Robert Ervin Howard (January 22, 1906 – June 11, 1936) was a prolific American author and poet. He wrote pulp fiction in a diverse range of genres and is today most famous for the creation of the character of Conan the Cimmerian.
It seems to me that many writers, by virtue of environments of culture, art and education, slip into writing because of their environments. I became a writer in spite of my environments. Understand, I am not criticizing those environments. They were good, solid and worthy. The fact that they were not inducive to literature and art is nothing in their disfavor. Never the less, it is no light thing to enter into a profession absolutely foreign and alien to the people among which one's lot is cast; a profession which seems as dim and faraway and unreal as the shores of Europe... But whatever my failure, I have this thing to remember — that I was a pioneer in my profession, just as my grandfathers were in theirs, in that I was the first man in this section to earn his living as a writer.
"Pigeons from Hell" was first published by Weird Tales in 1938. It is a Southern Gothic tale of an abandoned house, revenge and voodoo; based on ghost stories told to Howard by his grandmother. It has been adapted to graphic novel, comic book and television (in a 1961 episode of the Boris Karloff-presented Thriller) In 1983, Stephen King called Pigeons from Hell "One of the finest horror stories of our century."
The Whole Wide World (1966) is a biopic directed by Dan Ireland, depicting the relationship between Robert E. Howard (Vincent D'Onofrio) and Novalyne Price (Renée Zellweger). It was based on Novalyne Price Ellis' books One Who Walked Alone and Day of the Stranger: Further Memories of Robert E. Howard. Following the film's release is was nominated for several awards and won five: American Independent Special Jury Prize and Best Actor/Vincent D'Onofrio (Seattle International Film Festival, 1996); Best Actress/Renée Zellweger (Mar del Plata Film Festival, 1996); Best Actor/Vincent D'Onofrio and Best Screenplay/Michael Scott (Lone Star Film & Television Awards, 1998); Best Cinematography/Claudio Rocha (Ft Lauderdale International Film Festival, 1996).