Introducing Lee Allen Howard, American author and entrepreneur

Good vocabulary, excellent sentences, and a creative mind are all one needs to be an author, right?  That's not quite true. There are plenty of other things writers need to know and consider while writing.

Authors must be careful of the dos and don'ts of the genre 'they're writing for. They should bear in mind the appropriate platform for their story and do their best to publish and market it. In addition to these things, they also should be aware of what the audience may like more. And last, but certainly not least, they must craft a book with a strong storyline or concept relevant to current times that will keep readers hooked. This is no small deal. Keep in mind that all books go through a similar lengthy process before reaching the shelves, so each writer experiences the same pressure that J.K. Rowling, Paulo Coelho, and John Green experienced when launching their books.

There are approximately 50,000 writers in the US alone who are going through the same process, and one of them is Lee Allen Howard. He is one of those special writers who have the power to woo and captivate an audience with his words.

Howard's earliest memory of writing was from second grade when he was just eight. His debut horror story, full of skeletons, blood, and witches, was read by his teacher, principal, and parents. Lee's parents recognized his budding talent and never stopped him from writing such stories even though his father was a preacher. He wrote throughout elementary and high school and even got his Halloween story, "Trick or Treat," published in the school newspaper in 1979.

Responsibilities multiply when people grow up. Howard experienced the same. While attending high school, he worked as a part-time busboy at Truckstops of America and as a lifeguard at the Holiday Inn in Brookville, Pennsylvania. A self-reliant person, Howard did not want to depend on his parents and later worked as a part-time laborer at Hanley Brick Factory in Summerville, Pennsylvania, to pay for his college expenses.

After graduating with a BA in English from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) in 1984, Howard began working as a word processor and spent 18 months in Rockville, Maryland. Managing studies and work exhausted him physically and mentally. Writing a good story required a fresh mind and plenty of time, which Howard couldn't afford at that time, so he stopped writing for a while. He later started his career as a technical writer after moving to Pittsburgh in 1986.

Writing is Bliss

Howard could not stay away from fiction writing for long, resuming when he completed his Master of Arts in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in 2006. Howard was aware of his talent for writing horror stories and begun to publish his books professionally. He wrote his first novel, When the Music Stops, in 2002 when he envisioned the opening scene of a young man being shot in the stomach and stumbling into an alley to die. During the same year, Howard started God's Plan Ministries as a house church with his wife, Linda (Crawford) Howard, and pastored in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, for three years. The ministry was dissolved in 2005 when he separated from his wife.

Not wanting to limit his career to only writing, Howard used the knowledge he gained to launch a Christian publishing company, Beautiful Feet Publishing, Inc., in 1996. Howard had sharpened his craft writing non-fiction. His first book was You Are the Body of Christ (1996, revised in 2012), which he published through this corporation. The firm disbanded after a few years.

During his stay in Pittsburgh, he also wrote Outside the Camp (1996), Manifestations Throughout Church History (1998, revised 2012), and The Dream of the Institutional Church (2003, revised 2012). He also wrote numerous short stories and four more novels, including The Sixth Seed (2013), Death Perception (2013), The Adamson Family (2017), and The Bedwetter: Journal of a Budding Psychopath (2019).

Further exploring his entrepreneurial skills, Howard laid the foundation of his publishing company, Dark Cloud Press, in 2006.  This publishing house aims to publish fiction with moral values for the secular market. Having a minister's background, he chose the firm's name from 2 Chronicles 6:1: "The Lord has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud." Howard has edited and published two anthologies of horror and dark crime fiction through DCP: Thou Shalt Not… in 2006 and Tales of Blood and Squalor in 2017.

Currently, Lee Allen Howard works from home full-time as a technical writer for a software company based in Palo Alto, California. He dons his nerd glasses during the day and relaxes his mind evenings by writing fiction. Some of his recent publications are "The Elixir" (2019) and "The Night Creatures" (2020) from Demain Publishing's Short Sharp Shocks series.

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