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
***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.
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?