Monday, February 21, 2011

An Interview With Joshua Graham

We recently spoke with Joshua Graham about his wonderful book BEYOND JUSTICE and about his work. Here is what he had to say.

WW. You’ve had a whirlwind year, with several e-books being released as well as some pretty amazing reviews of BEYOND JUSTICE. How have you dealt with you sudden success?

JG. I honestly didn’t know how the public would respond to BEYOND JUSTICE when it was first released. But since then, I’ve been so honored with the reviews, hitting #1 on multiple bestseller lists, and the flood of fan mail. If there’s one word to describe how I feel it would be: Grateful!

WW. Suspense Magazine reviewed your book, BEYOND JUSTICE in September. You have since made their Best of 2010 List. How instrumental has Suspense Magazine and others like them been in getting your name out there?

JG. Suspense Magazine is a fantastic publication and I am certain that by featuring and putting me on the list, they have given me a lot more gadgets to put in my marketing utility belt. By putting me in the same league as Scott Turrow, Ted Dekker, Brad Thor, and Steven James, they’ve definitely helped shape my career. I am so appreciative.

WW. Can you tell us why you chose to write in this particular genre and if you will keep close to it in the future?

JG. I didn’t really think of any particular genre, just the actual story. It can fit into Legal Thrillers easily, but how many legal thrillers include supernatural or paranormal elements as you’d find in a Stephen King book? I love legal thrillers by John Grisham and James Grippando, but I also love Stephen King’s and Dean Koontz’s books as well. I plan to continue writing suspense/thrillers, but I am sure I’ll write other genres as well.

WW. What has been the most humbling part of your literary journey, thus far?

JF. Besides the bestseller lists, the honors, and reviews, I am by far humbled by the letters my fans have sent me. They range from funny and cute, to heart-warming.
Here are a few fan letters I received (funny ones first):

“My husband bought [Beyond Justice] in the mail after work, got your book from Amazon…he’s been reading it all night and can’t put it down. He says it’s so exciting….I don’t think it’ll be long before I get my turn.
(next morning) he’s still reading it…if he’s late to work, he’s gonna tell his boss it’s Joshua Graham’s fault”
~Mei T.
“It was so good. Its message was powerful. Yes, I snot cried.”
~Amy S.
“I was just coming here to say that I am like just over 200 pages in Beyond Justice!! Can I say WOW WOW WOW enough?… Fabulously written book so far!! Now I have to go back to ignoring my children in order to read!”
“Oh Joshua, that was the worse book ever!!! lol It took me like 36 hours to read your book and I bawled like a baby! Yep the last 2 pages I had such a hard time reading through tears!!
~Kaytee S.

Here are the most humbling letters I’ve gotten:

WOW. Not what I expected. It was a pleasant and kind of strange surprise that I happened along this wonderful book (or should I say message) this week! I have been struggling with some things right now and your book put things into perspective. You have a special talent and I thank you”
~Jennifer T.
…Moments ago I finished reading Beyond Justice. I was moved to tears more than once. What an amazing and emotional novel. It is not often I am moved so profoundly. I have had a tumultuous relationship with God over the last 15 years and you, Joshua, have brought me back home. Thank you, sir.”
~Kim L.

I just want to say to my readers, thank YOU. This encourages me like nothing else and reassures me of my calling to write.

WW. Have you gotten an opportunity to meet any writers that you are particularly fond of and if so, who?

JG. I had the honor of meeting and learning from Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch in the Oregon Writers Network Master class for professional writers. I’ve learned so much from them, especially Dean who encouraged me as a writer and bought my first story ever published through Pocket Books.
I also have regular conference calls with two fellow writers from the Master Class, Susan Wingate and Michael Bellomo. We read each other’s work and give feedback. I have to say, they are such wonderful friends and fantastic writers. What a privilege and a pleasure to know and work with them!

WW. Can you tell us what books are in your TBR stack at home?

JG. THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS - C. S. Lewis and dozens of others by bestsellers as well as independent authors whom I’ve recently had the pleasure of getting acquainted with.

WW. When did you know that you wanted to write novels and how did you begin that endeavor?

JG. After I attended my first Oregon Writers Network workshop in 2006 with Dean W. Smith and Kris Rusch, I knew this was what I wanted to do as my career. Shortly after that workshop, in which I learned all about a writer’s career and life as well as created quick synopsizes for dozens of books (BEYOND JUSTICE being one which Kris Rusch had said she wanted to see me write,) I began writing them. I haven’t stopped since.

WW. Most writers have certain rituals or quirky things they do to prepare themselves to sit down and write. Can you tell us about a few of yours?

JG. For me, it’s not so much a writing ritual as it is a daily habit and discipline. I start off every day reading the Bible (one chapter from the Old Testament and one chapter from the New Testament) and then spend a good deal of time in prayer and active “listening.” Many of my book and story ideas are inspired during this time. And all of my marketing strategies that have had any significant success came as a result of praying and listening to the Spirit. I can’t think of a better source of inspiration.

WW. Are there any shocking tidbits about you that your readers do not know? If so, care to tell us about them?

JG. Hmmm… that could be dangerous. Well, Joshua Graham is really just my pen name. And I am not that handsome fellow on the cover of BEYOND JUSTICE (sorry ladies.) People might find it interesting to know that I hold three degrees in music (Bachelor’s and Masters from Juilliard, and Doctorate from Johns Hopkins), I play the cello, worked for 11 years in Information Technology, and once worked as a sales representative for Honda.

WW. We always ask what is the most valuable piece of advice that you have been given and that you would offer up to other aspiring writers?

JG. You are in charge of your own career. Don’t fall into the temptation of thinking, one day an agent or a publisher will make my career. You must learn your craft (writing) and learn about the industry (the business side). Most importantly, don’t let anything stop you from writing, especially fear. We all suffer “this stinks” moments when we write. Push past it and trust your creative voice. Exorcise the critical voice inside which makes you stop writing, prevents you from querying your book to publishers, etc. Only by daring to fail will you succeed.

WW. Can you tell us what your future writing plans are?

JG. God willing, I’m going to write a series of thrillers and Y/A Epic fantasy books. My interests cover a fairly broad range, so it might be that I’ll have a few new pen names for each genre. That will be announced well in advance on my website I love connecting with people on Facebook and Twitter as well. Here is my contact info: ,

Thanks, and I hope everyone will pick up a copy of BEYOND JUSTICE, available at:
Barnes & Noble for the Nook ($2.99)
Amazon: for Kindle ($2.99) or in Trade Paperback
The SONY Reader store and at Smashwords for ALL ebook readers or online reading.
For autographed and personalized paperback copies visit Dawn Treader Press.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

An Interview with author Claude Bouchard by CK Webb

On Thursday, Oct. 1, 2009, I had the sincere pleasure of conducting my very first author interview via phone and e-mail, with Canadian-born author Claude Bouchard. Mr. Bouchard lives and works in Montreal and has four self-published books to his credit. Vigilante, which he wrote in 1995, The Consultant, written in 1996, followed by Mind Games written in 1997 and The Homeless Killer written ten years later. Recently, Mr. Bouchard combined his first two novels, Vigilante and The Consultant into Duo which are available on
I originally met Claude on the social networking site, Twitter and we quickly became friends. He asked me if I would like to read his first novel, Vigilante and review it on WebbWeaver blog. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity and enjoyed this book immensely. I recently asked if he would be willing to allow me to interview him for WebbWeaver and answer some questions from the ladies of the WebbWeaver Book Club.
He agreed and the interview follows:

CK: Thanks so much for doing this...I'm a little nervous.

CB: Thanks for asking me...I'm a little nervous myself.

CK: What was the pivotal moment in your life when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

CB: I had been reading for years; mostly espionage and crime thrillers but in 1995 I got an idea for a story. I didn't really know how to write but I just sat down and started and in two months I had a rough draft of Vigilante.

CK: Is there a line drawn between your art work and your writing?

CB: Not really. I try to concentrate on each equally and focus on them as I work on each particular art form.

CK: Has your writing inspired your art work or visa versa?

CB: Mind games was the inspiration for a watercolor and that watercolor is also the cover art for that particular novel. The art work also comes out in the writing through references to different aspects of art such as art museums, pieces of art work and the like.

CK: Where does you inspiration for your writing come from?

CB: From a lot of reading and the desire to write something that will pique someone else's interest.

CK: Are any of your characters fashioned after yourself, and if so, which one?

CB: Chris Barry has the same initials as myself. Chris Barry is much grander, much more handsome and more debonair fashioned after myself, who happens to do some things I would never do *chuckles*.

CK: In your opinion, what is the greatest book ever answer?

CB: Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

CK: Who is your most inspiring author or who do you enjoy the most?

CB: Lee Child

WebbWeaver Book Club questions answered via e-mail:

Tammy: Do you still enjoy writing after all these years?

Absolutely! I moved away from writing for pleasure for a number of years, not because I didn't feel like writing but simply because I was occupying my time with my painting, guitar and the day job! It really wasn't a conscious decision. It's more that it simply happened. While I was reviewing, revising and self-publishing my old manuscripts last spring, I found my old friends once again and an idea starting brewing to get them back into action. The result was The Homeless Killer which I wrote in about six weeks. Since, I've been spending a lot of time self-promoting my books but have managed to squeeze out three short stories and countless idiocies for the Simple Musings page on my site.

Tammy: Between your art and your writing, which do you enjoy the most?

I hope that "both" is an acceptable answer. I love creating things where I can express myself and let out what's inside. Painting is one outlet; writing is another and playing guitar, another still. Taking away any one of those would leave a very sad void.

Tammy: Who in the literary world would you say is your greatest inspiration?

If by "the literary world" you mean great literary fiction, I must confess that I've never been very attracted by the Hemmingways and Dickenses in terms of preferred reading. I tend to read mainly the same or similar genres as what I write and pinning down one author as an inspiration is quite difficult. John Grisham, Steve Martini and Scott Turow are great with legal fiction. James Patterson rules when it comes to fast-paced page turners. Michael Connelly, Robert Crais (especially the Cole/Pike novels), Jeffrey Deaver and Jonathan Kellerman all do consistently well in the crime genre, each with their own style. Lee Child with his Jack Reacher series also gets glowing praise from me. There are many others whom I haven't mentioned.

Tammy: How old were you when you started writing?

The first time I sat down to seriously write something was in 1995 when I wrote Vigilante so, I was 34.

Tammy: What is your next project?

I'm not even at the starting gate with this one yet so it may end up never seeing the light. However, I have been toying with some ideas and taking notes for a fifth in my Barry/McCall series which could tentatively be entitled Agents will Fall. Very briefly, it would involve a growing number of literary agents being murdered *smile* but let's remember that this would be yet another work of fiction!

Sonya: Does it get easier to self-edit with each book you write?

Not whatsoever! Self-editing is extremely difficult because you know what you are reading so your mind tend to skip over mistakes. If I use The Homeless Killer as an example, I'd type somewhere around ten pages then go back and read them and correct all the mistakes. Next was a printed copy which went to my partner, Joanne for her review and edit (yep, more mistakes). I then reviewed the printed pages again, usually making more corrections before going back to fix everything on the computer. Once the book was finished, Joanne and I reread the revised printed copy, both jotting corrections as we went. Then I submitted for publication and ordered a handful of copies. Jo and I read and corrected again. One copy went to my sister, Lucie, and she got back to me with a number of corrections (most of which Joanne and I had missed). Nope, it doesn't get easier! I do try to read aloud when self-editing as it forces me to read each word and notice missing ones.

Sonya: What literary work is your favorite?

As I mentioned earlier, literary fiction has never been my forte. If I was to pick a classic, it would probably be Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. In terms of a more modern day epic of historical times, the winner is Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.

Sonya: Is there a particular teacher in your past who sparked your interest in reading and writing?

Not that I particularly remember. Both my parents are avid readers, even more so my dad and we were encouraged to read early on (along with everything else throughout our educations). That said, if anyone gets kudos for sparking interest in reading and writing (and learning in general) for myself as well as my brother and two sisters, it would be our parents, hands down!

In closing, I would like to thank CK, DJ, Tammie and Sonya for your wonderful questions and interest but especially for inviting me to do this interview!! WebbWeaver Rocks and Alabama's First Official Chapter of Book End Babes Rules!! Merci!