Inspired by this essay by Jim Hines.
I did have this eye opening moment sometime last year, not that deeper thought Jim had that showing dwarves in fantasy as the same stock character is highly disrespectful to people who have dwarfism, but that fantasy writers as a group portray dwarves fairly much the same as Tolkein gave them to us. There's no Norse Dwarves (we would call them trolls in our visual and cultural vocabulary), or Germanic Dwarves, or Italian Dwarves or any of the variants from Eastern Europe. Nope, they're all pretty much the ones Tolkein wrote about (actually, the stereotypical ones that we took from Tolkein - hopefully The Hobbit movies will remind us how diverse he really portrayed them).
We've rethought the fey, elves, hell we've even reclaimed giants, but dwarves seem stuck in the "full beard, ax swinging, beer swilling, little Jewish (in the worst stereotype) people."
So here's the bone; who else are a hard working people with ages old culture working with stone and gold, who love the land, are commonly not welcome with other people, and have a reputation for being sodden? I'll think better of you if you also didn't come to conclude, "Why, that's the Irish." Yes, we normally think of other little people when we think of the Irish. But what I want you to think of in your epic fantasy work is that the dwarvin diaspora mirrors that of the Irish to America. They long for home in the same way, they're proud in the same way, hard working and loving of their traditions, and they have to overcome prejudice and the persistent rumors of heavy drinking.