Vermont mystery author Archer Mayor enjoyed an intimate evening with guests at the cozy Terry Lodge located on Isle La Motte. It was a perfect moment for several Mayor fans-myself included-to observe the creative mind behind some of the best written detective fiction in the genre.
How did Mayor end up on a secluded island near the north end of Lake Champlain?
Well, it all began with his connection with Dr. Eric Buel, director of the Vermont forensic laboratory, who had been frequenting the quaint island lodge for years. Buel believed the lodge would make an gathering place for Mayor's select fans to meet and discuss the mysery novel and the writing craft.
Mayor mingled with lodge guests during and after a delicious dinner.
The author began the conversation by noting that he is not totally comfortable with public speaking. That fact didn't seem to matter; his relaxed candor and interaction with the audience naturally produced an evening of engaging conversation.
"It's all about ignorance and curiosity-I want to learn about what I write," said Mayor. "I do a lot of research with Eric. He is the real celebrity here, not just a scientist. He's the spaceman and wants to bust cases quicker than ever."
According to Mayor, Buel has become the new character David Hawk, which many readers will discover in reading the continuation of the popular series.
Buel and Mayor share ideas, and somehow Mayor makes the reality of the science through research come through his fictional plot.
"Having a tape recorder around scientists makes them nervous," said Mayor. "I do intensive research and get it clear in my head, but I just write with no idea how it will turn out. The nuts and bolts can't be shown. I'm like a closet air traffic controller and a huge editor since I started as one. I also use Nancy Aichele, my significant other, to bounce things off."