Justina Ireland

A Conversation with Justina Ireland

I am joined by Marci and Ako from The Colored Pages Book Club for this fantastic interview.


Twitter: @justinaireland

I have very special treat for you. I have a wonderful interview with the fantastic writer Justina Ireland. Justina Ireland is the author of Dread Nation and the sequel, Deathless Divide. I had the pleasure of talking about Dread Nations with the fantastic podcasters Marci and Ako of the Colored Pages Book Club. They have a wonderful bi-monthly podcast where they talk about fiction, fantasy, and magical realism written by writers from colorful backgrounds. Marci and Ako joined me for this interview. This was a great collaboration with them.

Dread Nation and Deathless Divide are set in a post-civil war time period where the dead have come alive as zombies (called shamblers). In this world black people just one step out of slavery are dealing with the powers to be are trying hard to hold on to a world that is no longer possible. The story follows the lives of Jane McKeene and Katherine Deveraux, two young black women who are being trained to become attendants. Attendants are black women who are trained to kill shamblers and be the protectors of well-off white women.

I enjoyed both books and I recommend them. The pacing and depth of the world built by Ms. Ireland is incredible. Jane and Katherine are fantastic characters. The bring the art of killing zombies to a whole new level. I listened to the audiobook version of both books and that experience was fantastic. These stories are real page turners. Justina Ireland presents an alternative history that is very believable.

In this interview we talked about:

Time StampTopics
3:58If you are a character in a speculative fiction novel, would you like to be a hero or an anti-hero?
10:30Justina talks about her journey as a writer and shares the two methods of entering the publishing world. The Beyonce method or the Nicki Minaj method.
18:15The value of a writer having life experience is that it is ok if you have not authored a great novel by the age of twenty-five.
24:48Justina talks about the world building process required to create Dread Nation and Deathless Divide.
34:40How the world building process evolved from the first book to the second?
44:45How do you write characters who keep fighting and living in a world that can seem hopeless? What makes those characters keep fighting the good fight?
48:30Justina Ireland talks about the powerful relationships that develop in Dread Nation and Deathless Divide.
54:36Justina shares her views on the current state and future of black speculative literature.

I want to thank Justina Ireland. It was wonderful talking with her, and she shared so much wisdom about the writing process. I cannot recommend her books enough. Her ability to present an alternative history in such a compelling way is stunning. This makes the third Justina Ireland book I have read, and I enjoyed all of them. You can check out my episode on her first book Vengeance Bound here.

Finally, a big thank you to Marci and Ako from the Colored Pages Book Club for joining me. Please check out Marci and Ako's podcast episode featuring this interview. They do a great job of synopsizing the books they read. They are great people and their insights into the books they read are fantastic.

Deathless Divide
Dread Nation
Vengeance Bound