Interview: Joshua Graham – Darkroom

Today we are pleased to once again have Joshua Graham join us. Joshua is the author of the recently released Darkroom.

About Josh

Joshua Graham is the award winning author of the #1 Amazon and Barnes & Noble legal thriller BEYOND JUSTICE.

His latest book DARKROOM won a First Prize award in the Forward National Literature award and was an award-winner in the USA Book News “Bests Books 2011” awards.


Rhodes Review: What gave you the idea for Darkroom?

Joshua Graham: It started with the title, which I thought would make for a great double entendre, then I remembered how ghostly some of the images in an old fashioned darkroom looked when they were coming up in the developing solution on the contact paper.  They start off looking like a negative, then they turn out normal.  But I thought:  What if someone could see clairvoyant images in the darkroom, the way Johnny Smith did in THE DEAD ZONE by Stephen King, when he touches someone?

Rhodes Review:  It goes heavily into background in Vietnam, what was the research process like?

Joshua Graham:  It was fascinating! I learned a lot from historical records, but I also got a lot of firsthand information from people who were actually there, especially around the fall of Saigon.

Rhodes Review:  Is there any chance of the characters returning in other stories?

Joshua Graham:  Does the name Jodi Bauer sound familiar to you?  If you read BEYOND JUSTICE, you’ll remember that she was nick-named Jodi the Piranha, and was the defense attorney for the serial killer in that novel.  Well, the attorney that defends Xandra Carrick in the last part of the book comes from her law firm.  So, as you can see, my characters sometimes inhabit the same world.  And they might
even cross paths, who knows?

Rhodes Review:  Which character would you most and least like to invite to dinner?

Joshua Graham:  Interesting question.  Of course, I think Xandra would be a real kick to hang out with.   She’s got quite a personality and is not boring.  She’s feisty (as one reviewer put it) and she doesn’t let things go easily, so I bet she’d be fun to get into a debate with.  I’d also love to meet her father Peter Carrick and hear the stories he has to tell from the Vietnam War.  Who would I least like to invite to dinner?  Mark Collinsworth.  Everyone has their story, but his cocky attitude really grates me.  Great for a book character, but for a dinner guest, not so much.

Rhodes Review:  What do you think makes a good story?

Joshua Graham:  That which draws you in, such that you forget your reading a book.  And it should also provide a healthy dose of catharthis.

Rhodes Review:  What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Joshua Graham:  Wake up, get the kids ready for school, have breakfast, study the Bible and pray, check email, social media, write, write, write…answer phone calls, emails, write, write, write…

Rhodes Review:  What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Joshua Graham:  Once in a while, I interview my characters.  Ask them probing questions, then let them answer in their own voice.  Some of them have gotten pretty mad at me, some of them have broken down, and still others have made me laugh so hard I was grateful I didn’t have a mouthful of coke.

Rhodes Review:  What was your favorite part of Darkroom?

Joshua Graham:  The surprises and twists.  Which ones?  Well, I could tell you…

Rhodes Review:  What was the hardest part to write in Darkroom?

Joshua Graham:  Definitely witnessing the human atrocities where innocents are killed and tortured.  These are things you never want to imagine.  But they have happened, tragically.  And in order to fully bring it to life, I had to put myself in the scene and imagine the details, the emotions, from different points of views.   As a husband and a father, these kinds of images (scenes) are always the most difficult to write (as it was in the opening chapters of BEYOND JUSTICE.)  My readers have had the same reaction to these pages as mine.  We all wanted to go and hug our children after reading them.

Rhodes Review:  What do you wish was different about Darkroom?

Joshua Graham:  Maybe that a major motion picture studio had already optioned it before the book was published?  So many people (early readers) have told me that this book must be made into a movie.   I even have an agent from one of the top Hollywood talent agencies who approached me and said the same thing.   On the other hand, it’s probably better that the book comes out first, because a book and a film adaptation are very different creatures, and must be viewed as such.

Rhodes Review:  Which of your books was the easiest/hardest to write?

Joshua Graham:  None of them are what I would call easy.  I already described
what was difficult about them to write.   But the truth be told, DARKROOM came through divine providence and inspiration.  I never completed a first draft as quickly as I did DARKROOM.  The words and story just flowed and I practically typed non-stop from start to finish.

Rhodes Review:  Does writing a book get easier as you write?  Ie. Is it harder to write your first book, then your 14th?

Joshua Graham:  I’ll let you know when I get to book 14. :)  Each book has its own
challenges and rewards.  On one hand, being more experienced makes it easier.  But then, the challenge is to write with equal and better quality, and remain fresh.  After about 4 novels, I can tell you that the latter concern is becoming more and more of a challenge.  But it’s a challenge ALL writer’s must face, nothing new under the sun.

Rhodes Review:  If the author could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Joshua Graham:  C.S. Lewis, for sure.  He was a remarkably gifted man of deep insight and literary skill.  I love everything he’s written in regards to his literary, philosophical, and theological viewpoints.  And, from what I gather, we share a similar sense of humor—I think.

Rhodes Review:  How did you get interested in writing?

Joshua Graham:  I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember.  Even in the 1st grade, with crayons and construction paper, my pictures had a separate sheet of paper with a story (caption).  Since then, I’ve enjoyed writing scripts for plays, movies, and all kinds of stories.   It was only later in life that I rediscovered this passion for storytelling, and at the urging of some great friends, decided to pursue it
professionally.  Little did I know it would alter my destiny and be there, ready and waiting, when my 12 year career in IT disappeared, making way for my life as a writer.

Rhodes Review:  What are some of your favorite books/authors.

Joshua Graham:  GOD:  The Bible

C.S. Lewis’ Narnia, The Screwtape Letters

Stephen King: The Dead Zone

John Grisham:  The Rainmaker

Rhodes Review:  Do you have any suggestions to help my readers become a better
writer? If so, what are they?

Joshua Graham:  For those interested in becoming a writer professionally, remember, the key characteristic needed more than talent, connections, more than anything else combined, is persistence.  Never give up until you’ve arrived.  Even then, you have to keep honing your skills, learning the business, making connections, learning from others.  You’ll either love the sound of that, or hate it.  Chose this path carefully, because like all things worthwhile, it will come at personal cost and sacrifice.  But it will also come with unspeakable rewards, if you are looking for the right things.

Rhodes Review:  If you were to do your career as an author again, what would you do differently, and why?

Joshua Graham:  I might have spent a lot less time worrying about what others think because ultimately, the books I’ve written that drew the most negative comments from other aspiring writers, have gone on to become #1 bestsellers and have given me a new career (all thanks to God!)

Rhodes Review: Would you like a Snickers bar?

Joshua Graham:  If you even have to ask….

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Connect with Josh at the following:

Twitter: @J0shuaGraham


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5 Responses to “Interview: Joshua Graham – Darkroom”

  1. Joshua Graham Says:

    Thank you for this inteview!

    I’d love to hear from everyone, so please contact me using the social network links below:
    Twitter: @J0shuaGraham

  2. Doug D. Says:

    A great interview.
    And a great inspiration…

  3. Debra Britt Says:

    Awesome interview Rick. Congratulations Joshua I can’t wait to get started on Darkroom.

  4. Joshua Graham Says:

    Thanks everyone!

  5. paula howard Says:

    Great interview. Can’t wait to be able to read Darkroom on my nook.