Joshua W. Gauthier, Lewiston Public Library cataloger, book lover, writer and playwright. Submitted photo

It makes sense, really: Joshua W. Gauthier is a man who is all about words. 

He’s had his eye on a writing career since he was a young lad. He’s got a master’s degree in creative writing and recently published his first novel, a fantasy kind of story about a mercenary gunslinger named Eli and his battle unicorn Sasha. 

It is Gauthier’s considered opinion that writers and librarians are kindred spirits, so it makes perfect sense that somewhere along the way, he sought out work at his local library. 

The Lewiston Public Library, that is. There, Gauthier spends his non-writing hours managing collections upon the shelves. It’s a job that seems to align perfectly with his love for words and books and stories. 

We caught up with Gauthier recently and asked a few questions about his work, his novel and his aspirations. Here’s what the young author had to say. 

What do you do at the Lewiston library? After working in various departments throughout the library, I am now a full-time cataloger. This means that I am primarily involved in adding lots of new materials to the collection, as well as managing the existing items in the collection — adult fiction, movies and audiobooks, magazines, teen items, graphic novels, and more. It also means I have the pleasure of seeing all the new items as they come in. Unfortunately, finding the time to actually read all those books is another challenge entirely. 


What inspired you to write this book? I’ve always had a love of fantasy novels and adventure stories. From series like “The Lord of the Rings” to movies like “Indiana Jones” or “The Mummy” franchises, that ability to step into a new world and experience an exciting story is something I keep coming back to over and over again. These were a lot of the things I read and watched growing up, and that love of stories never went away. When I started working on “Land of Outcasts,” I wanted to create one of those stories myself — fantastical and strange landscapes, fun characters, dramatic adventure. I wanted a fantasy novel that would be accessible to readers who don’t have time for a 700-page epic. I wanted to write a story that reminded me of so many of the stories I love, and make it something that as many people as possible could enjoy. Then, as I played with ideas for what that might look like, my two main characters finally solidified in my mind, and things took off from there. 

“Land of Outcasts,” a novel by Joshua W. Gauthier Submitted photo

What does the story entail? “Land of Outcasts” tells the story of Eli, a mercenary gunslinger who loves stories and is tired of conflict, and his snarky battle unicorn partner, Sasha. When the story begins, they’re laying low in an immense swamp after upsetting a powerful figure back where they came from. While they’re hiding out, they meet a woman who hires them to help her find her father, who has been missing for years. Taking the job means setting out deeper into the swamp, unprepared for the natural dangers, strange creatures, and swarms of insects — or the secrets they will uncover along the way. 

Is it a coincidence that you’re a writer who works at a library? It is not a coincidence, exactly. I was looking for part-time work while earning my MFA (master of fine arts degree) in creative writing, and an opening at the library seemed like a good fit. It wasn’t necessarily where I had expected to be, but I quickly realized that writers and librarians are kindred spirits in a lot of way — and being around books all day didn’t hurt. The more time I spent in libraries, the more it felt like the right place to be, both as a writer and a lover of books in general. Art and the stories we tell are such important things, and I love being able to do this for my day job in addition to working on novels. Beyond that, libraries play a vital role in the local community, so doing something I love while contributing to an area I’ve lived in for many years now is truly an exciting thing. 

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? I’ve always been drawn to good stories and imagination, but it was around junior high/high school when I first started putting stories down on the page. As soon as I realized this was something I enjoyed doing — and that other people seemed to enjoy those stories as well — things ran from there. Ever since, I’ve worked across a wide variety of fiction genres while also branching out into playwriting. It’s been delightful to this point, and I’ve barely scratched the surface of the stories I hope to tell. 

What’s next and where can we find out more? I’ve got a couple other projects in the works, and I’m also hard at work on the sequel to “Land of Outcasts.” It doesn’t have a title yet, but it’s been a huge amount of fun to return to these characters and send them off on a brand new adventure. For those who are interested, my website is I also share updates on Facebook as Josh Gauthier, Author, as well as various other social media platforms under @JG_writer. 

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