Lunsford never met a WWE Diva, he doesn’t know what it’s like to work as a diva’s personal assistant and he’s never been married to one. But he lived “the fantasy,” he said, when he wrote his first book “Roadie,” a wrestling-inspired romance.
The self-published novel is available online at Infinity Publishing (tinyurl.com/lunsfordroadie) for $19.95.
When Lunsford, a Dalton native, started writing the book he said he was “depressed” after a double whammy in 2009 that left him on the ropes: a breakup and being laid off from work. So he filed for unemployment and spent 12 hours a day writing a novel based on what he wished his life looked like.
After three weeks, he had a 400-page book about Luke Turner, Lunsford’s fictional alter ego who, after also being laid off and facing hardship, becomes a wrestling diva’s personal assistant and eventually marries her. A few years after finishing his book, Lunsford got it online for people to buy in September 2013.
So far, the book has sold enough to “make a small living and support myself,” Lunsford said.
“I’m just now really getting serious about this,” he said. “I’m really trying to get the word out about the book. I haven’t really been focused on writing as much as maybe I should be. It’s hard. Life sidetracks you sometimes. But you know what? There’s always a way around it.”
Lunsford said one struggle he had to fight was writing with attention deficit disorder.
“I just dug in deep with this book,” he said. “It was something that really meant something to me. It was me thinking, ‘You know what? What if this actually happened? What would that be like?’ Asking those questions just took me into the story.”
But the story isn’t all “happy fantasy” where everything is blissful for the characters, Lunsford said. There’s plenty of conflict and struggle.
Lunsford said he is working on his second novel and is attending Chattanooga State Community College to pursue a journalism degree. His dream, if his self-publishing career doesn’t take off, is to be a creative writer with the WWE. Wrestling has been a passion of Lunsford’s since childhood, he said. He’s still a Hulk Hogan fan at age 30.
“I was a Hulkamaniac since I was 3,” he said. “I still like him.”