Mark and I go a ways back--back to the days before Twitter and Facebook when we both hung out on the horror genre forums like Shocklines and Horror World--just like the rest of the horror community. He told me back then how much he had enjoyed a story of mine published on the Horrorfind site, which was a very nice thing to say because it came out of the blue, totally unsolicited--but that was just Mark's way.
Some time later, I was co-editing the Damned Nation anthology along with Robert N. Lee, and Mark's was one of the stories that we eagerly accepted for publication. I liked the guy's writing and I thought us compatible both personality-wise and in our way with a story. So one day I asked him if he'd like to hook up and write some fiction together, a "horror Star Wars" is how I put it to him. He was generous enough to agree immediately, and to make a long story short, that's why you now have three Dead Earth books available to you. Near the beginning of our collaboration, probably sometime after The Green Dawn was finished, or during maybe, Mark came up with the idea for a podcast where we'd both talk about the horror genre, tell some jokes and plug our books. That was Pod of Horror, which has lasted to this day (although I dropped out earlier on). It must have been one of the first horror podcasts ever, and who better to host than Mark, not only a great writer but also a professional DJ? It was some of the most fun I'd ever had.
What else did my good friend and I do together? Lots of things. He wrote reviews for my website Page Horrific. He helped me with my online genre forums. We had many a good laugh over the years while writing books and recording podcasts together...
Cut to two weeks ago: Mark emailed me to see if I wanted to write another novel with him, just like in the old days. Two weeks ago. And now he's gone.
Mark Justice was a kind, caring man who has many fans across Kentucky, where he worked, and the greater world. He and his sense of humor will be sorely missed by many. But at least he left us his podcasts, books and other writings, to enjoy for years to come.
Jesus on ice.
Well said, David. I got to know him some after listening to you guys on Pod of Horror, but not as well as you of course. He was always such a kind and giving person. It's just so shocking to realize he's gone.ReplyDelete
If it weren't for Pod of Horror, we would never have met you! So that's a blessing right there.Delete
The blessing has been all mine. You and Mark both have always gone out of your way to be so kind and helpful to me. I appreciate it greatly.Delete
My pleasure, and I'm sure Mark's as well. :)Delete
Very sorry to hear of his loss.ReplyDelete
Really, really sad news. Mark was a great guy, and I know you two were close. Sorry to hear about his passing, man.ReplyDelete
Thanks, LL. Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate it.Delete
Well said David. I've listened to POH since the beginning and since then, Mark had become a staple in my daily routine; whether listening to the podcast, reading the books he wrote, plus the ones you wrote with him. I was shocked 10 minutes ago when I went onto Facebook and realized these weren't Mark's "stupid joke of the day" posts... Just terrible news. Once again, I feel like I've taken things for granted. Thank you for the thoughtful post.ReplyDelete
You're welcome, RJ. I'm glad Mark brought you so much joy over the years.Delete
Very sorry for your loss, Dave. Can't even imagine... I only talked to Mark a couple of times on Facebook, but I looked forward to his jokes on there and listened to PoH way back when. Seemed like a great guy all around. Jesus on ice indeed. ****.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the kind words, Josh. And for getting my little insider quote. :)Delete
Dave, obviously I'm not Mark. I'm Norma Kay, his Wife. (I can't bring myself to use widow) There truly isn't a reason to add anything more to the beautiful memory you wrote about him. I'm missing him tonight, with such pain and there HAS to be another word for Grief. Mark could have coined a word for me. July 2 would have been our 34th Wedding Anniversary. With the exception of Thanksgiving, I think July 4th was his Favorite Holiday. We ALWAYS spent the day, watching "Yankee Doodle Dandy" followed by "1776" (And I'll tell you a secret, over the years, I've made Mark a Fan of Musicals, Broadway, Ballet. Can you believe it? Those were my passions. We had planned to finally go to NYC for our Anniversary this year. He promised to take me to a Broadway Show. :::yes, tears:::) We'd Grill out and make sure to turn the TV up loudly with "A Capitol 4th" and "Boston's 4th" to help the furry babies deal with the fireworks. They're starting early here tonight, on the street in front of our house, and the lot behind it. I have 3 terrified kitties, no way to calm them, and I suppose this adds to something worse than I ever imagined Grief, could be. The shock is wearing off and reality is setting in. In a way, it's odd I'm coming to you... All of you. Writers Mark talked about like he'd known you forever. Names I've heard, people I've never met or talked to and maybe ... I'm looking here, for some kind of solace. I can't find it anywhere else I've searched. So many of you, reached out to me, and I'm forever grateful. I've made attempts to reach as many of you as I can, too. It's so very difficult to do, though. If I start with names, poor Dave would have a comments section as long as any of their books. I guess... I was hoping to feel a part of your circle for a bit. Mark LOVED, LOVED, LOVED what he did. Radio, Writing. Especially writing. My God in Heaven, the half written stories I'm finding, some completed with red pen still in folders, lists of character's, plot lines, truly great character names and descriptions. Stories that will never be written, never be read. You. All of you, will understand THAT part of my grief alone. Oh, how I wish I could just dole them out to you guys. People gifted with words. Dave, Thank You for Everything. I had so, hoped to meet you and Roz someday. Guys, Gals, keep telling your stories, and please, try to remember Mark for me? He Truly LOVED what he was doing, LOVED his Life. How many of us get that gift. And... he chose me. How LUCKY I've been.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing some of your memories here, Norma Kay. Mark has touched many lives and will not be forgotten.ReplyDelete