Friday, April 14, 2023

Interview with Author Albert Waitt


Albert Waitt is a writer based in Kennebunkport, Maine. The Ruins of Woodman’s Village, the first in a mystery series featuring tourist town Police Chief L.T. Nichols, was released by Level Best Books in March 2023.  Waitt’s first novel,  Summer to Fall, was published in 2013 by Barrel Fire Press. His short fiction has appeared in The Literary Review, Third Coast, The Beloit Fiction Journal, Words and Images, Stymie: A journal of sport and literature, and other publications. Waitt is a graduate of Bates College and the Creative Writing Program at Boston University. Experiences ranging from slinging drinks, teaching creative writing, playing guitar for the Syphlloids, and frying clams can be found bleeding through his work.

Question: What is the title and genre of your novel?  Why did you select them?

The Ruins of Woodman’s Village is a mystery set in a small tourist town on the Maine coast in 1986, based on the famous Kennebunkport.  I’ve always enjoyed crime fiction, starting with Encyclopedia Brown in elementary school and graduating to Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett as an adult.  When I started writing, I was focused on “literary” fiction. But I found that many of my stories had some sort of crime as a main element.  It was a natural progression to write a crime novel.  

The title came easy:  There’s a backwoods outpost in the fictional town of Laurel, Maine known as Woodman’s Village.  It’s a rough place and central to the book. 

Question:   What inspired this novel? How did it come about? 

I worked as a bartender for years to support my family—and my writing habit.  I had some regular customers tell me a story over the bar one Monday night.  While it in no way resembles this novel, hearing that story started me down the road to what became The Ruins of Woodman’s Village. 

Question:  Could you tell us a little bit about the heroine and/or hero of your novel?

Police Chief Tim Nichols is known as LT, for Little Timmy, a nickname he picked up in grade school.  While many heroes possess extraordinary qualities, LT is an everyman, like so many of us. His distinguishing characteristic is his unflinching pursuit of doing the right thing.  The case he faces in Ruins, involving two missing teenage sisters, challenges him to evolve beyond patrolling beaches and glad-handling tourists.  While at times he fears he is in over his head, he refuses to give up.  It is a perilous and heroic journey.         

Question:   Can you tell us about some of your other published novels or work? 

My first novel, Summer to Fall, was published in 2013.  It’s also set on the Maine coast, and its main character is a beleaguered young carpenter who attempts to turn a dilapidated bait shed into a fine dining restaurant for his trust-fund fed girlfriend and her bartender ex-boyfriend.  I’ve also published a number of short stories, whose subjects range from a rock and roll band to a dissatisfied chef to a high school quarterback. 

Question:   What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on a revision of the next book in the LT Nichols series.  I’m also kicking around a new concept, a down and out mechanic who accidentally starts taking on private eye-type side jobs.

Question:   What made you start writing? 

I’ve always been a reader and enjoyed writing, as well.  While living in Boston and playing in a punk band, I started working on some fiction. I could see I didn’t know what I was doing, and a writer friend recommended taking writing classes at Harvard Extension.  I found a mentor there in Tom Bailey (author of several novels and On Writing Short Stories) and that eventually led to the Masters in Creative Writing program at Boston University.  Once I started learning the craft, I went all in.

Question:   What advice would you offer to those who are currently writing novels?

Be patient and persevere.  Learn as much as you can.  Read the good stuff and learn from it.  There are some great books out there on writing.  The Art of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri is my favorite, along with The Elements of Style.   And one more thing—don’t beat yourself up if you make mistakes or go down some wrong alleys.  I’ve thrown out hundreds of pages, but sometimes that’s what it takes to get to the good stuff.

Question:  Where and when will readers be able to obtain your novel?

The Ruins of Woodman’s Village is out now, available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and bookstores everywhere. 

Comments for Albert are welcome here!


  1. So nice to meet a "new" mystery writer, and, having been to Kennebunkport, I can imagine what a beautiful setting LT has to work in.

  2. Thank you, Saralyn. The fictional town of Laurel is practically a character in the novel. I hope you get a chance to check it out.

  3. Great interview! Just finished the book and highly recommend it - great storytelling and characters.

  4. Great interview. I always enjoy hearing about fellow writers and their work. Good luck with your book.

  5. Thank you for a great interview! I enjoyed learning about Albert and his work. I look forward to reading his new novel. I love mysteries, and I love Maine, so it sounds perfect for me.

    1. Thank you for visiting and reading the blog. Your support and those of other commentators is much appreciated.