Gunther-Gram March 2009

The Official Archer Mayor Newsletter

At Last!

For all of you who had no idea what you might have committed yourselves to by signing up for my email list (and then wondered forever what might happen next,) this is the answer.

As the year unfolds, I hope to let you know–on a quirky, occasional basis–what’s going on with Joe Gunther, his pals, and his creator and to get your reactions, comments, and advice as I try to expand the horizons of a series you have all so taken to heart.

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I’m probably breaking the rules here–in which case, Mea Culpa, St. Martin’s Press–but they sent me this sample cover art of this Fall’s entry, and I couldn’t resist sharing it with you.

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The Purpose of the Gunther-Gram:

For a long time, fans of Joe Gunther have been helping me with all sorts of recommendations for how to stay above water and keep these books coming.

As many of you know, while St. Martin’s Press is doing a nifty job of getting my latest titles into stores, their predecessors put the first 12 books of the series out of print.

That is why I took out some loans, mortgaged my house, and created my own publishing company, AMPress.

The books are available again (see my web site for details.) The sharp-eyed among you, however, will have noticed that there’s still one title missing: St Albans Fire. It is in the works to be re-issued. I promise to keep you posted as the year progresses!

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The News

First of all, thank you for your interest in joining this newsletter–we already receive so much email as it is. Here, though, you can at least get some revenge–consider these a two-way street, and feel free to weigh in with whatever’s on your mind about Joe, me, the series, AMPress, etc. “Letters to the Editor” are WELCOME! I have no clue how often I’ll be reaching out to you–in part, your responses will dictate that and the Gunther-Gram contents. But let’s all see what happens. We’ll figure it out together!

As you deduced (there’s a word!) from the picture up top, THE PRICE OF MALICE (Number 20 in the series) is now officially in the pipeline. It will appear this Fall, along with the paperback version of THE CATCH (and, I’m hoping, the AMPress edition of ST. ALBANS FIRE.)

A little about MALICE (or should we use the initials TPOM? Naaah)–In case some of you were ready to lynch me at the end of THE CATCH–because of the way I left Joe and his new lady-love, Lyn, dangling–I hope MALICE will get me a reprieve.

The manuscript is over 400 pages long and tells two stories: one about the murder of a true low-life in Brattleboro (YES! A lot of this takes place on the old home turf,) while the other brings us back to Maine, to find out what happened to Lyn’s family.

Needless to say, Joe’s job is to stay in Vermont and get to work. But his heart will be telling him to play hookey and help Lyn in Maine. You think Willy will have a few things to say about his absentee boss? Willy??? Well, maybe a comment, now and then. So far, the few people who have read the book have given it two thumbs up. (Just so you know, those privileged few are hand-picked editor-types and friends of mine, whose opinions I’ve grown to respect over the years. Think of them as your surrogates, before the book is “put into the box.”

NEWSFLASH–If any of you reside in New Hampshire, Vermont, or Maine, and subscribe to AAA, and get their free Northern New England Journey magazine, pause to enjoy the cover article about motorcycling across New England (March/April issue.) That’s Nancy and me on the bikes, careening along at almost 25 mph! (We didn’t want the photographer to hurt himself, sticking his head out the car window…)

Okay, I better leave it there for the moment. I don’t want to ramble on for too long. A) I don’t want to bore anyone with newsletters too wordy to plow through, and B) I don’t want to unload everything I’ve got to say, all at once. (Although, some of you have heard me speak in person, and know how I can go on, and on, and on, and…)

I do have a favor to ask of you before I go. As already implied, Joe Gunther’s fate is as much in your hands as mine. Although critics have long loved the series, sales have been less than hysterical. I am wondering if each of you, who have faithfully and enthusiastically supported me for so many years, could do what you can in some of the following ways:

A few ways to bring Joe Gunther wider notice:

  • Spread the word about this newsletter.
  • Let people know of my availability as a guest speaker. Schools, libraries, businesses, companies, conferences, etc, are always looking for ways to inform and entertain folks. I charge a fee to support AMPress and keep Joe alive, but I’ve been told that I put on a worthwhile show.
  • Encourage people to order AMPress books through the web site or their independent bookstore.
  • Contact unconventional outlets for the AMPress titles and see if they’d like to sell books to their customers–car dealers, banks, museums, stores (in addition to bookstores) and the like. You never know, they may find it a novel idea! (ouch)
  • Tell your local media about me, my story, and my background and urge them to write a review, a feature piece, or to call me on the phone for a chat.

In short,
Create BUZZ!!!

Thanks, and talk to you again soon.

Archer