Author, Editor. A Native of Wisconsin, Derleth is said to be that states’ most prolific writer. Dereth himself stated that he began his career at age 13 and never stopped. He would eventually write a wide variety of works that would include mystery, history, historical fiction, biography, religious fiction, and paranormal stories. He would go on to publish, by his own account, over 3000 individual works, many for magazines and literary journals. According to his the society that preserves his legacy, more works have been found at his home since his death. Derleth claimed to have many influences in his writing, but his most favorite author was the horror master, H.P. Lovecraft . Profoundly shaken by his hero’s untimely death, Derleth worked tirelessly to gain a wider audience for Lovecraft’s work. His efforts would eventually lead to the founding of Arkham House Publications, which was named after Lovecraft’s mythical New England University that was the setting for much of his spine tingling tales. Derleth would also use Arham House to promote the work of some of his other influences including Lord Dunsany, Algernon Blackwood, and A. E. Coppard among others. In addition to his writing, he would take positions working in an editorial capacity for newspapers and literary magazines and serving as a lecturer at different universities. Derleth was a devout Catholic and this was sometimes reflected in his work. Derleth was married briefly in the 1950’s and after his divorced raised his two children. Derleth considered the two cities of Sauk City and Prairie du Sac as his home and would write about them in the series known as the “Sac Prairie Saga.” The “Saga” would become his most highly praised work and would win him a Guggenheim fellowship in 1938. Some critics would compare his understanding of and affection for his home to Thoreau’s of Concord. Derleth claimed that his great productivity was a financial necessity. He would bemoan the fact that he thought his work suffered due to his need to produce. He also sometimes made light of the situation by making statements such as his home was "the house the Redbook built."
Bio by: Catharine