Oil and Ink

From March 27, 1999 Bradford Era

While reading David Poyer’s latest  novel, “Thunder on the Mountain,” one might have difficulty deciding whether that dark liquid flowing through the author’s veins is ink or oil.

Maybe there’s some of both. Consider this revelation from an interview between Poyer and on-line bookseller Arnazon.com. “I kept a bottle of Bradford Sand crude oil on my desk and inhaled each morning before I began to write,” Poyer said. “That smell of the oil country was the scent of my youth, the smell my grandfather brought home on his clothes from Kendall  Oil,” said Poyer, who grew up in Bradford. “The book is my tribute to him and to all the workers and common people I write about in the Hemlock books,” Poyer said, adding this “is the kind of novel I have been trying to write since I began the Hemlock County series 14 years ago.”

Poyer’s memories of his youth in Bradford are far from sunny. At the time, he felt people looked down on him and his family. His father returned from World War II with a severe case of shell shock, and the stigma of welfare stung Poyer, who eagerly joined the Navy after graduating from Bradford High School in 1967. In comparing the fictional Hemlock County to McKean County, Poyer said, “Hemlock County is a much darker place.  It’s not McKean County, but there are many strong similarities.”
Some of those similarities are traced in words and pictures in today’s third section of The Bradford Era.

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