R.L. Stine

October 31, 2016

I'm R.L. Stine and it's my job to terrify kids. Ask me anything!

Hi! I'm R.L. Stine and my job is to terrify kids. You might know me as the bestselling author of Goosebumps, but you can call be Bob.

Here's proof that it's me: https://twitter.com/RL_Stine/status/793073897608515584

I'm the author of more than three hundred books, including the Goosebumps Series. My series R.L. Stine'€™s The Haunting Hour returns to Discovery Family Channel today starting at 5 PM ET. Ask me anything!

Which book of yours is your favorite?

My favorite GB book is he Haunted Mask. I also enjoy writing the Slappy books-- he's so evil, he's fun to write.

How do you feel about the goosebumps movie? I grew up reading goosebumps, now i love horror as an adult...thank you.

I was really happy with the GB Movie. I'm so glad they're talking about doing a sequel.

Happy Halloween! Loved the Goosebumps series growing up! Thanks for playing a big part in my childhood. On a side note, love hearing your voice on R.L. Grime's Halloween mixes. How did he reach out to you, and have you actually listened to any of his mixes?

I love the R.L. Grime mixes. Of course I listen to them.


So glad my books were meaningful to you. On Halloween, I like the old Universal horror films, Frankenstein and Dracula and the Invisible Man

Have you ever considered writing for comic books?

I'm writing a series of comic books for Marvel-- my first comics ever. But I'm not allowed to talk about them yet.

What do you think the scariest movie of all time is?

The Shining.

Hello Mr. Stine!

Your books were a huge source of my love of reading as a child which has developed into adulthooed, especially the books regarding Chucky. My question is what is the source of your inspirations, and do you use your books to share any messages that you find important for kids?

The only message in my books is RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!

Who did you read growing up?

I read mostly comics--Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror, MAD. When I was nine, I discovered Ray Bradbury. Changed my life.

Have you met the 'Ermehgerd' girl?

No. Has anyone ever met her??

Is it wrong of me to want more of your stories?

Yes, terribly wrong. You need help.

Wow. My son has read over a hundred Goosebumps books in the last few months. I wish he was home today to ask you a few questions but I will ask for him. How do you come up with scary ideas, but still make make them appropriate for kids? Also, what is your favorite series that you have written?

I'm working on a new GB series for next year. It's called Goosebumps SlappyWorld. The first book is called Slappy Birthday to You.

What was the worst character you've ever written?

Jellyjam from Camp Jellyjam. He smelled so bad, he died of his own odor.

What are you scared of?

I'm scared you might miss The Haunting Hour marathon that starts in two hours on Discovery Family Channel. Seven straight hours of R.L. Stine shows. Hope you don't miss it.

Ermahgerd, thank you for doing this AMA! I’ve read that instead of getting scared, you laugh at horror movies. With that in mind, what is the “funniest” movie you’ve ever seen?

The Rink with Charlie Chaplin Duck Soup with the Marx Brothers The Naked Gun

Greetings from your devoted fans at Drinking with Goosebumps! We recently hit the halfway point in the original books (Night of the Living Dummy II) and just finished up The Barking Ghost.

Did you ever have any input on the covers of the original 62 books? Tim Jacobus' art remains iconic. They really need to put out a coffee table book of those covers!

Tim's covers were amazing. I always sent him short summaries of the stories. He painted at the same time I was writing the book.

What is a type of book you have always wanted to write, but for one reason or another never have gotten a chance to?

No such thing.

The end of chapter suspense moments always got me and my little sister all excited every time I'd read one of the books to her. it got to the point it'd urge us to read on past our bedtime getting us in trouble numerous times. So my question is why the war on bedtime?

Sleeping vs. reading-- it's a hard choice.

What do you think of Rod Serling's work?

Rod Serling was a hero of mine. The Twilight Zone was a big influence on me. I've seen them all.

Hello, Mr. Stine. Thank you for being part of my childhood. The books still give me the creeps to this day. The ones that scared me the most were the Monster Blood books. How did you come up with the idea of a substance that could be so terrifying?

The words Monster Blood just popped into my head. Then I had to figure out what it was.

What was your favourite book to write?

Where do you draw inspiration?

Do you miss the TV series they did from your books?

I don't miss the series because they're still being shown. Discovery Family Channel will be showing The Haunting Hour all of November.

Where did the idea for Slappy come from, and why does he seem to be a mastermind puppeteer?

I was very happy with the movie. I think it could have been a TINY bit scarier. But I truly loved the way it came out.


Matt is doing well. He does sound design for theater companies, and he has a two-year-old son, my grandson Dylan.

Now that Stephen King just put out a children's book are you going to put out an adult horror novel in response?

My latest adult horror novel is titled RED RAIN.

Mr. Stine, thank you for doing this! I'm a little starstruck, you were one of my favourite authors as a kid.

Two questions for you:

  1. Who is your favourite horror author, besides yourself?

  2. How do you feel about the Goosebumps TV show that aired in the '90's?


I'm a big Stephen King fan. I think he's a terrific storyteller. I also like Peter Straub.

What literary works influence you the most?

Stephen King, Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury, Harlan Coben, P.G. Wodehouse....

Hey Mr. Stine!! What's your favorite Halloween candy? Please don't say candycorngarbage

I'm very loyal to the KitKat Bar.

How often do you look back at a book, and wish you had done something differently?

I always wish I had done something differently, but I seldom look back at books. Gotta move on to the next one. By the way, the new Fear Street book is called The Dead Boyfriend. I'm enjoying writing Fear Street again. And watch for a Fear Street movie next year!

How do you begin writing a story? How much is Romantic inspiration and how much is pragmatic design/planning?

All of my stories start with a title. The title leads me to the story.


Game of Thrones.

Do you write out fully sketched profiles of characters before you start the plot?

I write a vey complete chapter-by-chapter outline of every book before I start writing.

Are you afraid of the dark?

Isn't everyone?

do you like mustard?

Why are you asking this? Do you have a thing about mustard?

Was season 1 episode 8 of the television series, "My Hairiest Adventure," meant as a puberty allegory?

You da man, Bob!


Dr. Seuss, or Shel Silverstein?
Walt Disney, or Jim Henson?

I'd vote for all four.

Will there be any more "Give Yourself Goosebumps" books? Those were my favorite as a kid.

None planned at this time. Sorry.

Any memorable stories from when you meant Stephen King that weren't covered in the media?

He accused me of using up all of the amusement park plots in the world.

Any memorable stories from when you meant Stephen King that weren't covered in the media?

He accused me of using up all of the amusement park plots in the world.

How are you? Have you been getting good sleep? Eating right?

I don't get much sleep at Halloween time. I'm out publicizing my Discovery Family Channel marathon that starts in a few hours. And my newest GB book, The Lizard of Oz.


Maybe my measles shot.

Hi Bob! Long time fan here. It's a dream of mine to write and illustrate a collection of scary stories for kids. I've started posting to Instagram and getting some of my stories out there. Any advice as far as next steps for someone trying to get started in the publishing world?

Find a list of agents online and start showing them your stuff.

What is the best memory you have from working on Eureka's Castle?

Working with the puppeteers was the most fun a writer could have. Did you know that I modeled Batly the Bat after my son Matt?


Working on the new Goosebumps SlappyWorld series.

How close was Jack black's portrayal of you in the movie?

Not close at all. He played me as Orson Welles! Hilarious.

If you could re-write any of your books for an adult audience, which would it be?

Welcome to Dead House. It would fit the zombie craze today.

Where is your dream vacation spot?

St. Croix. We go there every Christmas.

Hey Bob, loved your books and show growing up. Can you give me a sentence that will scare me as an adult?

Don't get scared, but it's time for me to leave. Thank you, everyone, for the great questions. I hope you enjoy the Hunting Hour marathon on Discovery Family Channel. And I hope you have a scary Halloween. Bye for now.

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with R.L. Stine conducted on Reddit on 2016-10-31. The Reddit AMA can be found here.