Interview: Joshua Graham – Beyond Justice

We’re very happy to have with us at Rhodes Review today the author of Beyond Justice. Beyond Justice is a thriller with a heart.

Rhodes Review: What inspired you to write this book?

JG: A sermon about forgiveness, in which the pastor mentioned Dennis Rader, the BTK serial killer, and how he’d fooled everyone, his family, friends and church. The pastor of his church had to deal with tough questions when going to visit Rader in prison. I began to wonder what the limits of forgiveness are, if there are any. Is it impossible for God to forgive someone who commits heinous acts like Rader had? The questions and dilemmas give birth to BEYOND JUSTICE.

Rhodes Review: What made you decide to write it as a standard thriller rather than a Christian thriller?

JG: You know, though there are definite themes in BEYOND JUSTICE which are very important to the Christian faith (grace, mercy, faith, forgiveness, redemption), I wanted to write a book that would appeal to people besides Christians, something that wouldn’t try to tell readers what they should believe. I examine many of the issues and debates, but in the end, I try to let the reader draw their own conclusions.

After all, faith is a decision. Even atheism is a faith-decision, if you think about it. I just think that some people don’t realize this and blindly chose their faith (be it Christianity or Atheism.)

Rhodes Review: Who are some of your favorite writers? Books?

JG: Besides the Bible, I’m a big fan of John Grisham, Stephen King, and Daniel Silva. But my favorite writer of all mortal authors is C.S. Lewis and his CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, all seven books. I can read and re-read them over and over and still find new and profound meaning in them.

Rhodes Review: Where do you get your muse?

JG: Through prayer, meditation and reading the Bible. Seriously. I’m not trying to be “religious” but it’s really true. Each day, when I read and pray, I seek inspiration. Just the other day, reading the book of 2 Kings in the Old Testament (the story of Elijah being taken up by chariots of fire) I found themes for the ending of my upcoming Fantasy novel (which will be written under a different pen name.)

Rhodes Review: Describe your writing process?

JG: I start from the Macro level and work my way into an outline. I don’t find outlines limiting at all. Quite the opposite. They free me to work creatively because there’s no fear of getting so far off track and having to obliterate story lines because I wasn’t careful about continuity. I can make any changes I want, as the inspiration comes, and know exactly what I need to adjust to fit it in. Changes to outlines always happen, but knowing what is affected by the inspired change, helps me move forward with a LOT more confidence than not having any idea how big a mess I might be creating. It’s a road map for a LONG journey.

That said, I rarely outline for shorter works (like my ACCIDENTAL stories.)

Rhodes Review: What is your current project?

JG: I am completing a YA Epic fantasy novel called ONCE WE WERE KINGS, the first book in a trilogy. I’m also completing a collection of short fiction.

Rhodes Review: Any plans to see Rachel again in future books?

JG: Anything is possible. :) That’s an interesting idea! Jodi the Piranha has already made a cameo (obliquely mentioned) in my next thriller DARKROOM, The entire Salton Sea penitentiary has made a return in my recent eBooks THE ACCIDENTAL HERO, and THE ACCIDENTAL EXORCIST.

Rhodes Review: How did you first get interested in writing?

JG: I’ve been writing since the 1st grade. I’ve always loved writing stories and in 2003, some internet friends urged me to enter a writing contest. I didn’t make it that year, but the following year I did, and made my first of three sales to Pocket Books.

Rhodes Review: How do you come up with story ideas?

JG: Two words: What if? And truthfully, I believe they are given by God’s grace. Not my own efforts and ideas. At least this is the case with anything with which I’ve been successful.

Rhodes Review: What advice would you give to those interested in pursuing writing?

JG: Read a lot. Learn as much as you can through books on writing, workshops. And Google Heinlein’s rules (and follow them.) You are responsible for your own career, not an agent, not an editor. Never give up on your God-given dreams. They are there in your heart for a reason.

Rhodes Review: Have any appearances/tours you are interested in telling our readers about?

JG: I just finished a virtual book tour for BEYOND JUSTICE, but the beauty of it is you can view every tour stop here:

I will be doing a book signing at BORDERS BOOKS in El Cajon, CA on December 18th. Here is the press release:

BEYOND JUSTICE is an Amazon and Barnes & Noble multiple bestseller. You can get a copy at your local bookstore, or order it as a trade paperback here:

It’s also available for all eBook readers.

For Kindle:

For Nook:

For SONY Reader, iPad, and Kobo at:

Connect with Josh at:

Josh’s author page:

Josh’s Barnes & Noble page:

We’d like to thank Joshua for taking the time to talk to us, and wish him the best of luck on his book.

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