R.L. Stine - Part II - Author
RIF: Kids may be surprised to learn that you are terrified of jumping into water. Does that include puddles?
R.L. Stine: That would be really bad, wouldn't it!
No, I just don't like to jump in and have my head go under. But I love to swim. And I enjoy snorkeling—as long as I can walk into the water off of the beach.
RIF: How do you use your fears to your advantage as a writer of horror books?
RLS: I was afraid of a lot of things as a kid. Like I was afraid of putting my bike in the garage so I would throw it in and run into the house.
Luckily, I have a great memory. As I write a story, I can remember what it feels like to be afraid and panicky.
RIF: What was your favorite horror book as a kid?
RLS: I was a huge fan of Ray Bradbury's book, "Something Wicked This Way Comes." It's about two boys who sneak out of the house at night.
A few years ago, I got a chance to meet Mr. Bradbury at a book signing. When I went up to him, I was so nervous that I shook his hand and said, "Mr. Bradbury, you're my hero." I can't believe I said that!
But I'm glad I did because he gave me one of the greatest compliments by replying, "You're a hero to so many kids." I was so honored that Ray Bradbury knew who I was.
RIF: Rebecca, age 11, asks, "What inspired you to write horror stories?"
RLS: I wanted to write books that kids would enjoy, and kids love to be scared.
RIF: Is it true that you can write a Goosebumps book in less than two weeks?
RLS: Yeah, I write about 10-15 pages a day, everyday. I'm able to write so quickly because I spend the first few days making an outline for the book—that's the hardest part. Once I have an outline, I can enjoy writing the story—that's the fun part.
RIF: After eight years, a new Goosebumps series will be coming out in April 2008. What prompted you to pick up the series again?
RLS: I had a new idea for a series called Goosebumps: HorrorLand. The stories will all take place at a theme park that is 'the scarriest place on earth.' But there's an added bonus... each book will have two stories!
RIF: Before you go, is there anything kids would be shocked to learn about you?
RLS: Even though I've written lots of scary books, I have boring dreams. I have never gotten a story idea from a dream.
Kids may also find it interesting that scary movies or books don't give me goosebumps...they give me the giggles!
Read Part 1 (the funny part) of our interview with R.L. Stine!