Although 2016 has sucked, HARD, for taking away many of the artists and celebrities that I grew up loving, it has been a wonderful year for me as a writer. It has been a huge year for collaboration, and I’ve gotten to know some really cool guys and gals who are great storytellers and people in general.
The point of this post (for me) is to summarize everything that has been done this year, just to put it all in perspective. For any new writers that are curious as to why I got into so many projects, let me tell you, the rewards have been phenomenal.
But I can babble on, so let’s get to it. What has Greg Dragon done in 2016?
1. Collaborated on Days Until Home
Chronicling a Space Opera through Collaboration
Mark Gardner approached me with this project early in the year and I honestly didn’t know what to think. It sounded like a writing relay (which it very much was), but having never met David Kristoph, I wondered just how collaborative it would be.
Turns out that it was an amazing experience which taught me how to write even when I’m not feeling like it. Every week one of us had to write a chapter, and when it was my time I couldn’t let them down, so you better believe I wrote the damn chapter.
Both David and Mark are very prolific writers so I wasn’t surprised that they could sprint. Still, with only a few days to read and give feedback before writing your own, I was very impressed with what we came up with.
We will be editing Days Until Home, begging for reviews, and putting it up on stores sometime in the future. If you’re curious as to how a project like this works, you can read the entire thing for free over at Mark’s blog.
2. Rewrote ALL of Anstractor Vestalia
I wrote a long blog post about my decision to do this here, and while I don’t plan to make it a habit (rewriting books that is), Anstractor was the first book that I published, and it wasn’t up to par with the books that followed. It was rough out the door, and though I paid a lot of money for editing, when I reread the first edition I saw that my voice was not there. The content felt bloated and it was … weird. So I rewrote it, and I think that people will like it.
I do plan on rewriting my second book “Lady Hellgate” the same way but under a different title, but then I promise you that I am done with time traveling.
3. Completed Knights and Demons
Five short serials were written this year to finish Alysia’s journey in Knights and Demons. It was a grind and I won’t lie and say that I enjoyed doing it. In the future I hope to do a serial here on the blog, for free, but Knights and Demons will not be seeing any more seasons.
The full boxed-set is now available for rent or purchase from Amazon, and will stay exclusive there since that was my original intention. I may pull the individual episodes down mid next year, since there really is no point to having them when we have a book for season one, and now this boxed-set.
4. Completed Supreme Leader of Anstractor
This year was the year of the wrap-up, and with the lukewarm response to my little saga, I wanted to move on to other things. I do plan on writing a number of Phaser missions that star the characters developed in the series. Supreme Leader was a lot of fun to write, so I cannot wait to dip back into Rafian’s world.
With this last book finished, I’ve created a boxed-set that is selling more than any other book in my little library. This gives me hope that out of the thousands reading, that I will reach the readers who appreciate books like this.
5. Published Single Wired Female
I wrote Re-Wired for National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo) in 2014 and when I got it edited and published, I honestly felt that it would get dissed into oblivion but to my surprise it has gotten more love than I could hope for.
Re-wired has led to more personal emails from readers than anything else that I have written or been a part of. People really took to Tricia, and while some people took issue with her flawed creator, Brad, the vast majority loved her and wrote me asking for more of her.
For NaNoWriMo 2015 I wrote the follow-up to Re-Wired appropriately titled, Single Wired Female. It was beta read with rave reviews, and so I published it this year and added it to Tricia’s world, which is now called “Wired for Love”.
6. Wrote The Judas Cypher
I have a thing for androids in Science Fiction, and with the craziness that was the elections this year, I just couldn’t bring myself to do yet another story in Tricia the android’s world. What I did instead was switch gears to a Noir Detective story in a future Tampa Bay, which is heavily based on … you guessed it … androids.
The difference with The Judas Cypher is that I have reached out to a successful author of thrillers to developmentally edit the manuscript. I want people to love it like Re-wired, but actually understand it, since my other android stories went way too deep into the metaphysical.
7. Collaborated on Street Shamans (a CyberPunk Mosaic)
Talk about a fun challenge. Whew. This was it. I cannot reveal much about this one, but I wrote a 15,000 word story about futuristic Pittsburgh with several other authors. This will be an anthology based around a particular event, and I will be able to reveal more as we creep closer to release.
8. Wide Release on All Greg Dragon Novels
Prior to this year, I was exclusive to Amazon with just about every one of my books. This was a terrible mistake. While people renting books from Amazon is a beautiful thing, the type of books that I write aren’t really the ones being rented from there.
The only books that they’ve been renting through Kindle Unlimited, have been those in my serial, Knights and Demons. This blows my mind since each episode is $0.99, and I would have thought that the more expensive books would be the ones to move … but what do I know?
At this time I am seeing a lot of readers picking up my work on iBooks, Barnes and Nobles, and my favorite, KOBO, so going wide was the smart thing to do.
It isn’t enough to just sit in the dark and write, not when it is so easy to publish nowadays. We’re going through a renaissance, akin to 16th century Italy, when artists were everywhere, and talent came in droves. Everyone wants to be the next Da Vinci, but to get to that point you need to hone your craft.
Honing for me comes with challenges, and I’ve done things this year that are way outside of my comfort zone. Am I a better writer for it? Yes, and still improving, but out of everything, the continued support and helping up others has been the biggest lesson for me.