With a name like Lovecraft, I'd think you're almost certain to become a writer when you grow up. But, perhaps there's that infamous horror writer who was hardly known but for his pulp-fiction writing in magazines.
Yep, there's H.P. Lovecraft. Even the classy use of initials in his first name makes him seem somehow more literary. And, his life appears to have offered quite a bit of fodder for his dark, macabre imagination. He was born Howard Phillips Lovecraft into an eccentric, aristocratic family. That in itself may just have given him a complex, but his father was institutionalized (psychotic) when H.P. was 3, and then died when the boy was 5. Add to that the fact that he was a sickly child--prone to nightmares, his grandfather's unusual brand of storytelling, and his fixation on Edgar Allan and the like... You've got the makings of a potentially great writer (even if he isn't recognized as such during his lifetime).
He was a brooding teen, ended formal education after a few years of high school, was unable to enlist in the Army, and would pour over his writings at home, where he lived with his aunts and his mother (who ultimately died in the same mental institution as his father).
So, what are your thoughts of H.P. Lovecraft? Is his reputation warranted? Have you read anything by him? Which was your favorite? (If you haven't yet had a chance, take a look at the extraordinary collection by Library of America, with Editor Peter Straub).