Believe it or not, the Goosebumps series author has never seen a ghost, is afraid of jumping into a body of water (he needs to step into it slowly), and has written over three hundred books. R.L. Stine is a name most people under thirty know because it is a name that brings back frightening memories. I remember being afraid to read his books at night because I would have nightmares! It’s undeniable that the man is good at what he does: writing horror novels.
R.L. Stine was born in 1943 in Colombus, Ohio, and everyone called him Bob. He began writing at the age of nine after finding a typewriter in his house. His mother would ask him to play outside, but he thought being outside was boring, so he stayed in his room writing for hours on end. He has admitted he wasn’t the greatest student, achieving mostly B’s, and never really striving to do any better. He attended Ohio State University, and, upon graduating, moved to New York City to write full time. He didn’t write horror stories until 1986; before then, he wrote comedic stories and comics. His first teen horror novel was Blind Date, which became an instant best seller. He created a series called Fear Street in 1989, and another, which he is most well-known for, called Goosebumps, which began in 1992. Goosebumps became a television show, and remained the number one kids’ show for three years in a row. Stine has not only written horror novels, but also horror short story collections: The Nightmare Hour and The Haunting Hour.
According to his website, Stine’s story ideas come from everywhere except his dreams, and every story begins with a title. He always figures out the ending to the story before even beginning to write. He particularly enjoys reading Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury, who is one of his favorite authors, and his advice for young writers is to keep a journal and write every day.
If you would like to read more about R.L. Stine, he has an autobiography entitled It Came From Ohio, as well as a website.
– Allison Bellows