I thought Dead Earth readers would like to hear how Mark and I started working together on the books, so we took some time to have a chat via email, and it went like this:
DTW: I had the idea to create a world with plenty of room for imaginative and fantastic invention, sort of a horror Star Wars thing that could go in any direction we wished and be revisited in an endless cycle. But at the time (early '00s) I figured it was just too much fun for one writer to handle and I wanted someone else to share the excitement. My first choice for a writing partner was Mark Justice. And fortunately, you were interested.
MJ: What I remember is getting an email from you asking if I wanted to write a novel together. I knew you from message boards and had a sense that we shared some similar tastes in fiction. I think I asked you what you had in mind and you said, “Mutants and zombies.” I was in.
DTW: Yeah, I had read your stuff for The Damned Nation antho and you had commented on my tales at Horrorfind so I knew we could probably pull it off. Mutants, zombies, aliens: everything comic book and pulp fiction fans like ourselves could want in a series of novels. Did we bash out the concept first or the characters? I remember wanting the necro priests to have flowing red robes and Aztec-like helmets.
MJ: I *think* the concept came first, but barely. Both seemed to develop at the same time. I remember that we started on a novel with the invasion in full swing but you felt we should start at the beginning. So we tabled the novel and wrote the novella “Dead Earth: The Green Dawn.”