Township Fire-Fighter Doubles as a Children’s Author
LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – A Lower Pottsgrove Township firefighter who has already written and published two children’s’ books, and is at work on a third, will be among featured participants Saturday and Sunday (May 7-8, 2022) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the Skippack Village Spring Festival, as well as on May 21 (Saturday) at the Birdsboro Farmers Market.
Steve Dragon, a Birdsboro resident (at top and right) who serves with the Ringing Hill Fire Company as part of its staffing program, has written two well-received stories about a young brother and sister who care for each other, deal occasionally with mythical dragons, learn to stand up to bullies, and develop a love for learning.
Titled “Were You Born A Dragon?,” and “Were You Born a Dragon, Too?,” they’ve received glowing reviews on Amazon from verified buyers. The glossy, colorful books, published in 2020 and 2021 by BookBaby, are illustrated by Pottstown artist Catherine McMahon. Both will be signing books at the Skippack event, and Dragon will read to children during the Birdsboro market.
Dragon, who also is a fire-fighting academy instructor, retired after 40 years in the automotive industry, primarily as an award-winning fleet and commercial sales representative. His imaginative stories built on the family surname were an outgrowth of tales he once told his daughter Rachel, now in her 30s, as a young child.
“The very first story I told her was when she was two days old,” he recalls, explaining that he and she would fly to the Land of Dragons to earn permission to raise her as a dragon. No, she probably didn’t comprehend much, if any, of Dad’s story at the time, he admits, but the Dragons-as-dragons theme made a good impression as the years progressed. It taught her, her brother Steven, and later others the value of family love and relationships.
His daughter’s descriptions of the dragon stories to friends, and the positive responses they garnered, prompted Dragon’s interest in writing what became his first book, and his later launch of the series. He said he was excited by how he saw children deal “with the personal narrative,” and that put him on his own path to fulfillment.
Dragon had always wanted to write a book, he added, and started one years ago. It remains unfinished. But the Land of Dragons adventures came easily, thanks in part to re-telling and elaboration, and found a home with New Jersey-based BookBaby.
He was introduced to illustrator McMahon by a co-worker at the time, and enjoyed her art. They collaborated on initial line drawings and color work, and production got under way.
Dragon’s been busy since the books’ first shipments. Regional television stations WFMZ in Allentown and PHL-17 in Philadelphia have run news segments about them. He’s been a guest on radio stations, even in Great Britain. He’s also made earlier rounds at area fairs and festivals, and was the highlighted guest of a Barnes and Noble booksellers’ event (above).
As valuable as are the lessons he tries to present to kids in each of the two books, Dragon believes the story of his struggle to create them and find a publisher can ring true with adults and parents too. He suggests the same talking-to he once gave himself, after 30 years of just “wanting” to be an author. “Don’t procrastinate” on achieving personal dreams and ambitions, Dragon advised. No matter what the goal, “go and do it.”
Photos by The Post; Barnes and Noble photo provided by Steve Dragon