Four Hours of Fright: An Interview with R.L. Stine

By - August 23, 2013

Is it really 2 p.m. already?  Awesome!  That means it's time to bring in the scary people...the ones even scarier than agents!  FOUR HOURS OF FRIGHT begins now, and who better to start it off for us than the thriller master himself, bestselling author of the Goosebumps and Fear Street series, R.L. Stine!  Don't forget to check the bottom of this post for details on how to enter his giveaway, as well as the additional giveaway from middle grade Scholastic Book Club author Dee Garretson!

 

On with the interview!

CM: Did you expect Goosebumps to be the rousing success they have been?  What were your expectations for your book(s) when you released your first one as far as what kind of audience you thought you’d have?

R.L. Stine: No one had any idea Goosebumps would be a success, let alone a phenomenon. No one had ever done a horror series for 7-12-year-olds. We all thought it was a risky experiment. When the books began to sell like crazy, we were all amazed. At first, we thought the audience would be girls since they read more. We had another big surprise when half the readership was boys.

CM:  What is your biggest fear? 

R.L. Stine: That the ventriloquist dummy I keep in my office really will come to life!

CM: After Little Shop of Hamsters, I’d be surprised if you were overly fond of the little pocket critters. Do you have any pets? 

R.L. Stine: I've always been a dog person. Had one most of my life. Our King Charles, Minnie, keeps me company all day. You can tell I don't like cats--because I've written so many books with evil cats. It's much harder to imagine an evil dog.

CM: Your first adult horror novel, Red Rain, had a great trailer released for it. There’s a lot of debate in the publishing industry on whether or not “trailers work” or if they’re useless-what made you decide to use a trailer to promote your adult horror?

R.L. Stine: The publisher decided. No one asked me. I didn't see the trailer till it was finished. Luckily, I thought it was terrific. I think anything publishers do to promote a book is a good thing.

CM: Any more adult horror for us older Goosebumps fans in the works?

R.L. Stine:  I'm working on some YA projects now, in addition to new Goosebumps books.  Another adult novel? Maybe in the future...

CM:  What’s something readers would be surprised to know about you after they read one of your books?

R.L. Stine: They'd probably be surprised that I'm a big country music fan. And at the same time, an opera fan. We see at least 6 or 8 operas every season at the Metropolitan Opera. My readers probably don't expect that from a horror guy.

CM:  What’s the best book you’ve ever read and why?

R.L. Stine:  An impossible question. One book I read every year is "Dandelion Wine" by Ray Bradbury. I think it's a totally under-rated masterpiece. I read it every year to remind myself what good writing is.

CM:  If your house caught fire, what are the four things (rather than people) you’d save?  (Because everyone asks “three,” and I think you should get four!)

R.L. Stine:  My dog Minnie
My 3-foot-long cockroach
My life-sized skeleton
My check book

CM: What is your favorite word?

R.L. Stine:  kangaroo

CM:  Least favorite word?

R.L. Stine:  No

 

***R.L. Stine is giving away a signed copy of a Goosebumps book to one person who comments on this post, as well as a signed copy of A MidSummer Night's Scream to a second lucky commenter.  So, don't forget to comment!***

ABOUT R.L. STINE: R.L. Stine is the author of the bestselling Goosebumps series, as well as the Fear Street series. Other R.L. Stine book creations include: Ghosts of Fear Street, Give Yourself Goosebumps, The Nightmare Room (also a TV series), Mostly Ghostly, and Beware!, a collection of all his favorite stories, poems, comics and illustrations. Rotten School was a series of funny books about the rottenest school on earth. R.L. has published two creepy short story collections-- The Nightmare Hour and The Haunting Hour. Also, two teen vampire novels-- Dangerous Girls and Dangerous Girls II: The Taste of Night. 

These days, R.L. is busier than ever. He's working on many books, including the Goosebumps HorrorLand series. You can find out more inside info about new books on his website at www.rlstine.com. R.L. lives in New York City with his wife Jane and his dog Minnie. His son Matthew is a composer, musician, and sound designer. You can see them all in the PHOTO GALLERY section of his Web site. If you need other info about R.L. Stine, check out his autobiography-- It Came From Ohio-- published by Scholastic. 

 

With An Additional Giveaway From

DEE GARRETSON

 

***Another lucky commenter will win an autographed copy of Wolf Storm by Dee Garretson.***

ABOUT WOLF STORM:  This Stefan’s big break. He’s on location in the mountains far from home for his first movie role, filming a blockbuster sci-fi adventure. The props, the spaceships, and the trained wolves on set should add up to a dream job, but acting turns out to be much tougher than he ever imagined, and he feels like his inner loser is all that’s showing through. From the way his famously stuck-up co-star, Raine, treats him, he’s pretty sure she thinks so too. And worst of all, no one will believe his claim that there are wild wolves haunting the forest around the set.

When a blizzard strikes, isolating the young co-stars and bringing hungry feral wolves into the open, Stefan must take on his biggest role yet—working together with his co-stars to survive. With no second takes, they only have one chance to get it right.

Lights,
Camera,
Action!

Dee Garretson takes suspense and danger to new heights with her thrilling tale of friendship and survival against all odds. Learn more at www.deegarretson.com.

 

Comment for your chance to win both R.L Stine's and Dee's giveaways- leave an e-mail address we can contact if you win!

 

What is your favorite Goosebumps book?  What do you wish R.L. Stine would write about next?

 

Comments

  • 2/28/2014 - 9:32am kyle says
    i think a coococlock of doom 2 whould not be a bad idea but i think both mona and machal should be the victims my idea is that michal starts hunting for tarra after seeing a time phantom of her but mona gets cout in the time warp with him and michal in some point in the book finds out about a past life with him and the menace as well as a confrontaion with karlof menace
  • 2/12/2014 - 9:53am kyle says
    i think a coococlock of doom 2 whould not be a bad idea but i think both mona and machal should be the victims my idea is that michal starts hunting for tarra after seeing a time phantom of her but mona gets cout in the time warp with him and michal in some point in the book finds out about a past life with him and the menace as well as a confrontaion with karlof menace
  • 8/26/2013 - 2:10pm Colby Marshall says
    *****WINNERS!***** Here are the giveaway winners for this post. TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE, winners must e-mail colby [at] colbymarshall [dot] com and provide a shipping address for their items by Mon., September 2, 2013 (7 days following notification). If winner does not claim prize by this date, another winner will be selected at random from the original contest entrants. A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S SCREAM goes to Karen. The GOOSEBUMPS book goes to Robert Burkowsky. Dee Garretson's giveaway goes to Stephanie Leslie.
  • 8/25/2013 - 11:56pm Michael King says
    Well, I really want A Midsummers Night Scream and this new MOST WANTED GOOSEBUMPS book. SIGNED!!!
  • 8/25/2013 - 11:52pm Michael King says
    My favourite Goosebumps book? "How to kill a Monster" and ("Cuckoo Clock of Doom" & "Werewolf Skin") The relationship between the characters during the horror is more interesting when the monsters themselves. (especially in "How to kill a Monster") In Cuckoo Clock of Doom is a real character to hate. Tara. This sister. She reminds me a little of my brother... and Michael reminds me of myself - cause I get trouble for everything what in my house happens. I wish Mr Stine would write a brand new Fear Street book. A book which did'nt exist before and a book which has new elements and which is completly different from the past. This time the book must have 250 pages. (Sometimes its good to go back to the basics - When I see that your first book was "Blind Date" and your first Fear Street book was "A new girl" and one of your best is "Perfect Date" - without supernatural elements - just sherlock holmes like) (As make a movie about a series)
  • 8/25/2013 - 11:49am Laudeli Gonzalez says
    I love reading and taking risks. I admire the author R.L. Stine for managing to combine the two elements and producing such incredible novels! I'd love to win a mid summer night's scream. The title itself is genius and I can't wait to get my hands on it (unlike the book cover, I'd prefer to keep my hands free of blood). **PICK ME TO WIN** :D
  • 8/25/2013 - 11:01am Ritwik Jain says
    there are millions of things to tell you sir........ the biggest thank to you for giving me an inspiration and a BIG dream for being an author like you. believe it or not your pic is my phone's screen saver.
  • 8/24/2013 - 10:26am Joseph Walter says
    R.L. Stine is a cool guy, AND a great author. No other author has captivated me as much as he has in my life. The "Goosebumps" books are like candy to a sugar addict.
  • 8/24/2013 - 8:21am Sean says
    I didn't even know he wrote adult horror, need to pick that book up asap
  • 8/24/2013 - 7:54am Alex says
    Great Interview
  • 8/24/2013 - 7:44am Rob Vassar says
    I want a signed POOCHIE! (see I actually read GB Most Wanted Frankensteins Dog!)
  • 8/24/2013 - 4:16am Moon ursani says
    R.L Stine is my favourite author in the world! I am so happy to see that he is writing more goosebumps books!
  • 8/24/2013 - 12:29am isha says
    RL Stine has always been one of my favorite authors all of his books are so thrilling and yes they really give you goosebumps
  • 8/23/2013 - 11:06pm Brian McGrath says
    Woo!
  • 8/23/2013 - 8:55pm William says
    No greater horror author than R.L. Stine. I love ALL his books.
  • 8/23/2013 - 8:28pm Karen says
    I LOVED the Goosebumps books. They were always the ones that we checked out of the library on a constant basis. I would love another YA book from him!
  • 8/23/2013 - 8:04pm Adam Sanner says
    Love R.L Stine! Goosebumps is the jam! Outdated...? I think not. Still lovr it.
  • 8/23/2013 - 7:59pm Ashmita Kumar says
    I've read every single R. L. Stine book from a kid right up to now! I would love to receive a copy, signed, by the man himself and read the book again.
  • 8/23/2013 - 7:59pm Ashmita Kumar says
    I've read every single R. L. Stine book from a kid right up to now! I would love to receive a copy, signed, by the man himself and read the book again.
  • 8/23/2013 - 7:59pm Ashmita Kumar says
    I've read every single R. L. Stine book from a kid right up to now! I would love to receive a copy, signed, by the man himself and read the book again.
  • 8/23/2013 - 7:59pm Ashmita Kumar says
    I've read every single R. L. Stine book from a kid right up to now! I would love to receive a copy, signed, by the man himself and read the book again.
  • 8/23/2013 - 7:59pm Ashmita Kumar says
    I've read every single R. L. Stine book from a kid right up to now! I would love to receive a copy, signed, by the man himself and read the book again.
  • 8/23/2013 - 7:59pm Ashmita Kumar says
    I've read every single R. L. Stine book from a kid right up to now! I would love to receive a copy, signed, by the man himself and read the book again.
  • 8/23/2013 - 7:50pm Micah says
    I have almost every one of R.L. Stine's books. I loved the alternate endings some of them provided.
  • 8/23/2013 - 7:27pm Christa says
    These books bring back such wonderful childhood memories! I can't wait for my children to enjoy the same...
  • 8/23/2013 - 7:24pm Megan and Charlie says
    We'd love a signed book! From the home of the kangaroo!!!
  • 8/23/2013 - 7:24pm Megan and Charlie says
    We'd love a signed book! From the home of the kangaroo!!!
  • 8/23/2013 - 7:08pm Zane says
    I can't wait to read Midsummer Night's Scream!!!! A signed copy would be even better!
  • 8/23/2013 - 7:03pm Madeline says
    1. You can not just buy one Goosebumps book at a time. 2. You can not choose a favorite.
  • 8/23/2013 - 6:47pm rickey young says
    It was wonderful great book
  • 8/23/2013 - 6:47pm rickey young says
    It was wonderful great book
  • 8/23/2013 - 6:27pm Krystal Lynn says
    I'm in my late 20's and I still sometimes read Goosebumps. They were what got me into reading in the first place.
  • 8/23/2013 - 6:24pm Matt Banfield says
    The first book I ever bought for myself was "Let's Get Invisible!", the 6th book in the Goosebumps series. 20 years and many books later and I'd have to say that the Goosebumps books are among my favorite that I've ever read.
  • 8/23/2013 - 6:22pm Jacqueline Cassidy says
    My two siblings and I grew up reading Goosebumps. We absolutely loved it and it quickly became a house favorite. A signed book from Mr. Stine would definitely be a great addition to our childhood memories. It would be a great treasure to pass to our little ones.
  • 8/23/2013 - 6:19pm Courtney Hatlee says
    I'd for sure take my skeleton too! ;)
  • 8/23/2013 - 6:05pm Eric says
    Chills and thrills!!! Love R.L.!
  • 8/23/2013 - 6:03pm Lynn Zimmerman says
    My son, Micah, and his sister, Shera, both grew up reading Mr. Stine's Goosebumps series. I'm grateful for the love of reading he helped create in my children.
  • 8/23/2013 - 5:49pm JennWalkup says
    Love this interview! I loved Goosebumps growing up and can't wait until my kids can read them!
  • 8/23/2013 - 5:49pm Shera Zimmerman says
    Over the years, I have donated and sold many of the books in my extensive book collection, but I have never been able to part with my Goosebumps collection. I can't wait to pass them in to my children one day, as they were some of my favorite childhood memories. I think I would faint if I received anything signed by Mr. R.L. Stine.
  • 8/23/2013 - 5:26pm Sarah Cunningham says
    My 10-year old recently discovered the Goosebumps series and she has been devouring them. I think she's read every one in the public library!
  • 8/23/2013 - 5:15pm Jessica says
    Growing up, Stine's Goosebumps was the only approved horror type of books my sister and I were allowed to read. Phantom of the Auditorium is my favorite since its a spin on one of my favorite books, The Phantom of the Opera.
  • 8/23/2013 - 3:12pm Hadia says
    Although I love the Goosebumps series, I was so happy to hear that R.L. Stine has returned to writing YA novels!This literally made my day. He's my most favorite author ever and I hope he continues to write more of his bone-chilling horrors! ;)
  • 8/23/2013 - 2:42pm Arijel says
    I'm not able to buy Goosebumps translated in my country. But I'm able to buy Fear Street, and I love it! Really! And I'm really hoping I will earn my first Goosebumps!
  • 8/23/2013 - 2:16pm Bryn Greenwood says
    My sister is a school librarian, and I know she spends a lot of time repairing the Goosebumps books, because they see so much traffic.
  • 8/23/2013 - 2:00pm Staci Callahan says
    Love R.L Stine! I am a teacher and my students go crazy over his books. I have alot of the original books in my classroom, they just can't get enough.
  • 8/23/2013 - 1:57pm Josh Nichols says
    I loved Goosebumps as a kid and still do. I love these interviews and wish there was an autobiography on R.L. Stine. My personal favorite was always 'The Haunted Mask'
  • 8/23/2013 - 1:55pm Robert Burkosky says
    Fantastic Interview! I've been a fan of R.L. Stine my entire life. It's great to see that he is still a strong force in the horror genre.
  • 8/23/2013 - 1:50pm Trish aldrich says
    R.L. Stine is a cherished author in my family. My brother hated reading but LOVED those books. He passed away from Leukemia at age 12 and now seeing Goosebumps books reminds me of the wonderful memories I have of him. As a future classroom teacher, I can't wait to fill my room with interesting literature that will appeal to young avid readers that don't even know how much they love it yet. Thank you, R.L Stine!
  • 8/23/2013 - 1:43pm Doug says
    Great interview. Have red rain on my Kindle right now. Can't wait to read it. Goose bumps and fear street were a huge part of growing up for me.
  • 8/23/2013 - 1:40pm Cazzy Lewchuk says
    Amazing to see R.L still going strong! He started my lifelong horror fascination. Thanks.
  • 8/23/2013 - 1:36pm LynDee says
    I ADORED R.L.'s books growing up (Twisted was my favorite. SO CREEPY), and my oldest has just gotten into Goosebumps and loves them. Thanks for sharing this, Colby!
  • 8/23/2013 - 1:25pm Abby Espinoza says
    My little ones are horror junkies! Can't wait to introduce them to Goosebumps when they hit chapter books. (But secretly and selfishly hoping to win Midsummer's Night Scream for myself.)
  • 8/23/2013 - 12:57pm Kimberly Thompson says
    The love for country music took me by surprise! You definitely don't expect that from a horror author. I know everyone is all for Goosebump's but Fear Street was my favorite. I can't wait to introduce them to my children one day.
  • 8/23/2013 - 12:35pm Margeaux Copeland says
    Thinking of the Goosebumps series definitely brings back memories from my childhood. My brother and I had almost every book in the series and regularly fought over who would get to read the next one first! And I also think it would be very hard to write a dog as an evil character...
  • 8/23/2013 - 12:14pm Jonathan Willis says
    I've loved the goosebumps books ever since I got "welcome to dead house" in 4th grade through the scholastic book orders. Since then I was hooked and would still have all 62 if my 8yr old niece hadn't taken them...but I'm glad she is enjoying them as well.
  • 8/23/2013 - 11:32am Colby Marshall says
    Thanks for stopping by, Stephanie! I read all the books growing up and am still a huge fan! And a big thank you to Bob Stine and Dee Garretson for being part of this day. Readers, please continue to comment until midnight for a chance to win these giveaways!
  • 8/23/2013 - 11:20am Stephanie Leslie says
    Love reading Goosebumps to my (now 10) year old daughter. It brings back memories of being around her age and scaring myself silly reading your books late at night. Thanks so much for all your wonderful books!

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