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Interview: Joshua Graham, Author of Beyond Justice

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Growing up, Joshua Graham spent the majority of 35 in Brooklyn, New York.  Mr. Graham went on to earn a Bachelor and Master’s Degree and later, his doctorate from Johns Hopkins University. While in Maryland, Joshua Graham taught as a professor at Shepherd College (WV), Western Maryland College, and Columbia Union College (MD).

Mr. Graham is a  member of the Oregon Writers Network, as well as a graduate of the Master Classes and professional writing workshops held by Dean W. Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch.  Dean and Kris, along with the entire OWN, have been a major influence in his journey to become a published writer.

Joshua Graham resides in San Diego with his wife and children.  In addition to his novel, Beyond Justice, Mr. Graham has several short fiction stories published by Pocket Books and Dawn Treader Press under different pen names.

Readers can visit Joshua Graham at the following:

Website at www.joshua-graham.com, Facebook at www.facebook.com/j0shuagraham or twitter www.twitter.com/j0shuagraham.

Please tell us a bit about your book: Beyond Justice – characters, plot, etc.

In Beyond Justice, through Samuel Hudson we explore the depths of human character when his worst nightmares become a reality. His wife and daughter brutally raped and murdered, his son beaten and left for dead. And on top of all that, he becomes the primary suspect. This is for sure a legal/crime thriller but it also reaches at the core of one’s belief system. The most powerful themes in this story are loss, redemption, forgiveness and justice.

If you could meet, in person, any of your characters, who would it be and why?

I’d probably like to meet the protagonist, Sam Hudson. Sam’s not pretentious and doesn’t struggle to hide his imperfections. He’s real about his convictions and you don’t have to wonder what he’s thinking behind a polite veneer. You might not like everything he has to say, but you’ll always know where you stand with him. He’s overcome some of the worst imaginable tragedies and become a stronger person for it. God forbid I ever have to go through what he did, I would hope to develop the character he does in this story.

If you could fictionalize yourself and put yourself in any situation, how would it play out? Could you give us a scene/scenario of such an occurrence?

In fact, that is exactly the method in which I wrote Beyond Justice. In order to write with authenticity, I had to put myself in Sam’s shoes (skin, is probably a more apt term) and experience what he did in the opening chapters in order to get an authentic emotional response. It was incredibly painful. I mean, no one wants to imagine all five senses of such scenes, much less imagine the horrible details of finding loved ones attacked, watching them die in your arms, etc. Even talking about it now, my heart clenches. But as a writer, I have an obligation to bring genuine emotional experiences to my readers.

Do you have any particular habits that you do while writing? Places you write the best, foods, drinks, etc that help set your “writing mood”?

I tend to write in my office mostly. But I’ve been known to take my work with me on my laptop or my mobile phone and write when I have the chance. The thing about writing when you’re in the mood is that you’ll never get anything done if you wait for that to happen. Sure, being in the right mood helps, but as a professional, you can’t just work when you feel like it. If that were the case, we’d have a serious crisis in our global workforce.

That said, I start my day with meditation and reading the Bible. So much of my inspiration comes from there because that’s where my core values are derived.

What are you reading right now?

The Good Guy by Dean Koontz

Who are some of your favorite authors and/or books?

Dean Koontz : Life Expectancy, Velocity,
Stephen King: The Dead Zone
John Grisham: The Rainmaker, The Last Juror
James Patterson: The Alex Cross series
C.S. Lewis: The Chronicles of Narnia

If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I would have loved to have met C.S. Lewis, not only was he an incredible writer of fiction, but a great thinker and theologian. All of his spiritual insights resonate with me and are so well thought out, perhaps inspired.

Okay, here are a few “get to know you better” questions:

Please share with us a favorite memory.

One of my favorite memories was an evening in Nice, by the shores of the French Riviera. I stood there one evening with my new bride as we gazed upon the full moon casting a shimmering silver reflection in the water. As the waves pulled out, they drew thousands of little stones with it, a sound reminiscent of a chorus of Cicadae, serenading us on our newly celebrated nuptials.
Yes, I can be a bit of a sucker for romance.

Please describe a perfect meal – including menu and those present.

Lots of pasta, beef, chicken, blood orange Italian sodas, and for my wife: Sushi. But no meal is quite so enjoyable as those with my loved ones and good friends. Sometimes, the occasional new guest.

What are some of your favorite ways to relax?

I love reading, listening to good music, playing UNO and laughing/eating with good friends, hanging out at the bookstore with my wife, playing Wii with my kids (they are fans of Godzilla Unleashed!)

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I love living in Southern California, but sometimes I miss New York. I would love to live in London, Berlin, Paris, and want very much to visit Australia one day.

If you could only read books by one author, who would it be? *I know, this is an inconceivable thought, lol.

I’d have to say God. And His book, The Holy Bible.

Share with us a few of your dreams. Also whether they have been fulfilled or are still a work in progress.

I have always dreamt of becoming an international concert artist (I’m a cellist) and playing on the stage of famous concert halls like Carnegie Hall. Well, I’m not Yo-Yo Ma, or Zuill Bailey (whom I went to conservatory with), but I have played as a soloist with orchestras in Cairo, South Africa, Canada, Egypt, Israel and Jordan, as well as the United States. And I have performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. In many ways that dream had been fulfilled, though not all the way.

I also dream of becoming a bestselling writer, an endeavor currently in progress.

And one day, I’d like to be able to help great numbers of people in every possible way I can, whether through my writing, material or financial means, my music, or just by being an encouragement or inspiration. I’ve been blessed with so much this way by people many steps ahead of me. It would be my honor to do likewise.

My greatest dream is to know my purpose in life, what I was created for and fulfill it to the fullest extent so by the end of my time here on earth I can say, like St. Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day…”

What are some of your guilty pleasures?

TV. I hate to admit it, but good shows are big temptations. (I can quit any time, really.) Shows I like or have liked: House, The Good Wife, The Practice, Heroes, LOST.

If you could leave the world with one piece of advice, what would it be?

Know who and whose you are, discover what you were created for and do whatever you can to become that. Therein lies a life of fulfillment.

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About April Pohren

  • http://www.joshua-graham.com Joshua Graham

    Thank you April for the opportunity to share. Great blog!