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Buffalo author to speak at Drop Hammer reading series

Author Stephen G. Eoannou holds a copy of his novel, Yesteryear

We all know the Lone Ranger, one of the iconic characters in American Literature. But did you know the mastermind behind the character was from right here in Buffalo?

Stephen G. Eoannou is the author of the recently published Yesteryear, which tells the story of Buffalonian Fran Striker, the creator of the Lone Ranger character. He will be a guest speaker at the Drop Hammer reading series on October 26th.

The story of Striker was unknown even to Eoannou until he was at a local bar, when someone mentioned that the creator of the Lone Ranger was from Buffalo. He couldn’t believe it, saying “Absolutely not! I would’ve heard about it, right? Buffalo-based writer. Buffalo’s a very good town about promoting its creative people.”

But sure enough, after a quick google search, that stranger was proven right, and Eoannou had his inspiration.

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“When I read that, it seemed like a Buffalo story to me. It was wide right. It was no goal. It was ‘I sold the lone ranger for ten bucks,’” Eoannou chuckled while revealing how he got hooked on Striker’s story. “Its really nice to bring a Buffalo story that’s kinda gotten forgotten or overlooked and bring that back into the conversation.”

On the topic of Buffalo, Eoannou discussed the city’s rich history and how that aided in his writing. “I want to explore this city, and the stories it has and the ghosts it has. It’s something that really stimulates me creatively. And there’s so many of the old buildings still left that if I read about something that happened at the Hotel Lafayette … I can just go down there and sit in the lobby, or I could sit at the bar and take notes and get the vibe. Or sit in front of Striker’s house on Granger Street and start doing that sort of pre-writing, daydreaming work.”

“A lot of colorful characters have populated Buffalo since the beginning. And it’s really kind of overlooked, I think, in terms of literary fodder,” he continued.

The 1930s setting provided a wealth of inspiration. From mob bosses to smugglers, even President Franklin Delano Roosevelt makes an appearance. “With this book, I wanted to do something big. … Let me take this story about the man who wrote the Lone Ranger and make how he came up with the idea a mythical adventure. … I populated this novel with my imagination of what these real life people would be like and how they would interact,” said Eoannou of his approach.

Eoannou is excited to speak at Buffalo State finally, after two previous cancellations due to weather and COVID restrictions.

For more information on the Drop Hammer reading series, visit or contact the English department.

For more information on the author, visit his website at

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