LF: Tell us about yourself.

GD: I am Greg Dragon, and I hail from Florida, USA. I like writing about the downtrodden who lash out and destroy their tyrants. I’ve been doing this publishing thing for a little over three years now.

LF: How did you become an Author?

GD: I’m self-published, so I don’t know how to answer this one. Let’s see… I’ve been writing all my life, but my stories would just end up in a filing cabinet. Since I’d heard that “publishing” was about chasing down agents for 10+ years while stacking up rejection letters until the lottery fell in your favor. I was like, “no thanks,” and didn’t aspire to be a published author. Writing was enough, so I would share it with friends and family.

Then 2013 came around, and a writer friend of mine by the name of Cherry Tigris, self-published a story, entitled: Toilet Paper People. It was beautifully written, and when she told me she published it herself, I “pulled her coat” as to how. She taught me about Kindle Direct Publishing, Createspace, and the process, so I soaked up the game and took that first step … well, I didn’t step—I sprinted!

I made every mistake that a rookie could make, being bullish because I swore that I had it all figured out… this led to me selling a good amount of my first book, but boy was it flawed … it’s so embarrassing, looking back. I’ve since unpublished that book (burning all the physical copies I come across) and rewrote it from scratch, along with having it professionally edited.

Now I have a whole team and my writing is a business. I work with a great set of cover designers, an excellent editor, and beta readers who aren’t afraid to tell me when my work isn’t hitting.

38233129LF: You have quite a few books under your belt, can you give us a summary of what you have written?

GD: Where do I begin? I started this publishing journey with a book named Anstractor, which was a version of a Space Opera that I wrote way back when I was teen. It follows the career of a super-soldier named Rafian VCA, and has three follow-up books in: Phasers of AnstractorBlade of the Lucan, and Supreme Leader of Anstractor. A little after Anstractor, I did a short story to chronicle Rafian’s heroine-predecessor, a pilot by the name of Helga Ate. Recently, I have removed that book (Lady Hellgate) from retail, in order to flesh out Helga’s life in a series of stories. The first being, Last of the Nighthawkswhich will be released on Kindle Unlimited in August.

Other books in my catalog deal with a favorite subject of mine, Artificial Intelligence, and the terrible human beings who play at being God. On this subject, I have my “Wired for Love” series, which is: Re-wiredSingle Wired Female, and the soon-to-be-released, Wireless. I also have a Sci-Fi Noir series, which touches on the same subject matter, and is doing extremely well. This series is called, “The Synth Crisis” and the books are: The Judas CypherThe Unsung FrameThe Sigma Imperative, and the prequel: Dhata Mays, which is available free in ebook, and has an audiobook version (most of my books are available in audio).

Last but not least, is my true crime novel, The Factory … arguably my magnum opus, but it is a very different book from my Sci-Fi offerings. I also have several short stories and serials available for free on my website, gregdragon.com, for anyone curious, that wants to sample my writing.

LF: Traditionally published vs self-published. What your take on it? Why did you go the route you did?

GD: Traditional publishing is exactly what it is… the way I would have expected to publish when I was aspiring to write like my word-slinging heroes. My opinion on it? I think that it’s still a great route for authors-to-be, but I was an entrepreneur when I started, so I went with the path that allowed me the most freedom.

I am in my forties, with no stars in my eyes, so cultivating readers who love my work, is really the goal that I have. This is why I self-publish, and it’s a personal choice, I can tell my stories, control where they are sold, and stay in touch with the people who really dig my stuff. I’ve toyed with the idea of pushing a manuscript the old school way, but it will have to be something that is more “to market” than what I write now.

LF: Anything else you would like to add?

GD: Thanks for the interview, and allowing me to dish. For anyone looking to self-publish, and need a word of advice, I’ll give you three tips based on the climate we’re in today:

  1. Don’t be a jerk, no matter how great you think your writing is, especially online, where everything is permanent. Old tweets resurface, burnt bridges tend to spread, and bad-mouthing fellow authors won’t win you any awards.
  2. Don’t cheat. If money is the goal in any endeavor you set out to do, then the fates will curse you, and it will not be pretty. There are plenty of hustles, and hustlers looking to game. Vet the courses being offered to you as a writer, and if something smells funny, run for the hills.
  3. This is only a competition if you want it to be. I’ve done better partnering with other writers, than drawing lines in the sand, and playing at scribbler nerd war. Self-publishing can feel like a school yard sometimes, but if you remain a professional, you will see the beauty in the community.