My husband has ceased to be surprised by the places I go to do research (WWE match, anyone? Truck stop filled with aquariums?) so the day I called him and asked him if he’d like to go to the Conan the Barbarian Festival with me, he only shook his head and grinned.
And away we went, to Cross Plains, Texas, a small town with native son, pulp fiction author Robert E. Howard, as a claim to fame.We visited the library with its Conan mural on the side and area inside with manuscripts and other materials of his, watched to parade (nary a Sword Woman or Conan to be found) and took the tour of his mother’s house where he lived and wrote.
And as Pea says in the book, “It slays me how the people of Cross Plains, who appear more suited to rodeos and church picnics, get behind the Conan the Barbarian Festival when their forebears would have gladly run Robert E. Howard out of town on a rail. The more I read about the man, the more I realize he was one weird dude.”
Pea’s words, but my thoughts put on the page. The man wrote westerns, potboiler mysteries and bloodthirsty epics, prolific as all get-out, but he also lived with his mother and killed himself over his typewriter.
One weird dude. But quite the storyteller and an element I thoroughly enjoyed weaving into Pea’s life and my story!