John Wooley

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John Steven Wooley
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Born (1949-04-04) April 4, 1949 (age 68)
Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
Occupation Novelist, Screenwriter, Columnist, University Professor
Genre Horror fiction, Fantasy, Film noir, Science fiction, Comic books

John Steven Wooley (born April 4, 1949) is the author, co-author, or editor of more than 25 books. They include his two newest, Shot in Oklahoma, a history of made-in-Oklahoma movies for the University of Oklahoma Press that was recently named Outstanding Book on Oklahoma History for 2011 by the Oklahoma Historical Society, and a biography of horror-movie director Wes Craven, The Man and His Nightmares, for John Wiley and Sons. Other recent works include his novel Ghost Band; The Miracle Squad, a graphic novel reprinting – with the addition of new material – the comic-book series he did with artist Terry Tidwell in the 1980s; Forgotten Horrors Vol. 5: The Atom Age and Forgotten Horrors Comics & Stories, the latest volumes in his ongoing series with co-authors Michael H. Price and Jan Alan Henderson; The Home Ranch, written with famed Osage rancher John Hughes; and From the Blue Devils to Red Dirt: The Colors of Oklahoma Music, one of only three books commissioned by the Oklahoma Centennial Commission and a finalist for the 2007 Oklahoma Book Award.

Wooley's earlier horror-fantasy tale, Dark Within, was a finalist for the 2001 Oklahoma Book Award for Best Novel, and his first, Old Fears — co-written with fellow newspaper writer Ron Wolfe — was optioned by both Wes Craven and Paramount Pictures and is currently optioned by former Paramount vice-president Brian Witten. Other recent works include the Rogers State University centennial book, 100 Years on the Hill and Starmaker, written with country-music impresario Jim Halsey.

Current projects include a history of the Cain's Ballroom – the legendary Tulsa venue where Bob Wills perfected and disseminated the dancehall music that came to be known as western-swing — and the play Time Changes Everything, a story of two imaginary meetings between Oklahoma music icons Bob Wills and Woody Guthrie. Written with Thomas Conner and featuring the Red Dirt Rangers, Time Changes Everything has been staged at the Folk Alliance in Memphis, Tenn; SummerStage in Tulsa; OK Mozart in Bartlesville; and in Bristow, Muskogee, Ponca City, and Woodward, Oklahoma.

He currently serves as guest curator for the Oklahoma History Center exhibit Oklahoma@the Movies, which opened in May 2012. His duties included writing and narrating a short documentary for the exhibit that tells the story of drive-in style movies through the career of Tulsa actor John Ashley.

Wooley also penned the script for the made-for-TV movie Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective, the award-winning independent film Cafe Purgatory, and the recent documentary Bill Boyce – Money Actor, along with writing comic books (including the Plan Nine from Outer Space graphic novel), trading cards, and thousands of magazine and newspaper stories, most of them in conjunction with his work as the music and horror-movie writer for the Tulsa World, a position he held from 1983 through most of 2006. From the early '80s to 2009, he wrote well over 100 pieces for the horror-movie magazine Fangoria. He is currently a contributing editor and columnist for Oklahoma Magazine and a lecturer in the American Studies Program at Oklahoma State University's Tulsa campus, where he has taught classes on horror movies, Oklahoma music and films, and rock 'n' roll history.

He is also the producer and host of the highly rated Swing on This, Tulsa's only western-swing radio program, heard every Saturday night on NPR affiliate KWGS (89.5 FM).

Wooley was chosen to write Roy Clark's coffee-table-style tour book, celebrating his 60 years in show business, and to emcee the Will Rogers Rotary Club's "Good Ride, Cowboy" event, honoring Garth Brooks – where Brooks told the crowd, "you might not know it, but John Wooley is a star."

As a result of his efforts on behalf of his state’s music and musical figures, Wooley became, in 2003, the first writer to be inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. In 2009, he was also an inductee into both the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Cartoonists Hall of Fame, the latter for his comic-book writing.


  • Tulsa World (1984–2006)
  • Fangoria (at least as early as 1986)

Comic books[edit]

  • Miracle Squad (1986–89)
  • Uncanny Man-Frog (1987)
  • Twilight Avenger (1987–89)
  • Plan Nine from Outer Space (graphic novel) (1990)
  • Plan Nine from Outer Space: Thirty Years Later (1991)


  • Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective (1990)
  • Cafe Purgatory (1991)

Non-fiction books[edit]

  • Voices From the Hill: The Story of Oklahoma Military Academy (2005)
  • Big Book of Biker Flicks (2005)
  • From the Blue Devils to Red Dirt: The Colors of Oklahoma Music (2006)


  • Old Fears (1982, with Ron Wolfe)
  • Dark Within (2000)
  • Awash in the Blood (2001)
  • Ghost Band (2006)



  • Swing on This (KWGS 89.5 FM)


External links[edit]