OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — A writer’s favorite job might just be signing their name to a published work, which explains why John Dwyer’s didn’t feel tired at all signing copies of a finished project that took 17 years of his life to complete.
“Courage or stupidity,” chuckles Dwyer. “I’m still trying to figure out if being a writer is a blessing or a curse.”
His first volume of ‘The Oklahomans’ came out in 2018.
An even larger work, covering Oklahoma history from statehood to 2020 opened to a big party at the History Center, and to ringing endorsements from fellow historians like retired History Center Director Bob Blackburn.
Of Dwyer’s ambitious works, he said, “Those are the kinds of books you go back to and re-read, and underline. And you say I love the way that story was told.”
Dwyer started out as a journalist, then a novelist, but always with a heavy concentration on history.
“My name might be on that book,” he insists, “But I’m a scribe, and all I’ve done is tell the story of what a bunch of other people have done.”
As any writer, and most people in the audience, could attest, getting the big picture right, on any subject matter, is especially difficult.
It took him two big volumes, but Oklahoma bookseller Mart Greet, founder of Mardels stores, says he nailed it in the first paragraph.
Quoting from the introduction of “The Oklahomans: Volume 1, Green reads, “The Sooner state has always been the land of hope for the second, or third, or, sometimes last chance people from other places.”
Some of the gathered on this evening were mentioned in ‘The Oklahomans: Volume 2’.
Others came to support a project that promises to be a reference, good or bad, for generations to come.
Dwyer himself, says his big story was always worth the telling.
“Not just for what they did but for why they did it,” he says.
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