Paul Doiron has long wanted to write novels.

But it wasn’t until he began working at Down East magazine and scouring the state for interesting real-life stories that he found the perfect hero to write about — a game warden who solves mysteries.

Doiron, 46, who grew up in Scarborough, is promoting his second novel focusing on Maine game warden Mike Bowditch, “Trespasser.” The third in the series is due out next June.

Doiron will read from and discuss his work at noon Wednesday as part of the Portland Public Library’s Brown Bag Lecture Series. He is editor-in-chief at Down East. 

Q: How did you decide to write these books?

A: I started to find all these interesting things to write about — bears killing pigs, a bear in a woman’s kitchen in Ellsworth, a bobcat attacking a hunter. All these weird stories, and they all involved game wardens. I became preoccupied with all these stories. One day, I started to write about one of the bear incidents, and it became “The Poacher’s Son” (Doiron’s first novel, published in 2010). 

Q: How did the true-life stories you heard about animals and game wardens evolve into a mystery series?

A: It happened in two different ways. I had always wanted to be a novelist, and I had tried writing short stories but was never published. I realized years later that in my 20s and 30s, I really had nothing to say. Then I got the job at Down East, with a 401(k) and a steady living arrangement, and I had no more excuses. This was my chance to write a novel.

My wife introduced me to mysteries. I had read Hardy Boys and Sherlock Holmes books, but my wife showed me contemporary mysteries, that they could be as literary as anything. Many are literary suspense, which is what I hope I’m doing.

At Down East, I found all these interesting things to write about, all involving game wardens. It’s a misconception that a game warden’s job is all about animals; it’s about people, managing people’s behaviors. There are poachers and ATV infractions and people falling through the ice.

Maine game wardens are tops in search and rescue, and they are brought in to help in lots of searches. Almost all the most notorious crimes in Maine, at some point, the game wardens are brought in to help.

I wanted to explore these ideas in a book of fiction. But the books are not a commentary on any of the personalities involved. 

Q: So your game warden hero is not based on anyone in particular?

A: He is an amalgamation of game wardens I’ve met. I write in the first person, so it reflects a lot of me, too. 

Q: As editor of a monthly magazine, when do you find time to work on the books?

A: My two jobs overlap in a lot of ways. I have license every day to think about Maine and to follow the news about anything going on.

I do a lot of my writing on the weekends, and my wife is understanding about this. She knows it’s been my lifelong dream to do this. 

Q: You’re also a Maine Guide. Does that play into your novels at all?

A: I did the Maine Guide thing entirely separately. It had been a personal goal of mine. I had intended to do a lot more guiding before I got involved with the books. 

Q: What will the third novel in the series be about?

A: It will be set in Washington County, and my game warden will be in some pretty remote places. I decided to exile him from midcoast Maine. 

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

[email protected]