The idea centered on a small town in New England named Blackstone, where mysterious packages were starting to appear on the doorsteps of particular families. These "gifts," delivered by a shadowy figure, brought with them madness and death. No one knew why they were appearing, but everyone knew they had something to do with the abandoned old insane asylum on the hill overlooking the town.
Legend Entertainment liked the idea, and assigned award-winning game writer Bob Bates (TIMEQUEST, Eric The Unready) to work with John to develop the plot. At about this time, Stephen King was publishing his "Green Mile" serial novel, and John's publisher approached him with the idea of doing a similar series. John and Bob got together and decided that the stories of the families receiving the gifts would make excellent material for the book series, and the story of the inside of the asylum would be perfect for the game.
Thus, John and Bob ended up with original material in both media that is related, but different. Each property stands on its own without reference to the other, but each is enhanced if they are taken together.