Interview with Paul Doiron, author of The Precipice
31 Aug 2015
Tell us a little bit about your new release, The Precipice.
The Precipice is the sixth in my series of crime novels about a Maine game warden named Mike Bowditch. This one takes place along the Maine stretch of the Appalachian Trail in an area called the Hundred Mile Wilderness which is the most remote section of the entire 2,200 mile long AT.
It begins when Mike’s first getaway with his new girlfriend, a wildlife biologist named Stacey Stevens, is interrupted by a phone call from his superiors. Two female thru-hikers from Georgia have disappeared in the Hundred Mile Wilderness, and the entire Warden Service is being mobilized to find them. In the previous books Mike has been a headstrong, at times reckless young man, but he is trying to get his life in order, and he throws himself into the search.
Clues lead Mike to a disturbing discovery — the young women had reported being pursued by a pack of coyotes in a manner reminiscent of a 2009 attack in Canada. When Stacey joins the search as a volunteer, the situation grows even more complicated since she is convinced that coyotes had nothing to do with the disappearance. She believes that the girls might have been murdered by another hiker or by one of the many drug dealers, poachers, and ex-cons who live near the trail.
Mike soon learns that his new girlfriend is even more headstrong and reckless than he ever was. And when Stacey herself disappears in the mountains, his quest becomes desperately personal.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Love yourself. Not in the sense a narcissist does, but as you would care for a person close to you, accepting their flaws, always urging them to do better, never giving up hope.
Have you given a tour recently for fly fishing?
These days I am so busy writing I don’t get outdoors as much as I’d like, but I really enjoy teaching people how to fly cast. There is something about the motion that can be deeply relaxing, almost in the manner of yoga, and it forces you pay close attention to your surroundings in a way that no one but artists usually do.
Who was your childhood hero?
Sherlock Holmes. I was so impressed with his powers of deduction and his mastery of disguises. It was only when i became an adult that I realized he is a bit of a sociopath.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
It was reading The Hobbit at age twelve. I put the book down with the realization that I wanted to make other people feel the same thrill I was feeling. Figuring out how to do that has been a lifelong process….
Where is your happy place?
There is a cabin on a lake deep in the Maine woods. I can’t tell you where it is exactly but it is where the idea for my first novel, The Poacher’s Son, came to me. Every time I go there I remember the excitement of realizing what it was that I was meant to write.
What’s on your writing desk?
Without question the most unusual item is the genuine coyote pelt slung along the back of my writing chair. I bought it from a store in Maine that has a sign out front advertising “Guns, Wedding Gowns, Cold Beer.”
What’s your favorite quote from The Precipice?
“For most of my life, I had confused heedlessness with heroism. Maybe the time had come to get past that.”
Do you have a favorite local bookstore we can give a shoutout to?
The independent bookstores in Maine have been such amazing champions of my work that I’d prefer not to single one out. I’d just encourage readers to drop in on their local indie before they push the order button on Amazon next time.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
I collect quotes the way some people do stamps. Here’s one by Maya Angelou that I especially like: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Paul Doiron is the author of the new book The Precipice.Buy The Book
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