The Story Behind the Book
The whole concept for DARKROOM started while searching for a title for my next work. I loved the double-meaning of the term “Darkroom,” and I had just finishing reading The Dead Zone by Stephen King. I wondered what it would be like to have a character who had Johnny Smith’s clairvoyant abilities, but through pictures she develops in a darkroom. What if someone could see things clairvoyantly in the images they develop in the darkroom? Things that the human eye could not see, but revealed things. Terrible things.
This was not something I sat and thought about for hours, it just fell into my mind while I was probably thinking about a hundred other things—as though someone suggested it to me. I’m certain it was divine providence.
On to the high concept of the book. Back when I was in junior high school, I had some old fashioned photography experience. I remember how the hairs on my neck and scalp would prickle every time an image would come up under the developing solution in our makeshift darkroom. At first, it looked like a negative, and the people looked like ghosts. Eventually, everything cleared up and looked normal. But I never forgot that eerie sensation.
The rest of the story practically wrote itself after my wife and I spent a few hours talking about common elements found in the books we love to read. We also drew upon many of our life experiences, such as the death of a loved-one, the conflicted relationships many adults have with their parents, making tough choices, as well as truth and integrity.
I finished the manuscript in record time (for me, anyway,) and got the book off to a contest, which I did not win. But a couple of years later, not only did Simon & Schuster/Howard Books offer me a contract to publish DARKROOM, the book also won 1st prize in the Forward National Literature Award, and the USA Book News Best Books Award. From its conception to publication, DARKROOM has been a wonderful experience.
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.