Q & A with Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin creators The Dead Man series
Question: How did The Dead Man series come about?
William Rabkin: It started with a TV pilot script and 12 storylines that Lee and I wrote twenty years ago. The TV series didn’t sell, but we never stopped thinking about Matt Cahill… about what happened to him and what sorts of adventures he’d face. Finally we got sick of thinking about it and decided we’d write it ourselves as a series of books. Shortly after that, we had the idea of inviting some of the wildly creative, brilliant authors and screenwriters that we know to write books in the series as well…
Question: You are both avid fans of the “men’s action adventure” genre. What made you think The Dead Man could revive the genre?
Lee Goldberg: It has all the elements of the classic men’s action-adventure series….a rugged hero, an open-ended mission, a clear enemy and the potential for lots of violence … but with an occult edge that allows us to imbue a dated genre with more surprising twists and darker humor. We felt by embracing the supernatural, and the traditional elements of the men’s action adventure genre, we opened the door to story- telling that would push the envelope a bit. More importantly, though, we adopted a voice, and an approach to the material, that we think is more character-based, more self-aware, and perhaps more wise-ass than most of those series were back in the day (with the possible exception of “The Destroyer”).
Question: You both love horror novels. Is there an author that you particularly admire?
William Rabkin: Stephen King, of course. He marries the human and the horrible so brilliantly that he transformed the genre forever. In terms of writers who can carry a single character over a long and constantly exciting set of adventures, I’d love to see us compared to Lee Child.
Question: How do you two write your books together?
Lee Goldberg: So far, the way we’ve done it is that one of us writes the first draft and the other one does the revisions (or suggests revisions that the other writer does). But we talk to one another throughout the process. I won’t tell you who wrote the first draft of which book…you’ll have to figure that one out for yourselves. But it won’t be easy. Bill and I have written together in television for so many years that we’re very good at creating and maintaining a shared voice, though this is the first time we’ve collaborated on books.
Hell in Heaven
is the best so far in an already splendid series and is super rush of a read with plenty of sharp twists and turns and some truly smashing lines. --Paul D. Brazill
If you haven't read The Dead Man
books you are certainly missing out on some terrific reads --Man-Eating Bookworm
This series has kept me rapt from the first page [...]these authors are the Jamaican sprint team doing the 4x100m relay, each stage just gets better and better. --Right What You No
Hell in Heaven
is a direct spiritual descendant of the sorts of awesome pulp action adventure tales that the greats like Robert E. Howard loved to write. --Post-Modern Pulps
For anyone who has not taken up the world of Matt Cahill yet, you are missing out on some truly crowd-pleasing fun. --Bookgasm