First Coast Connect: From Grins To Goosebumps With R.L. Stine

Feb 17, 2017

R.L. Stine tells host Melissa Ross of First Coast Connect about his journey towards becoming a bestselling children's book author
Credit Dan Nelken/St. Martins Press

What started off as a grin quickly turned into goosebumps.

Bestselling children’s author R.L. Stine joined First Coast Connect by phone Friday to discuss his top-selling children’s series "Goosebumps." Stine will also speak at the Amelia Island Book Festival in Fernandina Beach on Saturday. The event is sold out.

 

Stine said the launch of his Goosebumps empire in 1992 happened unexpectedly.

 

“I never planned to be scary ever. I always wanted to be funny,” Stine said.

 

He wrote about a 100 joke books for children and worked 10 years for a humor magazine called “Bananas” before diving into horror novels.

 

“One day I was having lunch with the editor of Scholastic, and she had a fight with a guy who wrote teen horror novels,” he said. “She said ‘I'm not working with him anymore. You could do a good teen horror novel.”

 

Three months later, after extensive research on the teen horror genre, Stine published the bestseller, “Blind Date.”

 

Since then, he began writing his “Fear Street” terror series for teenagers. But, the Goosebumps series started when his wife, her business partner and Stine’s editor said, “We should try to scare younger kids. Lets try to do a younger series.”

 

Stine is also venturing out after receiving a call from an editor at Marvel who offered him a chance to write a series of comic books.

 

“This is a lifelong dream of mine,” he said.

 

Stine’s fondness for swamp monsters led him to pick “this really ugly character they had called Man-Thing to do a 5 comic book series.” The series debuts in March.

 

News Intern Joy Kader can be reached at newsteam@wjct.org or on Twitter at @joykader95.