Featuring… Joshua Graham, Author of "Beyond Justice"

Throughout my writing career I have had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful people in the industry. When Joshua Graham and I met the very first time back in October 2009, right away I felt he was someone special. His kindness seemed to overflow into conversations and his work ethic cannot be challenged. Then, I found out he has this beautiful family and they work so well together as a unit and have a faith in spirit that makes you feel so reassured and blessed that you simply cannot feel anything for Joshua but admiration.

So, it’s my greatest honor to have Joshua Graham as my guest blogger today. We have an interview and his bio. I hope you will enjoy.

When did you realize you wanted to write as a career choice?

I had already sold a couple of stories to a Pocket Books anthology when the editor Dean Wesley Smith invited me to attend some of the professional writers seminars of the Oregon Writers Network.  In one of them we learned an incredible amount about the struggles and triumphs of a writer’s career in a game that simulated 8 years of a writer’s life.  After seeing what it was like, I realized that this was my calling in life.  But the real confirmation came when my novel BEYOND JUSTICE made the semifinals of the first Amazon Breakout Novel Awards contest.  As the top 100 out of over 5000 entries, I was amazed to find such positive reviews, not the least of which came from Publishers Weekly.

How do you balance writing and other life’s responsibilities, like home, family and a social life?

It’s not easy.  There’s never enough time in the day.  I try to put my family as a priority and they are incredibly supportive of the time demands.  Staying consistent is the key.  We try our best to devote weekends to family, friends and church.  And we always read with our kids before they sleep at night.

How did the idea for BEYOND JUSTICE come to you?

I was listening to a message given by Dr. Luke Chen, the pastor of the church I was attending a few years ago.  In this message of forgiveness, he mentioned the story of Dennis Rader, the BTK Serial killer.  This man had fooled everyone, his family, friends and even lived what looked like a normal life in his church.  The sermon talked about how the pastor of Rader’s church had to deal with the issue of forgiveness when meeting him in prison.  It was from that message that the idea was sparked for BEYOND JUSTICE.

How long did it take, from the inception of the idea to the end of the story, to write BEYOND JUSTICE?

Oh it was pretty quick.  Looking back, I really believe I received a lot of inspiration for the story.  However, there was a lot of crafting and refining that went into it as well.  It wasn’t my first novel I’d ever written, in fact, it was my third.  And I had cut about 8 chapters from the beginning because it was mostly backstory.   All in all, it took about a year to complete.

Who, or shall I say, what industry professional has been the greatest influence in your writing career? And, why?

Without a doubt, Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch.  Even before Dean bought my first story, he was teaching me (and many aspiring writers) over the internet through his message boards and some private emails.  He has always been exceedingly generous with sharing his wisdom, not only of the craft, but the business side of writing.  He taught me how to view rejection letters before I ever got my first one for my first novel submission.  So the first one I got, I smiled, put it away and sent off another query.  I never felt the sting of that first rejection and went on to submit many more.  Both Dean and Kris poured so much into me and my fellow Master Class participants back in 2009.  I, among the others, have benefited so much from their teaching and kindness.

I must also point out a fine writer and friend, Michael Hiebert, who is also a member of the Oregon Writers Network.  He and I critiqued eachother’s work a great deal during the time I wrote Beyond Justice and I learned a great deal from him as well.

How many novels have you written?

I have completed four novels.  But in the back burner, in various stages of completion, I probably have about 15-20 more novels waiting to make it to the top of my mind and be completed.

When you get an idea for a novel, what is your next step toward its completion? For instance, do you develop the characters first or do you write an outline, or something else?

It varies from book to book.  I usually start with a concept, such as “What if someone discovered and decrypted the lost notebook of Galileo and unlocked a secret code that could turn science as we know it upside down?”  I might then go on to plot out the book from a macro level.  I have recently found that before I write out such an outline or synopsis, I have to flesh out the characters.  This is because the more I know about the character, the more I understand how their story must unfold.

Where do you write? Is it someplace special? Is it odd?

I write in my home office.  It’s a nice spacious room with a view of trees with birds singing outside.  But sometimes I get the most work done with my laptop and a cup of coffee at Barnes and Noble or the public library.

Why do you write fiction versus writing nonfiction?

Mostly fiction.  However, I do write quite a bit unofficially in non-fiction (inspirational) on my blogs and facebook under my real name (yes, Joshua Graham is my pen name.)  I have a couple of inspirational non-fiction books on my heart that need to be written as well.

What are you working on these days? And, when can we expect to see it in print/ebook?

Currently I am working on a YA/Fantasy book under my real name (Paul C. Tseng).  It’s a book written at the request of my son, and dedicated to both of my children.  When it will be in print is determined by a higher power, and I’m not just talking about a publisher—Someone MUCH higher.

Thank you Joshua, we’re so very honored to have you as a guest blogger today.

The honor and pleasure was all mine, Susan.  Thank you!

You can learn more about Joshua Graham by heading over to his website at: www.joshua-graham.com.

And, you can read more about his book “Beyond Justice” by clicking on any of the links below!

For Joshua Graham’s bio, click on: http://joshua-graham.com/?page_id=2

To read reviews and a synopsis of “Beyond Justice” by Joshua Graham, click on: http://joshua-graham.com/?page_id=5

You can click on the following link to buy “Beyond Justice” in paperback or Amazon Kindle here: http://www.amazon.com/BEYOND-JUSTICE-ebook/dp/B003UV98BI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1279933366&sr=8-2

Or by clicking on: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/18063 for all other ebook formats.

Also available at Apple iBooks for iPad, iphone, and iTouch.

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