Gunther-Gram June 2009

The Official Archer Mayor Newsletter

Deep in thought…

Okay, so maybe I’m dealing with writer’s block. Or taking a reeeaaallly long blink between ideas… Naaah. This is actually how I write (on occasion.) What with all the rain we’ve been getting in New England, I seized a fourteen-minute opportunity to race out into the back yard and grab a little sun — and get started on Book #21 — and then promptly fell asleep. Nancy, of course, was lurking at the window with her ever-ready camera. Busted! You’ll all be glad to know (I hope) that I have progressed since this moment, and am already into Chapter Four of what I’m tentatively calling (that’s for my editor — Hi Keith!) RED HERRING, mostly because it deals a lot with misdirection and blood analysis. Actually, Nancy thought of it, and I think it’s perfect, but we’ll see in early 2010, when I hand in the manuscript.


July Calendar Events

Things are a little quiet this month, since I want to play ‘possum and get in as much writing as I can. On the other hand, the “Appearances” calendar is picking up speed for THE PRICE OF MALICE’s arrival in September, so be sure to check out my web site. One thing I will be doing in July is contacting LOTS of stores and libraries to set up dates for the Fall, so keep tuned.

On July 17th, I’ll be chatting with folks in Warren, VT at the Public Library, at 7pm, as part of the VT Festival of the Arts – Mystery Series. Call them at 802-496-3913 for details if interested.

July 28th sees me in Burlington, VT at the 2nd annual Green Mountain DNA Conference, where I’ll be a guest speaker during lunch. This is a terrific event, especially for me, given how many friends I’ve developed who will be there and who’ve helped me with my research over the years.


The News

Now THIS is news. This startled young man, who is clearly rethinking his selection of older relatives, is my brand new grandson, Dominic. Nancy and I traveled down to Texas to welcome him and congratulate his parents, and discovered, thanks to my son, Jonathon, that we not only have a new family member, but the spitting image of the famous literary figure, Harold, known the world over for his adventures in Harold and the Purple Crayon. Check this out and see if Jonathon hasn’t put his finger right on it (and my thanks to Crockett Johnson) …

So here’s a request from the doting father, now new in the family way (and about to discover how to go broke fast): If any of you Hollywood types are seeking someone to perfectly impersonate Harold in your new movie… Well, you get the idea.


Letters to the Editor:

I receive a fair number of letters from month-to-month, some of which I’ve shared with you in the past. This time, however, I’ll like to change my approach slightly. I entered into a truly wonderful, if brief, correspondence with a fellow named Edward who was in search of a little writerly advice. His emails to me ran as follows:

I love your books so much!!! i esp. love reading a book of yours and then the next day passing by it when i’m in Bratt. i may be very young, but i have been trying to write stories for very, very long! i was hoping for some insight. yah know. well, i hope to meet you sometime.

(I wrote back, saying that I’d be happy to meet with him and give him whatever advice I could. I also asked him questions about where and when this should happen, and what time he got off from work…)

Its me Edward. you wrote to me recently. okay i guess i didn’t make this very clear. i am still a kid. i’m only twelve. of course please…. don’t think that i’m one of those hyper kids. i love your books and i think it would be great to meet you. i just want to talk and maybe ask a few questions. sorry you got the impression i was an adult. wasn’t ment.

(Surprised but still happy to oblige, I adjusted my approach, and got him to enlist his mother’s help in getting him to where we could meet. During that exchange, he wrote me the following:)

i read Borderlines. it was good, but i liked The Ragman’s Memory more. by the way you are seriously good at making guys scratch their heads.

(We finally all got together, and Edward pumped me for whatever he was after as a budding writer. Approximately one day later, Brattleboro experienced one of its very rare homicides, which stimulated Edward to send me his last-to date-missive.)

I just wanted to thank you again and say that i was pretty wierded that there really was a murder in Brattleboro. i thought (as you know) that nothing ever happens in Bratt. but i guess not.

All the best to you, Edward. May you bring such enthusiasm to everything you do, and may the world remain a constant wonder.


Other Stuff:

The GET-YOUR-NAME-IN-A-BOOK contest is about to be revived. The deadline for the last one will have all but arrived by the time you get this newsletter, so I’ll be putting up another on the web site while at the same time announcing the winner. So, stay tuned for that.

The free VBI bumper stickers are going like hotcakes. Read the instructions under the contest box and place your orders.

And yes, my daughter Scout has contributed a third Joe Gunther crossword puzzle. Be sure to let me know how you’re enjoying these (or not.) Also, feel free to join in. All you need to do is send me a list of some 15 to 20 series-related clues with their answers, and I’ll be happy to post your puzzle in the Gunther-Gram, with credit!

Oh! I got so distracted by Dominic’s arrival that I almost forgot to mention — an excerpt of THE PRICE OF MALICE has been posted on my web site, along with a descriptive paragraph outlining the plot. Enjoy


Last but Never Least:

One of the many things that I do to make ends meet, between police work, medical examiner jobs, and writing, is to give talks. I go to libraries, schools, and businesses and discuss all of the above, most often in a relaxed, laughter-filled, question & answer format that I hope will supply my audiences with both information and memories of a fun time.

What I’m hoping you’ll do, if you’re so inclined, is to share your enthusiasm for Joe and the gang, and tell your own local libraries, schools and other appropriate venues of my availability. Just tell them to contact me through and I’ll take it from there.

Much appreciated, as always. Thanks for supporting AMPress books, my web site and/or these newsletters, and…

thanks for spreading the BUZZ!!!

Enjoy the summer. Smell the flowers. Remember to have some fun.