Mayor referenced the use of the bicycle as compared to writing.
"How many of you didn't crash the first time you rode that bicycle?"
No hands went up.
"Yes, it takes practice. I wrote six turkeys before getting published. At least I asked what I needed to do to improve my craft," he said
When asked his favorite book, Mayor said, "That would be my next book, which is up here in my head."
Mayor's advice included the following:
•Avoid stopping at the end of a chapter.
•Leave open-ended sentences so that when you go back to it, you can keep the flow going.
•Never give up your full-time job since the odds are against you.
Fascinating for most was that Mayor lived in Europe and Argentina most of his life and still does not understand our English language.
He asked students-"Can you please tell me what an adverb is? I have no clue. That's why I have five different editors."
Mayor lived in 30 different places since his father, who died at age 99, had the family moving around a lot.
"My dad said, 'Never quit, always get fired.'"
In 1988 Mayor had three books published, two history books and one novel.
"I quit my job not taking my father's advice," he said.
Old-fashioned curiosity and nosiness involved Mayor involved in forensics. "I wanted to know why do we do what we do to each other."
The question of "CSI" and "NCIS" television shows popped up; Mayor said that although he does not get to watch much T.V., he loves "CSI Las Vegas". He agreed that "NCIS" was more true to life.
At Yale Mayor majored in U.S. history so that he could learn about Americans and why people did not care for them in the other countries he had lived in.