Born on July 30, 1950, on a farm in New York, Archer Huntington Mayor traveled widely in his youth and amassed a breadth of experience that has served him well as a writer. Mayor has stated that before the age of thirty, he never lived for more than four years in the same locale. In 1980 he came to live in Vermont and in 1982 moved near Brattleboro, the town that would provide the setting for most of the novels in the Joe Gunther series. He later moved to Newfane, Vermont. Mayor has stated that moving from place to place gave him a sociologist’s ability to “read” a place or situation quickly and go about fitting in; this ability surely came in handy when he returned to the United States for college after having been raised largely abroad, and it is an ability his protagonist, Joe Gunther, has in abundance.
Mayor held a variety of jobs before becoming a full-time novelist. He studied history at Yale and is the author of at least one nonfictional historical work published by an academic press: Southern Timberman: The Legacy of William Buchanan (1988). He has stated that in addition to writing history, he worked as a scholarly editor, a political advance man, a theater photographer, a newspaper writer and editor, a lab technician, and a medical illustrator. He also made several attempts at writing novels, which he later dismissed as “typing.”
From this wide range of formative experiences, Mayor gained skills that would serve...
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