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Keeping up with Archer Mayor

Mayor likes the carpenter metaphor.

"I'm like a craftsman. I burn through the mechanical process. It's an art, and art just happens. You enter the daydream-like state with a character and dialogue. I have a quirky sense of humor when I come up with my titles, and I want to show people working together that there is a purpose with my stories, as well as morals, which are not necessarily known when I begin.

"Every book stands on its own. I really do not know what it's like to read my books. Criminals do different things-for example, cocaine is found in a cop's aftershave, and forensic toxicologists have questioned this."

Mayor, with a history degree, began his career working two and a half years for a wealthy Texas family involved with oil and forestry. Their story embodied American history and led him to writing his first Joe Gunther book, "Open Season." He is now up to his twentieth in the series.

As many authors, Mayor is disciplined working a 14-month cycle; and because of his background, he brings out the history of his characters.

Mayor shared, "I was the youngest of six kids with bedlam and mayhem at home. I had to become a storyteller."

"My father, who died at 89, had us moving around a lot," said Mayor, "We lived in 30 different places since dad got fired a lot. My dad said, 'Never quit, always get fired.'"

While moving about so much, Mayor shared that he carried his imagination along. "You told stories to wow the socks off people and play it out before any fact checking was done."

This caught up with him while at the governor's mansion where he met five groups of people whom he told five different stories. It wasn't until that Christmas morning that his charade had been discovered as the others talked and learned about Mayor being a surgeon, lawyer, and so on.

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