The Writers of REH

The Writers of REH



I guess when you get started now it's about 1:30 and welcome to Robert E Howard days first of all this is our second panel but the first one here at the church so again thanks to the First United Methodist Church and thanks to Fred for all the great electronics appreciate it this panel is called the writers of reh and when we set this one up we we have four distinguished gentlemen here who have all written about Robert E Howard but they'll all written about Howard from different perspectives literary physical where he's been emotional so what we're gonna do is I'm just going to turn it over to them and let them talk about their approach to writing about Robert E Howard on far left we have Rob ream who has done many BRABUS taken upon it upon himself to travel where Howard has traveled and he's put in many miles and and much heartache about about finding out where where Howard been has been and next is David C Smith the guest of honor here at Howard age 20 19 his most recent entry Yale has his entry into writing about Robert E Howard is probably Howard of literary biography and there's copies available so I'd say get it and buy it and read it because it's really good and mr. Patricia Lewin a he's written a couple of words about Howard maybe just a couple and mr. Bobby Jerry who is the probably the most proficient blogger about Robert E Howard among other things he publishes books to I'm just gonna let him let him go and I think we'll turn it over to in honor of our guest of honor well let a little a day to start off and just yakked about Howard I start talking it's hard to stop so you got the approach that I took with the literary biography I should probably say do you hear me just working how's that okay good I'll make sure it was not my idea to write the biography believe it or not okay yeah it wasn't my idea actually to write to write a biography I was approached by by the publisher Bob MacLean who operates a pulp hero press he also operates theme-park press he's been a publisher for a long time he's in Manhattan and he approached me about the possibility of reprinting some of the earlier stolen sorcery books I'd written we didn't get the rights to those but in the meantime he was looking for someone he's really building up his catalogue of good swing sorcery fiction and fantasy fiction of Pulp Fiction so he wondered if I knew anyone who might want to write a good general introductory biography of Robert E Howard more for a general reader is is what he wanted so I mentioned a couple of names that I knew and for various reasons that already had their say on Howard or they were you know busy with other with other projects so he asked me if I wanted to and I I realized I've been a Howard fan since junior high school and there's a lot of thoughts that I had and ideas about Howard and his fiction I thought I could use this as a vehicle to express those so what I told Bob was that I'd like to look at it from the perspective of a writer looking over the shoulder of another writer I've been an editor I've written fiction I've been a typesetter you know I've read an advertising copy anything had to do with words I've done it and I spent a lot of time in the commercial publishing field and dealing with editors so is it okay if I take that that perspective plus I get to put them in the car texts of America in the Jazz Age in the 1930s which is rich with with history and and popular culture ideas you know by itself so as I started thinking about this he he liked that idea it wound up being a little more scholarly I think tonight that one of us anticipated which is not a bad thing at all but it ended up that being the perspective that I took and so I relied upon experts you know who were in print that I that I could ask for help but once we got past the the basic grounding of his life being born and moving across plains with his family that's nice stepped in as as an author and editor and started to present it from that perspective here's what it feels like from the inside out as well as I could to pick up a copy of a magazine and you open it up and you say how do I get from here to be in that magazine how do I get to be a writer how do I take those steps what do I do and so that's the approach that I tried to take and I followed them here by your manuscript by manuscript story by story and a lot of interesting things came out from from doing it that way so that's that's my start of me talking Rob would you like the I am the least talkative person and about reading biographies about Howard before 2006 there were a lot of ideas out there that I didn't they didn't make sense to me Texas is a big state it's tall it's as big as Paris no it's just big France excuse me so it's bigger it's almost Reese's head but a lot there was a psyche out that that Howard never traveled and that he just had lived his whole life in Cross Plains and there were a few mysteries in what I was reading to Howard talks about living in the Wichita Falls country and no one had found evidence of where that might have been there's little things like that that bugged me and I always want to know how we know what we know so when someone says something about Howard that they say fact I'm like where did that come from how did he know that and that sent me and usually with my my dad and sometimes with my mom as well just all over the state of Texas I don't know how many courthouses set them to digging up land records court documents on not only Robert E Howard and his dad but their family their family's family I have quite an extensive genealogy other than those things I also like to just compile source material and package it for people who are that's like me so I put together a book Herbert clap writings Herbert Platt was a friend of ours I have pulled relevant newspaper articles from cross plains review Brownwood bulletin all the high school and college publications and package that all together with some little chapter introductions by myself into a book called post oak plate school days and the post Oaks my perspective is just how do we know what we know and let's give that to the public that's the best that my primary focus Patrese I don't even know where to begin I've written how many articles and books this is about Bob Hart I guess that if I had to sum up what I'm doing is where are we today and what do I want to do with the stuff I'm writing so it means I'm writing for different audiences so I have to know who I'm writing for for example when I did the Robin Howard guide these came out first in France in 2015 and the book came out because I had been repeatedly asked the same questions over and over and over again and so I've been interviewed I don't know how many times and I kept repeating the same thing so one day I decided okay I need to write a book about that is going to be short is going to be to the point it's going to be cheap that was the whole point of it so that people started asking me questions again as it read that book and if someone as a friend who is a hard fan or rakonin fan or by the book is G and so that was a reason the reasoning bidding the behind this book is short book and I think it's at the point where we are in hard studies in the state and friends in the states are different in that respect in France Howard is on the verge of becoming respectable he's a huge earner and I think it's because you I've spent 15 years doing the same things over and over and over again so when I was writing the guide I was writing for people who were mostly interested in the conan ballgame Solomon Kane ballgame related products but not necessarily the story so I wanted those people to discover more about Howard and then from that go and read the stories of course it was an entirely different approach when I DD dieses at the end of the Dare reckonin books for example the aim behind that is what oh you have been reading the stories in thinking that the stories came from William Morris or whatever what decamp and Carter was saying at the time and I thought it was not the right approach I wanted the readers to get you know some materials and source material about the stories and then from that it can go beyond if you're interested in knowing more about the guys right so I'm always writing with an audience in mind I always have an objective depending on the public at the moment and completing a PhD on the PhD dissertation I'm Howard Atlas Albarn and of course the writing is totally different because I'm not writing this for people were into ballgames they wouldn't be interested at all and so and of course the writing is anti different myth I guess it's my perspective writing about robbery Howard is how does he connect with the other writers and the rest of his context in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s he was part of something he was part of movement of people during the Great Depression during Prohibition that were living by their wit's really they were living to write they were interacting they were having fun they were corresponding the most famous one is of course the correspondence between robbery Howard and HP Lovecraft but he talked to a lot of different people in the pulp circle and they just had interactions Seabury Quinn Seale more Clark Ashton Smith these are all people that today are well maybe not as famous as they should be for their material but because of the hard work by Patrice and Rob and rusty Burke and others to get the original Howard material out there his correspondence his stories we can go back and look and find the connections and tell their stories at Robert Howard is an essential part of that and that's very interesting to me just from the perspective of treating his material as more than just fiction it's a historical source Drive Safely was just something they did uh no actually HP Lovecraft is the most famous letter writer in that circle because he wrote a massive amount of mail he wrote somewhere between 80 to a hundred thousand pieces of Correspondence during his lifetime which ran from everything from a little note on a postcard to a hundred page letter and if you read a means to freedom the collected correspondence of HP Lovecraft and Robert Howard they're regularly sending each other 20 30 page letters but this was very unusual most of the correspondence between writers has not survived and what has survived is usually what you would have today or yesterday an email you know it's a page or two of checks at most this was stuff that was being sent through the mail they might expect an answer in a week or a month but when they were really at it you know when they're really going at it they'd be sending letters to each other every three days it's really fun and exciting but it's now it's not usual at all it was actually very unusual to have all these pulp writers that are really sharing ideas with each other and corresponding and it didn't always last for all Clark Ashton Smith sent maybe 10 or 12 letters and it just dropped off he got too busy with his parents robbery Howard was busy writing and you know the correspondence didn't last they didn't say both sides of it but what we have was saved because they value that correspondence anybody else questions yeah wait boys up to me I'll take it I if I could take the question first in the research that I did I liked him more than I ever did and I appreciate his art and more than ever all of us here I think I can safely say grew up with this impression of hard as being wackadoodle and that that was kind of engineered if I may but we grew up with the idea that he was kind of nuts oi and my thought was if he was that crazy how does it even manage to sit down a type of story let alone become a great writer you know but as I said I've been reading him since junior high school and there's there's some magic spark there in his stuff and as the years went by and I became a writer myself and I edited works of other of other people fiction and nonfiction some of the science material this broad general background when I got the contract for the book I just I started you know pursuing what he was doing you know story by story year by year and it was a revelation because at least from my perspective and not just mine I feel of others who did this as well you can kind of see the gears turning and everything that was supposed to make him be a weirdo or something was inspiration he would he he was a brilliant poet he had insights into things that most of us you know it won't occur to us and he built this this engine of creativity and insight and philosophy inside himself and you can see that taking shape in in his stories as he writes them and that on top of that he was he was trying to to manage this so it'll become commercially respectable or at least you know acceptable and he was so unique a person is kind of remarkable that he managed to do that but as I went through these stories and some of the correspondence that the guy came alive to me more than ever and he was an incredibly unique brilliant artist and as I worked on my book I hope some of that comes through when I hope as we pursue more of his studies we'll come through to the general public because he's a major figure in American letters the 20th century he just is and we're generation two behind promoting that vision of him but we'll catch up because he's the real deal I think the less we rely on what used to be the standard biography the more we're gonna see how it as if not likable at least just merely troubled perhaps not without wackadoodle growing up I only had two camps introductions and rakonin books to kind of form what I thought of him as a writer but I was a pretty young kid when I read those and I didn't come to fandom until I was in my 30s which was you know yesterday and I didn't read dark Valley destiny until after I had read Thames quite smith's writings and mandolin prices writings and the dusty Berk and so I had a different idea about Howard than a lot of the other guys that my age then had been abandoned for a lot longer so I think that a lot of that's falling away now that we have other biographies and other voices so yeah Howard's that's a wackadoodle I wouldn't and something I would I think about like how does a writer I think he was a genius but I don't think we know the guy then the man had furious letters and we what we get to know through the letters is Howard as he projected himself on those letters and it's not the same person I mean I don't know who he was I don't even know anyone here you can say that he we can know if you who he was the kind of person he was what we had his projection so it's not the same thing really hmm it's interesting there's a core in a writer I was I'm not disagreeing there's a core in a writer and then as is different you know you're between different characters you have different ideas and the neck comes through and all of these together but you're yeah but well if you're you know if you're reading the life raft letters for example anything in the at face value you're going to be in four major disillusionment because he was inventing thing and inflating them or sometimes Merlin reporting so it takes in a detective to know what's true what's not true what secretary did not and I see all different journey mark mark talks about in his book that tradition of storytelling and larger-than-life stuff yeah you know Finn in his book bloody Thunder rather than their DX excellent yeah far by addiction the all railey forget the name the dictionary the all yeah all Riley its online I don't know that one no you have it I think it's alright ladies yeah early early 19th century Oh case online if you want to that it was it was engineered and it's a play on words that yeah it was engineered yeah it's because the frigde camp was an engineer well that's a good question that's a very very good question and these gentlemen know more about the facts behind it than I do but it but if you go back and read the Lancer books and so on yet it was it was done am I correct in saying it was done so that so that Sprague we could say his name right got in there so that he could be like a in his name but no the idea was was to present Howard in such a way that he was subordinate I would say to the vision that Sprague de Kamp had for promoting the Conan stories Sprague didn't care about the westerns and he didn't care about the boxing stories but he had made it his job in the 50s to promote the Conan stories as a cash cow and if I'm incorrect none of these details please correct me but I'm pretty sure that's generally the way that it goes and he succeeded because for instance where I used to work in Chicago I'm retired now but Dave the guy who was a security guard he was we were talking one day oh you write books and so on and so yeah I do German read Conan those are some of the best novels ever and he's soon discovered what are you talking about and he was talking about that Series in the 90s which Greg edited was the general editor and he had hired other writers like Robert Jordan and a number of people to write Conan novels based on Sprague's manufactured chronology of Conan's lifetime Howard never did anything like that at all he was talking about an old-timer sit around the campfire talking about when he fought you know the Babylonians or whatever you know and he was just an old-timer from the frontier Sprague man you manufactured that when I told Dave to change the security guard it's like it's not Conan you need to read the choice that I bought I bought your bluff set of Gabe's Phillips and it was a revelation I probably cow this this stuff it's great the other books aren't the same no they're not the same so that's what I mean by that is it was kind of a you know we're past or something you know rearguard action and we're only now coming out of that that period and be fising with the subject of that the other panel because when you write something about Howard you're your reader 90% of the time someone is going to be familiar with Conan the Barbarian you know the iconic image not the Cimmerian not even you know for the comic books right so you have to you have to keep that in mind because you're writing for very specific audience and so you have to educate them along the way and there's a long process okay okay Oh your thirst Bregman okay it's protein break please oh no let's talk about it sure the product is great the effect on the author was not so much oh there you go that's a good way of putting the sale okay there is a important difference between the author and the product and when we talk about Konan we don't usually think about him in the same sense as Lovecraft in the Cthulhu Mythos but there's a lot of people that have contributed to the Cthulhu Mythos and their work does not necessarily reflect on Lovecraft and there are a lot of people that were in some great stuff about Conan if you've ever read the Marvel or the Dark Horse Comics people like really Thomas and Kurt music have done some great things with Conan as a character but that isn't what Robert E Howard wrote and what a large part of what I think gets people's goat about the early stuff that L Sprague de Kamp edited and especially co-wrote and authored is that you couldn't tell very often where exactly the Howard stopped the camp inserted himself a little too much into the whole process and if you read the camp's biography of HP Lovecraft and you compare it with the biography he did with Griffith and his wife on Robert E Howard dark Valley Destiny there's a lot of the same things in the same place and you start to wonder alright is it really that these guys both had a note of this complex or maybe was the camp putting a little too much of his own impression in there and that's really where you need to get the dividing line down all authors are going to have their own biases to the material you know each of us has a slightly different impression of who Robert Howard was and what we know about him and how but as long as we know that there is our own bias we can take ourselves out of it to a degree you know we can say all right Robbie Howard wrote this and this is my take on it the camp didn't always have that objectivity and that's really sort of where I think we fell down on him is is really hard to take the camp out of Howard but that's what happened okay yeah didn't think either say this work that he would talk about how important Robert Howard was for him hmm then he had also talked about that he really said that he said okay yeah it is say – did write it – I'm going to quote an interview date for one star fiction year way back in the 70s is a know none of the stories we have written or as good as hard because we're not as crazy you was so he did I just say they're so yeah that's a compliment but but but Jack he was sincerely he didn't necessarily appreciate what Howard was doing on some level is what you're saying okay okay that's that's okay you know okay prepare yourself somebody thank you we're all well yeah yeah I was talking earlier I'm trying to Aquarius talking to it I think it was jimbaran but if if you were like me when I was growing up you know a skinny little kid with glasses he'd like to read Conan and science fiction and stuff you you were an outlier you know you were picked on you know and and because you just know part of their mainstream so if that's the point you're making I can see that is it particular is it peculiar to small Texas towns of em from Ohio so is it just being like like the the odd duck or the kid is a little bit smarter or sure yeah I also did this I read Robert Howard dragons I found an article online that I referenced in in the back of the book I have some little essays some of the footnotes and it was called how this guy found it online it's a couple years old but but in intellectuals are freaks and and the the writers point is that statistically people who love books or science fiction are into the arts or something where like maybe 10% maybe smaller percentage of just general society and that's just how it is it's not very wrong it says it is what it is you know but those of us who are a little bit outside that mainstream over every we have to learn to negotiate that now we're the ones that come up with you know Conan the Barbarian and Leonardo da Vinci and great music and all the arts were the ones that contribute that but apparently the only way we're able to do that is is by being you know a little bit different you know just looking things a little differently than the mainstream which is how life is so that's fine but you can see where where Howard would have you know it was one of the novel and – I think in Clyde Smith and in them you know it seems like Robert E Howard especially compared to a lot of other authors that Howard scholars really focus more on the man than the content of his words do you agree with that premise we read Patricia's SH it's not I haven't argued that there's some of that only because the writer has been obscured for so long he no offence Gary we just haven't had all the facts of his biography available to us you can do a reading of a story or a novel without any biographical information it's not required but you can also do a reading taking the author's life into consideration as well what max of biography influenced his decisions in the writing and if you don't know those facts you can't do that kind of analysis I'm writing the dissertation that lets Auburn and if I put in any biographical detail whatsoever they're going to kill me I probably have five or six wishes but I'll just I'll swing back to something you guys said earlier Dungeons and Dragons for example is that its most popular phase that has probably ever been in this lifetime there are people who watch people play Dungeons and Dragons on Twitch whether or not you liked the ending Game of Thrones was a huge movie unless one knows I'm unfortunately in a bad season for HBO we have superhero movies which are now mainstream we have all of these other things which are now mainstream which you can trace back to you perhaps the successful Lord of the Rings and some other things like that world of warcraft what have you so I agree that yes at one point it hadn't been the kid who had to hide his d20 yeah I mean they you know the outlier or whatnot but is that really the future and what does that mean for Robert happened um I think it's very important as we're now in this area of geek culture becoming mainstream with all these mainstream superhero movies and fantasy movies it's great it's fantastic we're having a great time but the most important thing I think everybody agree is it's not important to be a good superhero movie it's not important to be a good fantasy television show it's important to be a good movie a good show first and foremost if you remember back to Conan the Barbarian 1982 it wasn't a very robbery Howard show but it was damn entertaining that was a great movie that's a fun movie at Faisal Apollodorus gave the best score of his career in that movie and then they followed up with Conan the Destroyer and Red Sonja yeah you cannot form a franchise when you have that many flops in short order but there's no reason why there can't be a big Conan resurgence and there has been to a certain extent with all the work that's been going on with promoting Conan in the last couple of years the Marvel Comics especially I think have done some really interesting things in the last few months just because they took a very different tack from how Dark Horse took it Dark Horse was re representing Conan the Barbarian almost from a chronological standpoint born on the battlefield and going on from there retelling Howard's original stories which is all great terrific they did a great job of it they did some original stuff which is also fine Marvel is doing it very differently Marvel's dropping him right into the universe as if he never left there's a lot of references in the new stories to the old Marvel comics from back in the 1970s and 80s is really fascinating how they're doing it because they don't need to tell the origin of Conan the Barbarian and robbery Howard never need to tell that origin either he just Conan strides onto the page fully formed do you guys agree with me on that yeah does it answer your questions this is the state literature and observation I'm just curious if you guys agree with one of the things with the camp in this biography is that he he did research I mean he actually did research and interviewed people and when if you read that you get the idea wow there's a lot behind this you know it's kind of a definitive word on him and my perception is because he did research and interviewed people that it it's taken you guys a lot of work to this you know debunk the myths because you had to go back and say well despite the research we're coming to different conclusions and to me that's where all this work has come in looking as he actually did made an attempt to do research some of the footnotes that he includes lead to things that don't in fact have much to do with what he's talking about at the time so it might have the appearance but if you follow the footnote through it doesn't quite make sense you're thinking about the weapons or remember the yacht again isn't and so there was this thing about Robert Harris collection of weapons so yet this and that and this and that and then you have a footnote so the average reader is not going to bother reading the source of that but if you go to the source it mentions a gat again even in the course of his text and you go to the footnote and the yet again is 19th century weapon whatever so it was referencing not the collection but the weapon itself so and I'm going to give another example the Bob Howard was a sickly child thing and the reference of that with an interview with get Mary man and if you read the original interview they asked her the question I think four or five times during the course of the interview so it was a sick child wasn't he no she wasn't but it was a chick shot wasn't he no it wasn't but it was a sick child wasn't he no it wasn't and you read the dargah destiny it was a sick child reference to get Merriman yes it was doing the research but he was doing what he wanted to do with the research or when the heart went to left back in Bagwell in 1930 in the 14 and so in 1914 derived very Howard's arrived in Bagwell which was a thriving community and that the footnote to that it doesn't tell you that the Arado right there it tells you that Bagwell's earth was a thriving community I mean it was always like that it was trying to mislead you so it's dishonest being a research book I think you guys had to do out way more work to get underneath to undo all that one day long yeah exactly and when you when you try to undo something is very difficult because you have to do the actual research but your mindset is of course if you had read Donna testing or whatever before that you tend to think that way we all have this image of it was a sick child except that it was or everyone in the in the early family as TB which dancer was not the case no one in the family yet tuberculosis height I have the impression that the sprig was you know ungodly bright he was brilliant man but but he he had this preconceived notion and that's what he brought to it and it gets to the point where you know you're you're finding what you're looking for rather than being entirely objective and and that became what he was doing and it got past him I carried away with him I know this is kind of a sidebar but in the in the early in the mid 70s I knew Edmund Hamilton and Lee Braca and they used to spend the summer in kinsman Ohio which is up the road from this is farm country is up the road from where I was living my parents and so I started corresponding with them and I went up to visit them occasions I probably visited with them five six times met he often price there and they were wonderful people you know and they they knew the de Kamp's and they thought Holly the de Kamp's you know but it but I wonder now if if a comment that Ed made to me is is pertinent here because he asked me we talked about writing and writers and childhood where ideas come from and he said did you have a pleasant childhood I said a great childhood that's out in the country you know me and Eric ran and played soldier we did all this great stuff and and he I said my adolescence was not pleasant I mean you know and he said well that's the same way he said I had a wonderful childhood but he get the adolescence and you know it's a very troubling period everything and he said spragues working on the idea that the great writers have troubling childhoods and I've wondered ever spent if if that was if he was working on a concept there and brought it into maybe Lovecraft and maybe Howard both you know and that he was working with that idea and that and that seeped into the way that he portrayed Howard so should I just throw that out there you know because aside from somebody says about Howard and even Lovecraft just some degree I mean the guy is the guy's a great writer I mean he wrote you know all this stuff so it's kind of too bad in a way you know the way I felt was like damn it what you do that ya did write about Lovecraft as a sickly child as well you had a question there sickly kids on learning maybe that's why you're a bodybuilder yeah yeah it's interesting I don't know that the camp was being malicious where I feel like you had an idea and it kind of took over where he was going and I I haven't read time in chance maybe Gary can comment on this but I feel like some of the things that the Kirk did the camp in his own life he was finding mirrors and robbery higher than describing meaning to them I think the questions you're asking at the moment are very negative we are supposed here to be taught talking about we are righteous O our variations in all the conversations are I discovered the French translation of the mall comics and I was buying everything models so I thought and I hated that that I was a model zombie so but the next one I liked it and then I started realizing that there was his Robbie Howard guy names on the story so I I found a pack a bag a French one I don't remember to this day if I ever read the first it was the first time the French wanted answers I don't remember to this day if I read the decanter e first but it left no impression of my mind whatsoever and then a retiree of the irrelevant and when I read Clower I was good I was ten years old going through my dad's stack of old comic books and I got to Conan the Barbarian where he's doing the tower of the elephant and you know you can talk about any other writer but what other writer could make you feel pity for an elephant headed alien who's trying to give me an assisted suicide you know ten year old me was hooked I am I remember I was probably about 10 I was 10 or 11 maybe and a little four-eyes I was at the eye doctors and getting fitted for a new prescription and I had an Edgar Bryce I don't know what Edgar Rice Burroughs novel was a Tarzan novel or something and and the the doctor who fit us for the classes he said you like you like Tarzan yeah I do so you have to find about this character named Conan he's like Tarzan only he's really you know powerful in there these are wicked stories or whatever and in retrospect I'm sure he's talked about the gnome press editions which I how am I gonna find those and I'm 10 years old and you know but I remembered that when in 67-68 there used to be a monster magazine called them castle of Frankenstein if any of you remember right yeah it was the it was just the coolest thing it was just that you know it was he put everything in but to keep it the kitchen sink and it was so cool and Lynn Carter wrote book reviews for that and here here come's Lynn Carter but I don't know castle Frank's at number 10 or 9 or whatever was saying you know you can't keep a good man down code on the barbarians it's a great hero you know that Robert E Howard wrote in the 30s and now they're being reissued by Lancer books and I went holy that's that's what you know dr. so-and-so was telling me about when to the gray drugstore in Liberty Township you know Ohio and there it was and I started buying them and reading them so that and the the first one I read and it was Conan that started the whole thing but I was I was short on time so remember I skipped ahead to the first one I read was some jewels of gwahlur you know it was the and that that scene where he's climbing up the the face of that escarpment that cliff I remember that ever since I mean it's all the vivid the guy the guy wrote so vividly yeah the only difference I would I was I know I don't remember if it was the comic books or the I did not buy the Lancers because I'm not that old yeah I'm sorry my face reprints up them and they had numbers on the back on the spine 1 2 3 4 5 Tony well and I was a comic book collector from way back because my dad used to take me to the barber shop a barber shop used to let me play with the comic books well my dad's get this hair buzz so I saw these numbers on the spines of these books and when you pull the first one out the covers just jump out at you grab you so I think I ended up buying the probably the first four or five of them in one batch with my allowance and I would read conan number one first and in the eighth series the first story was the frost giants daughter Oh done and then I started reading these other ones I'm like nom first story was really good this one's not so good and you know he's very hit and miss and it was hard to tell who had written what derivative stuff but yeah the howard story is great then 30 years later i was trying to find something that my high school students would read on their own oh what's I reading then so I know else big to camp I really do I mean I mean I'm not I agree and I I memorize those introductions that I wrote you know to the cone and I memorized the map and everything I'm older than these guys so I you know I've never played Dungeons and Dragons okay I mean oh yeah that was late you know I go back guys watching westerns and reading Conan paperbacks you know right so I'm as always made sure to name-drop how to name every tiny Koontz it was the one oh you should buy the stars because you could see the name Robert Howard reading the comics that is conveyed in the old savage so of you had all these articles which were religious of problem that talking to a resurgent popularity why do you think I would maintain that reasonably he did he didn't actually uh Howard is actually probably a generation to behind Lovecraft what happened is when Lovecraft died in 1937 August Derleth and Donald wander he founded Arkham house specifically to publish his stuff in hardback so Lovecraft was getting published in hardback in 1939 and Derleth continued to promote Lovecraft in anthologies and Weird Tales all through the 1940s and into the 1950s and then there was a boom in fantasy fiction in paperback paperback was a new thing because the Pope's had been dying out especially with the paper shortages during World War Two and known press got in in the 50s with the hardback for the robbery Howard stuff and L Sprague de Kamp sort of inserted himself there at the end and so at the time you know Tolkien wrote Lord of the Rings and it was published in paperback in 55 65 65 in paperback 55 in hardback 65 in paperback and that really started the paperback fantasy boom and Howard and love grab both went off from that but they went off in different directions because robbery Howard got the very successful comic book series in Marvel Comics in 1970 Lovecraft didn't have as much success in comics but he had more promotion through Arkham House in anthologies and stuff so they went off in different ways but Lovecraft studies is actually older so they've got like two decades a difference and Ellsbury de Kamp did his Lovecraft biography long before he did the robbery Howard biography so yeah it's sort of a false thing we think are a robbery how it's all over the place now but it wasn't always the case this was a long haul to get to this point where he's this prominent as a writer you know oh I'm sorry yep yes he did you know three volumes first one was Kalfas an average in 1946 and was a big mammoth anthology and then the second one is the poems always comes evening and that was thanks to Glenn Lord and the last one was the dark man in 1963 yeah the last one if I remember correctly I was in college in the early 70s and had already known about Howard and there was a real Lovecraft push me on in the paperbacks and everything and if I recall correctly there was there was quite a bit of European interest in Lovecraft at the time and in scholarly publications and anthologies and stuff I don't think that was necessarily true of Howard at that time so Lovecraft got kind of got a leg up in intellectual interest from the European press you know in France and in Italy in some of those countries also yeah that's the point I was gonna make this that I thought I hit another thought but yeah you know to be popular in the States need to be famous in France first I'm working on it one or two more questions how do you balance the rigor that has Collins like how do you stop that's me well I I think like the tree said it really depends on the audience you have to write to the audience yeah sure I'm it all depends on the audience I mean I can have some fun when writing for you know the the afterwards the Glenna graphic novels so it's it's light and funny and with you know not in the wiki and there well I'd left so but it's not something I can do obviously I casually dropped in the reference to Star Wars and that was about it and just daring so I I like scholarly I ended up working for almost 30 years as a medical editor so believe it or not I got to be interesting editing surgical papers about cervical fractures and the stuff and working with the doctors under styling and everything and I've always picked up an academic book to read you know because it's interesting facts and if the topic is interesting and if the writer knows with what he or she is doing it's interesting to read and it's just as simple as that it's not just dry dry bones facts you know there's a there's a there's always a kind of narrative there or a drama there at this point on and so learning is fun I suppose yeah well because it's not the stuffy Spanish I'm not allowed to write seriously about something I think anyway interesting one they're far in the back robbery Howard lived during the 1920s in 1930s it was the nadir of race relations in the United States he lived in a rural Texas town he was racist there's no way to get around that fact and nobody has tried to downplay it in any of the serious academia I don't foresee a major schism in howard scholarship about that I do think that it is something that has to continually be addressed going forward but that's just as it is you know that's how he is that's how he was and the Lovecraft schism you're talking about that's there's a lot of misinformation on there about that which you said considering how much has been written about Lovecraft but I think you guys will agree with me that it's just something you have to address and it's not something we like it's not something we promote it's not something that we say oh yes this is good he was correct about this because we don't but it is what he wrote and we would rather see the ugly truth then try to pretend that Robert Howard or any of this fiction is different than what it is but I don't think there's any letting the genie out of the bottle I think that Robert Howard is continuing to be an exciting interesting writer to a lot of people because people keep buying his work people keep buying adaptations of his work stuff based on his work the games films movies comic books if you go onto Amazon there's a thousand Kindle editions yeah he's here to stay as far as I'm concerned mm-hmm yeah no yeah you sir directly no it's inspired by some of the stories that one of the helpers in the house told him I don't know that I would say it was Jim he didn't experience anything like that in Bagwell I've been there I don't know where they stay don't couldn't find the house mmm but babbles kind of creepy have you been there oh really okay yeah well that's that's what I'm saying when you can take you can read it without anybody I graphical information and still come away with things from that story but when you know things it adds that extra wrinkle he was just a good writer so he could write about any any entrance to our house it would be great well thank you everyone

3 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *