Tom Gauthier Published Grad

Tom Gauthier

Published Work: A Voyage Beyond Reason

Tom is a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature and the Institute for Writers. View Course Catalog >


Welcome to the Winners’ Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL and IFW published graduates. Today we are celebrating Tom Gauthier! Tom is a graduate of the ICL Writing for Children and Teens writing course, the IFW Breaking Into Print writing course, and the IFW  Shape, Write, and Sell Your Novel advanced course. Let’s learn more about his book A Voyage Beyond Reason.

What are the names of your books?

A Voyage Beyond Reason by Tom Gauthier(AMOS MEAD ADVENTURES NOVELS)
Code Name: ORION’S EYE
DIE LISTE Revenge on the Black Sun


PUMPKINS TO HOLLY an anthology


These books have been published by various houses:
Patriot Media Inc., Florida
Outskirts Press, Colorado
Tomar Associates, Nevada
All are marketed through KDP publishing.

Give us a short summary of your work.

I’ve selected the book that earned my Writers Digest International Self-Published Award, was accepted to the Library of Congress, and has sold nearly 2,000 copies. A VOYAGE BEYOND REASON.

He Dared to Dream an Impossible Dream.
He Risked Body and Soul to make it Real on A VOYAGE BEYOND REASON.
In 1996, twenty-four-year-old Benjamin Wade sets out on a solo voyage in a tiny sea kayak. His goal lies 6,000 miles away—and deep within his own soul.

The chance discovery of his journals, buried on a Colombian cliff above the sea, uncovers a mystery that took many years to finally solve. His journals tell of misery and elation, of triumph and failure, of insight and insanity.

Does the man make the journey, or does the journey make the man? Follow the tiny kayak and follow the mind of a young man set on a goal that no amount of torture can dissuade him from reaching, on a journey that brings him face to face with himself.

Tell us a bit about your path to publishing, from idea to to submission to publication.

From friends in the publishing business, I was advised early to pursue self-publishing alongside the many submissions to traditional sources. Thus, my early works were published through Outskirts Press, Colorado. Then serendipity arose … I was doing a radio interview on a Florida station about my novel “MEAD’S TREK”. It was the 2nd in a series (after “Code Name: ORION’S EYE”) in the Amos Mead series. The radio host had read the book and praised it. He told me he had given it to a friend who was president of Patriot Media, Inc., Florida. Short story, I received a call from PM and signed a 5 year publishing contract.

More books followed. I became friends with the president as we found that we’d both served in Army Intelligence at Ft Meade about the same time. My relationship lasted until he passed away recently. Along the way, I co-hosted a blog talk radio show with the publisher, “Military Authors Radio”. She in Florida, me in California, taking calls from as far away as China.

Having learned greatly about publishing, and beginning to produce more works than their schedule allowed, I began to publish on my own, finally starting a small company. Marketing through KDP (Amazon) has been very successful with sales from the USA, Canada, Australia, and Great Britain.

My book A VOYAGE BEYOND REASON was featured … [on the] CBS finale of SURVIVOR Tocantins where…the protagonist, Ben Wade, was a star on the TV show

How long have you been writing?

My career required publishing professional papers and writing speeches, and journals. However, my serious writing began in the late 1990s when I decided to join the Longridge Writing Group [now Institute for Writers]. Going on 25 years.

Tom GauthierWhat’s your favorite genre to write and why?

Historical Fiction

Which ICL or IFW courses have you taken?

Writing for Children and Teens

Breaking into Print

Shape, Write, and Sell Your Novel

How has taking our courses helped your writing and/or career?

I can’t say enough about Kris Franklin as a teacher and mentor turned friend. Staying in touch with him until COVID-19, sharing experiences et al has been valuable.

FYI – My “failure” in learning to write for children was my inability to stay below the age group I was writing for. “You can’t write something beyond their experience.” I have become a favorite short story writer among my many great-grandchildren since….

Have any of your class assignments been published?

“Code Name: ORION’S EYE” was completed in 2010 and is now in its third edition, 2017, ISBN 978-1542934558. Published by Tomar Associates, marketed through KDP. It began as the final assignment with Kris Franklin in the Shape, Write, and Sell Your Novel course.

Do you have a favorite writing tip you’d like to share?
Yes. When writing action/adventure or similar genre, write about four chapters … then move chapter three up to become chapter one!

Writers have a tendency to “explain”, “introduce”, and “background”, when they begin their story. NO HOOK. NO GRABBING the reader’s interest … That usually comes about in chapter three. Ergo—the switch. It works!

If you could travel back in time and give yourself one piece of writing advice, what would it be?

Write for your reader. Keep your named characters to under five—give the others visual images (the tall one, the red tie …). Learn to FEEL the dramatic arc of the paragraph, that chapter, and the entire story.

Show me—don’t tell me. I, your reader, want to FEEL the story. (Sorry, more than one bit of advice … though they do seque nicely!)

Where do ideas for good stories come from?

Ideas come from a relaxed mind. One that allows images to flow, “what ifs” to tickle you, and boundaries to be discarded. Don’t judge anything until you get bored with it. Then file it and begin anew. It’s your story. Feel it.

What’s the most valuable thing you learned from your experience with the Institute of Children’s Literature and Institute for Writers?

For me, it was learning structure. The structure of first building the project—of writing detailed background and description of characters—of establishing the premise. THE BORING STUFF. Boring, but needed to begin and to guide. In every one of my seventeen books, I had no idea where or how it would end. But my “prework” gave me the track to wherever the train was going.

Tom Gauthier writes from a unique perspective on human motivation. Three decades of teaching and consulting on behavior and motivation, covering four continents in his travels, have shaped his perspectives of both a sense of place and the human condition that drive the core of his stories. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, a retired executive of a multinational corporation, and earned degrees in business management, organizational development, and a doctorate in psychology.

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