Resident of London, Ontario, youngest of five siblings, and lover of all things horror. He has been writing stories – namely ghost stories – since he was a child and was allowed to write about whatever he wanted during ‘journal time’. All throughout high school and university, Joaquin wrote countless short stories with the hopes of improving his craft until he would one day be skilled enough to try tackling a full-length novel. With the help of his wife who introduced him to authors like Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan, Rick Riordan, Gillian Flynn and countless others, he became an avid reader and researched different genres to help him build his craft.
After reading and writing many stories, he chose horror and thrillers as his main focus for writing. The reason being that Joaquin grew up with a crippling fear of the dark and ghosts and yet ironically that spawned an obsession with the very things that terrify him. His introduction to horror was gradual as he started by watching TV shows like ‘Are you Afraid of the Dark’ and ‘Goosebumps’ before graduating to every slasher series that ever existed (Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Child’s Play, Scream, Texas Chainsaw Massacre) before moving onto the more classic tales of horror that relied on the psychological element (Psycho, IT, Exorcist, Poltergeist, Amityville Horror). Since then he has read as many horror authors as he can get his hands on, old and new, and before beginning to actively pursue writing, maintained a horror focused blog.
He hopes to continue writing to reach his dream of one day being considered one of the great horror authors of his time. While he can speak vividly about what it was like reading Stephen King, he hopes that one day a future author can speak vividly about what it was like reading Joaquin Barrientos.
WHY I WRITE
For me, there is no greater joy in life than being able to sit down and captivate an audience with a really good story. Whether it be around the campfire or sitting around with drinks at a party, having an audience hang on to your every word while you tell them a story they will never forget is one of the most satisfying things in this world. Some of these stories are stories that you have practiced countless times - you’ve retold them endlessly and learned when to put the emphasis on certain details, when to introduce characters and when to take your dramatic pauses. You know which parts the audience will be most captivated by and which sections to skip over to avoid losing the listener. Because a good story by itself cannot survive, what you need for a good story to reach the heights that it deserves is a quality storyteller.
That in and of itself has been my goal since I was a child. I wanted to write stories that people would enjoy, stories that would keep a reader hooked and guessing until the very last page. But I knew that in order to do this, I wouldn’t be able to rely solely on a good story to carry me through. I needed to work on my ability to tell a story and keep audiences engaged. I needed to know how to deliver the information in a way that kept audiences wanting to read more about my characters or the worlds that I built.
Through studying Stephen King, Joe Hill, Nick Cutter, Rick Riordan, Agatha Christie, Anne Rice, Ian McEwan, and Chuck Palahniuk, I found inspiration in how to develop my voice, writing style and learned what type of stories I wanted to tell. The stories I found most captivating in all of my studying, research and general life experiences were those heard around the campfire.
Whenever I found myself sitting with a group around the fire, the thing I looked forward to most was when someone would say:
Does anyone know any good ghost stories?
This question was always met with silence for a few brief moments as everyone searched their memories for what they believed was the most terrifying story they had ever heard. Whether it was a story once told to them around a fire or perhaps something that they themselves personally experienced, I found that everyone had at least one story. But no one ever wanted to be the first person to speak, no one wanted to raise their hand and risk ridicule in case someone in the group was openly opposed to ghost stories and all things ghost-related. I myself didn’t always raise my hand as I held this same fear. If there were strangers in the group or people I was meeting for the first time then I was always afraid to tell a few of the ghost stories that had been told to me throughout the years. But once that one person agreed to tell us all a story, then the ball would get rolling and you couldn’t get us to go inside. We would spend the evening trying to top one another, seeing who could scare each other more. We would search our brains for every single terrifying experience that ever happened to us, every scary story that we had ever heard that hadn’t come from a book or movie, in the hopes that our story would terrify everyone the most.
During these moments I would find that these types of stories kept the people engaged more than any other story you could possibly tell them. We might discuss past memories, work, vacations, and some would remain engaged while others broke off to participate in their own side conversations. But when the ghost stories were introduced, everyone listened. Everyone sat silently, watching the storyteller as they waited with tension and fear to hear what happened next. And I knew that these were the stories that I wanted to tell. These were the stories that I loved hearing about most in this world, and they made me want to tell my own campfire stories. I want my stories to be told around the campfire while the flames flicker on the captive audiences faces. I want my stories to be the scariest stories someone tells when a group is trying to determine who has the scariest story amongst the group.
That is why I write. I write because I love it, I write because it’s always been my dream, but mostly I write because I want to be the storyteller at a campfire full of listeners. Everyone’s eyes on me, watching, listening to every word as I fill their heads with stories that leave them terrified.