Gunther-Gram May 2009

The Official Archer Mayor Newsletter

OPEN SEASON Audio Book 50% SALE !!
(See details in the “News” Section)

Not THAT Turkey!

Here’s today’s trivia quiz: Who among you can tell what high-end science lab is being pridefully occupied by this strutting tom (and lots of his cohorts?) Answer: Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island. I was down there recently doing some research, and along with an armful of good information for book #21, I was handed an inordinate number of bad turkey jokes. Turns out all the critters on this enormous campus (deer, too) are protected by their human co-residents, allowing the turkeys especially free reign. (See the News below for more details…)

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May Calendar Events

There are a couple of public events scheduled for this month.

On May 14th, I’ll be giving the keynote address at the Volunteers Dinner at Pine Heights nursing home, 187 Oak Grove Avenue, Brattleboro, Vermont, at 5pm.

May 27th sees me down in Rockport, Mass, at their public library, at 17 School Street, talking to folks at 7pm. Phone 978-546-6934 for details.

Hope to see you there!

On a less public note, I’ll also be attending a two-day training on fire death investigations in the greater Philadelphia area, keeping my other skills sharp.

I suppose it’s only fair to say, “Hope NOT to see you there!”

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The News

YES! A SALE! For one month, all copies of the audio OPEN SEASON that are published by AMPress will be available at half price. Just go to my website’s bookstore page, scroll down to “Place your orders here,” and click on “Open Season (audiobook)” The previous price of $42.95 has been slashed to $21.50 for one month only!

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Brookhaven Labs??? As most of you know by now, almost every book I’ve written began by my poking my nose where it wasn’t expected. This time, a fortuitous email arrived from an old friend, telling me of the wonders of this research facility and asking if Joe Gunther might find the place and its offerings interesting. And how! It turns out that mixed in with such highbrow projects as discovering the Universe’s origins, there is lots of digging going on concerning DNA, blood analysis, and other subjects that a cop like Joe might find very handy — especially in the book I’m currently constructing in my head.

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Many of you kindly contacted me about the article featuring Nancy and me riding our motorcycles across Northern New England (she’s the one with the red striping on her safety vest — hard to tell, huh?) This magazine is published by AAA and distributed free to its members, but I thought it might be entertaining for the rest of you to see us in action. That was one fun trip. By the way, for those of you who share our passion for motorcycling, we actually don’t ride side-by-side, finding it far too risky. But the photographer asked for a tight fit for the cover shot, and we were willing accomplices…. Ah, slaves to publicity (and yup — one reader gave us a lashing for displaying unsafe practices.)

Speaking of letters…

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Letters to the Editor:

“OK, your explanation about the picture of you and Scout… You should have written: ‘asked my daughter, Scout, and ME to pose…’ not ‘I.’ Right???”

Fair to say that I caught hell (or heck) this month! Yes, yes, yes! I committed a sin I abhor in others, which should be a reminder to all of the perils of pride. I did indeed use “I” where I should have employed “me” when I wrote the caption to that old photo of my daughter and ME in last month’s Gunther-Gram. Mea Culpa.

“I have read some of the Joe Gunther stories, but oh, me!! The language!!. I think I could cross out every foul word and still enjoy the story. The plot keeps my interest, but not the language. I find it difficult to find good reading any more.”

I thanked this writer for her willingness to stick with me, explaining that I did try to walk a line between the reality of the world I describe in my novels, and the one we would all most likely choose to inhabit. She was kind enough to say that — while wincing — she would continue reading, albeit only the tomes with the least offensive vernacular.

“Your books are better than your crossword puzzles. I’ll stick with Will Shortz and Merl Reagle. You should stick with Joe.”

Ouch. Well, I will stick with Joe, ’cause I know I’m no puzzle wizard, but I’ll not only continue with the crosswords — because I consider them harmless fun — but I’ll issue a plea for help: Would all of you like to join? I clearly need help. All you have to do is create a list of 15 to 20 series-related questions (and their answers,) and send them to me. I’ll do the rest, and if I use your puzzle, I’ll make sure you get all the credit.

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Other Stuff:

The GET-YOUR-NAME-IN-A-BOOK contest is still alive and well. Go here on the home page for details. With any luck, you too can become a bad guy, a good guy, or a dead guy!

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

And yes, a second Joe Gunther crossword puzzle is up and running (click on Puzzler #2.) I added to the challenge level a bit this time. But remember: Don’t get mad, get even — by sending me your own Joe-centric puzzle.
And Finally:

We all know the economy is reeling and everyone’s guarding their wallets. Hard to argue with that kind of reality. The ancient adage has it that in tough times, people turn to reading for solace and entertainment. If that’s true, then I’ll keep writing, even with my fingers crossed.

In the meantime, don’t shy away from telling people about the AMPress books, Joe Gunther and his pals, or sharing my web site and/or newsletters. And don’t forget to tell your local libraries, schools, and businesses about my availability as a guest speaker.

In short….

Spread the BUZZ!!!

Take it easy. Many thanks. See you next month.

Archer