Author of "Up from the Dark", the ninth story in The Fourth Corona Book of Horror Stories
Jon Gauthier is a part-time horror, sci-fi and thriller writer from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Jon says he’s been in love with storytelling ever since he saw Jurassic Park at the age of eight and has been writing his own stories ever since he discovered the Goosebumps and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books only a year after that.
His work has appeared in many publications, including most recently Etherea Magazine and the Cemetery Gates Media anthology Campfire Macabre.
He counts Richard Matheson, Stephen King, Brian Keene, Joe Hill, Jonathan Janz, and Hunter Shea among his major influences.
What made you decide to write horror?
One of my favourite shows as a kid was Unsolved Mysteries—especially the episodes on paranormal cases. I always loved ghost stories, campfire stories, things like that. I was about nine or ten when R.L. Stein started the Goosebumps series and I was totally hooked.
When I realized I loved writing, it just seemed like such a natural combination.
Do you write in any other genre?
I write sci-fi as well. Not necessarily “hard” sci-fi or anything like that, but I like near future stuff, post-apocalypse, AI, alien encounters, time travel, etc. There’s usually always a horror-like twist, though. I think the genres mix very well. I’m also working on a couple of Western stories, but, again, there’s usually always a horror twist.
What genres do you read? Is it all horror or have you eclectic tastes?
I like to read a variety of things. Lots of horror of course, but I like sci fi as well. Michael Crichton was a huge influence for me. I’m a big fan of Andy Weir, Blake Crouch, the Expanse Series. And thrillers–the sort of modern suburban mystery type stuff. Ruth Ware is one of my favourites.
And I like a lot of non-fiction: World War 2, anthropology, space/cosmos. I don’t read as much as I’d like to, unfortunately.
How much do you value reading the work of other authors?
It’s incredibly valuable. It’s so crucial to expose yourself to other voices and styles. Short story anthologies are great for that because you can get a ton of different voices in just a few sittings. It really forces you to look at your own work and think—how can I make this stand out…how can I make this more “me”?
Does reading other people’s work affect the way you write?
Not necessarily their work, but more seeing how they approach the process or how they struggle with it.
I follow a lot of authors on Twitter, and I obviously can’t read everything they all publish, so it’s more just seeing their work ethic and their successes that helps fuel me.
What are your favourite and/or least favourite tropes?
I can’t really say there’s any I HATE. I’ll like pretty much anything as long as it’s well-written.
I LOVE twist endings… I’m a huge sucker for them, especially in short fiction.
Which authors inspire you?
My biggest inspiration, by far, is Richard Matheson. I think “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” is the greatest piece of horror fiction next to Frankenstein (which is obviously untouchable). Matheson was an absolute master, and he could jump so effortlessly between horror, sci-fi and western. His short stories especially are just incredible.
Stephen King, obviously, has also been a huge inspiration. I can’t imagine there’s any horror writer who wouldn’t say that. Michael Crichton as well. And Brian Keene. Especially for his work ethic and what he’s contributed to the genre as a whole, especially on the small press/independent publishing side. He really is a writer’s writer.