With Conan and his other heroes, Howard helped fashion the genre now known as sword and sorcery, spawning many imitators and giving him a large influence in the fantasy field.Howard remains a highly read author, with his best works still reprinted.In 1920, on February 17, the Vestal Well within the limits of Cross Plains struck oil and Cross Plains became an oil boomtown.
The Howard family had problems with money which may have been exacerbated by Isaac Howard investing in get-rich-quick schemes.
Hester Howard, meanwhile, came to believe that she had married below herself. Hester did not want Isaac to have anything to do with their son.
Voracious reading, along with a natural talent for prose writing and the encouragement of teachers, created in Howard an interest in becoming a professional writer.
One by one he discovered the authors who would influence his later work: Jack London and his stories of reincarnation and past lives, most notably The Star Rover (1915); Rudyard Kipling's tales of subcontinent adventure and his chanting, shamanic verse; the classic mythological tales collected by Thomas Bulfinch.
Now that his career in fiction had begun, Howard dropped out of Howard Payne College at the end of the semester and returned to Cross Plains.
Shortly afterwards, he received notice that another story, "The Hyena," had been accepted by Weird Tales.
Thereafter, until his death by suicide at age 30, Howard's writings were published in a wide selection of magazines, journals, and newspapers, and he became proficient in several subgenres. Although a Conan novel was nearly published in 1934, Howard's stories were never collected during his lifetime.
The main outlet for his stories was Weird Tales, where Howard created Conan the Barbarian.
Howard was considered by friends to be eidetic, and astounded them with his ability to memorize lengthy reams of poetry with ease after one or two readings.