CROSS PLAINS, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) Before The Lord of the Rings, The Witcher, and Game of thrones, a musclebound barbarian by the name of Conan was born in Cross Plains, Texas. Author Robert E. Howard moved there when he was just 13 years old.

“That’s what blows everybody’s mind. Right here in this little old house out in the middle of ‘Nowhere, Texas,'” said organization and Robert E. Howard museum president, Arlene Stephenson.

While other West Texas boys dreamed of fame on the football field or a life on the ranch, Howard apparently knew from a young age that he wanted to be a writer. Inspired by the books he could get his hands on; Howard was a force of imagination that 1930s America had not yet experienced.

“They credit Robert Howard for creating the sword and sorcery genre. He came up with the whole thing,” Stephenson told KTAB/KRBC. “Nobody else had written quite like this.”

His father’s job as a rural doctor kept them moving from town to town throughout his childhood, But Howard found escape in the written word. With no internet, TV, or even radio at the time, his stories were a product of his own design.

“He just had a style of writing. Most people would say it just draws you in,” encouraged Stephenson.

The Robert E. Howard Museum in Cross Plains is also Howard’s former home. While Conan was his best-known character, the museum holds record of his other interests – Howard writing in just about every genre you could want.

It is his prolific body of work that draws in academics and fans from all over the world. The museum holds Robert E. Howard days each year.

“I mean, they’ve got people writing doctorates in Howard studies. There’s masters in Howard studies,” Stephenson delighted.

Stephenson told KTAB/KRBC the folks who follow Howard’s work have dedicated themselves to seeing him more widely accepted in academic circles – that isn’t to say he isn’t well received! His stories have been adapted into movies, TV shows, video games, and even a successful comic series.

“I don’t know, he just had an impact,” pondered Stephenson. “It just seems to endlessly cross generations… Sometimes you think maybe they just, I don’t know, tip of the iceberg.”

The museum is open daily by appointment only. Stephenson said the museum sells his books in person and online to clients from all around of the globe.