Updated: Dec 19, 2019
ROBERT E. HOWARD CHANGED MY LIFE is a collection of personal essays examining the influence of REH and many of his characters on the lives of 32 contributors long familiar with the man and his works. Based upon the powerful reactions my invitation to participate received -- and the terrifically compelling essays I've received thus far -- I believe this title has potential to impact the REH and heroic adventure/fantasy writing community in spectacular manner. This first in REH studies to employ such a one-of-a-kind approach brings together many of the remaining 'old guard' and several of the current 'new blood' of the Howard legacy and characters.
ROBERT E. HOWARD CHANGED MY LIFE is homage not only in memoir but also in financial support for Project Pride, the agency that sustains the Howard Home and Museum in Cross Plains. A portion of each sale of the hardcover and electronic book will be donated by RBF to Project Pride each year, probably in person at the annual Howard Days.
Speaking of Howard Days, it was at the 2018 gathering that the idea of this title germinated. Then Guest of Honor Bill 'Indy' Cavalier delivered a speech titled "How REH Saved My Life." This inspired me to collect similar essays on how particular characters of REH actually changed a person's life. Actual contents have expanded to include essays on Howard's characters with essays on Howard himself as a character of inspiration and change interspersed. Bill's speech serves as introduction to the collection and the other contributors include a veritable who's-who of recognized REH scholars and pastiche writers ready to write of specific characters: Kull (Jason Durall), Cormac mac Art (Keith Taylor), El Borak (Dave Hardy), Steve Costigan (Chris Gruber), Breckinridge Elkins (Mark Finn), Bran Mak Morn (Matt Sullivan), Solomon Kane (Dierk Guenther), James Allison (Adrian Cole), Valeria (Karen Joan Kohoutek), Turlogh Dubh O'Brien (Scott Oden), Cormac FitzGeoffrey (Todd B. Vick), Steve Harrison (Fred Blosser), Conan (Charles Saunders and John C. Hocking), Black Vulmea (David C. Smith), Bêlit (Jaym Gates), Kosru Malik (Howard Andrew Jones), Dark Agnes (Becky Cloonan), a Wyrd Ensemble of Kathulos, Brill, Jessel, & Buckner (Bobby Derie), and the Hyborian Age as a character (Jeffrey Shanks). Rusty Burke, Nancy Collins, Joe Lansdale, Deuce Richardson, Steven Erikson, Cecelia Holland, Patrice Louinet, Clint Werner, Michael Moorcock, Barbara Baum, and Roy Thomas contribute essays on how REH himself changed their lives.
The mesmerizing cover art comes courtesy of Didier Normand, long-time Rogue Blades friendly artist. I must give much credit to Didier, patiently working with me as I in turn worked my way through what it is I wanted this cover to evoke. Didier delivered the mystic vibrancy I asked for with his wispy currents of bold, raw colors emanating from within the mind of the creator Robert Howard and transforming into some of the iconic items readers for decades have associated with his dynamic, passionate characters and adventures. Didier's ability to draw us into the book with these hints of worlds known and unknown offers but a taste of all that is shared within the essays inside.
ROBERT E. HOWARD CHANGED MY LIFE is as bold, raw, and filled with vibrant life as the words, characters, and works of Howard. This book will not only rock readers with its intimate insights and perpetuate Howard's legacy through literary and financial support, it might very well be the final words some of these contributors ever offer on the man and his creations. With close to half of these contributors possibly appearing at the 2020 Howard Days (where Roy Thomas is GOH), having this book in hand could be the dream of a lifetime. Projected to be over 300 pages with up to 150,000 words, ROBERT E. HOWARD CHANGED MY LIFE will have a hardcover price of US$42.00 and electronic price of US$9.99.
As of now, RBF will offer advance hardcover sales at a US$5.00 discount. This discounted sale price will continue past New Year's 2020, but will not be offered through Howard Days in June. This discount can be applied in conjunction with any RBF Companions membership (discount and membership percentage discount apply only to the list price), but only if membership is effective before the pre-sale purchase. Further, anyone taking advantage of this pre-release price of US$37.00 who intends to attend Howard Days in Cross Plains can save on shipping and get the book in person from me. Those not taking possession of their new treasure in person will be invoiced for shipping after Howard Days 2020 (members will have Companions discounts applied at that time). You can make your advance purchases here (and there's even an option to pay full price for anyone inclined to help the organization out a little!):
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