Matt Cost is the author of the new novel Mainely Power. His other books include the novel I Am Cuba. A former history teacher and coach, he lives in Brunswick, Maine.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for Mainely Power, and for your character Goff Langdon?
A: I wrote the first draft of Mainely Power years ago when nuclear power plants dotted the landscape of the U.S. and I wondered what would happen if one of them was the target of a terrorist attack. This idea morphed into a more subtle and layered issue that I think works well on several levels.
I actually owned a mystery bookstore in Brunswick, Maine. I was not a private detective, and Goff Langdon is not me, but he certainly has some of my characteristics, as well as some that I strive for. To make him a more nuanced character, I gave him some loveable failings in life.
Q: This is the first installment of a trilogy--did you plan from the start to write three books about Goff Langdon?
A: There was no original plan to write three books. As a matter of fact, the second book takes place almost 20 years ago, and that was where the series was for the time being. The third book was written last year, giving a time lag of two decades. In the third installment, you will find Langdon, Chabal, and gang entered into middle age. I think the possibility certainly exists that there will be more Goff Langdon books if the demand exists.
Q: How important is setting to you in your writing?
A: I believe that writing about the Maine that I know so well is a large part of my writing, to go along with colorful characters and fast-driven plots. Reading is about being transported to different worlds, and the coast of Maine is an exotic location for so many, enough so that our state moniker is “Vacationland.”
Q: What do you hope readers take away from this novel?
A: Mainely Power is about meeting a cast of characters that I hope the reader will enjoy and take into their fold as well as getting a taste of the state of Maine. This is all woven together into an entertaining plot where nothing is as ever as it seems and keeps the reader guessing until the very end.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I am currently working on a new series set in a fictional town of Port Essex, Maine. The protagonist is a former Boston homicide detective turned PI. The first one will focus on a heroin smuggling ring, the second on cults, and the third on genetic engineering.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: The second in the Goff Langdon Mainely Mystery series, Mainely Fear, comes out Dec. 4 of this year, and the third, Mainely Money, comes out May 7, 2021.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb. Here's a previous Q&A with Matt Cost.