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Books Chat

R. L. Stine


Chat with the best-selling children's author

September 17, 1999
Web posted at: 4:00 p.m. EDT

Robert Lawrence Stine is the best-selling children's author in history. The author of the best-selling series GOOSEBUMPS, GOOSEBUMPS SERIES 2000, FEAR STREET, and NIGHTMARE HOUR, was born in Columbus, Ohio. Stine began his writing career at the age of nine-writing short stories, joke books, and comic books for his friends-and has been at it ever since.

Upon graduation from Ohio State University, where he was the editor of The Sundial, the university humor magazine, Stine moved to New York City. There he served as editor of numerous magazines for Scholastic and for ten years he was the editor-in-chief of Bananas, a humor magazine for children. During this time, Stine wrote dozens of joke books and humor books for children.

book Chat with R.L. Stein Wednesday October 27 Book chat, 4 PM edt
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In 1986, Stine wrote Blind Date, his first scary story for teenagers. Blind Date became an immediate best seller. "It was a complete surprise for me," recalls Stine. "I realized I'd really struck a chord with kids. They liked scary books!"

Following the success of Blind Date and several other scary novels, Parachute Press and R. L. Stine teamed up in 1989 to create FEAR STREET, the first young adult horror series. After the enormous success of FEAR STREET, Parachute and Stine launched GOOSEBUMPS with Scholastic in 1992.

Stine's GOOSEBUMPS, a scary yet humorous series for ages 8-12, was an instantaneous hit with kids. By 1994, GOOSEBUMPS books were being shipped to bookstores at an unheard of rate of 1.25 million per month. Stine was named the #1 best-selling author in America by USA Today for three straight years, from 1994-1996. More than 220 million GOOSEBUMPS books are currently in print. Since January 1997 his newest series of GOOSEBUMPS books-GOOSEBUMPS SERIES 2000-has been giving kids more scares than ever before.

GOOSEBUMPS books have been translated into sixteen languages and are currently the best selling children's series in England, France, Australia, and several other countries. With the explosion of FEAR STREET and GOOSEBUMPS books, television series and merchandise overseas, Stine has become an international celebrity as GOOSEBUMPS becomes a worldwide phenomenon. His books were cited by the Sunday Times of London as the most borrowed by children from the UK libraries.

In October 1999, R. L. Stine unleashes NIGHTMARE HOUR, his first-ever trade hardcover book for kids! Geared to kids ages 8 and up, NIGHTMARE HOUR is comprised of ten of the most terrifying, original stories R. L. Stine has ever written: What horror awaits a boy who has to spend Halloween in the hospital? How do you outwit a ghost who wants your skin? Why is Nightmare Inn the most terrifying place to visit? For the first time ever, Stine also shares the secret behind each story, revealing where the ideas for each tale came from. Each of the ten stories are matched with an original illustration by ten celebrated artists including Edward Koren, Bernie Wrightson, Cliff Nielsen, John Jude Palencar, and John Collier. Stine confides, "these are my scariest stories ever!"

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  • Message board: Haunted places

  • Message board: Halloween candy

  • Message board: Great Halloween costumes

  • The story of the prolific horror writer also extends beyond books. R. L. Stine's GOOSEBUMPS was the #1 kids show on Saturday morning television for three consecutive seasons on the Fox Kids Network. The TV series is also an international hit and sales of videos of GOOSEBUMPS episodes and television specials regularly achieve multi-platinum sales.

    R. L. Stine's THE BEAST, a thrill-ride story based on the real-life rollercoaster in Ohio, was recently sold to IMAX for feature film production.

    In October 1997, Walt Disney World opened the Goosebumps HorrorLand Fright Show and Fun House, a GOOSEBUMPS-themed attraction, drawing Stine's fans from around the country and around the world. Additionally, producer/director Tim Burton (Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Batman) is producing a GOOSEBUMPS feature film for the big screen.

    Even more: GOOSEBUMPS LIVE, a stage spectacular, produced by Feld Entertainment (Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus) toured the US in Fall 1998 and opened in the UK this summer to sell-out crowds. Stine's FEAR STREET was recently acquired and SENIORS:A FEAR STREET Series was launched by Golden Books. A feature film and television based on the FEAR STREET books are also coming soon. The chilling world of FEAR STREET jumped from the printed page to the World Wide Web with, the official FEAR STREET website. With an average of 130,000 hits per week, the FEAR STREET website has proven to be a favorite with teens nationwide, offering chilling facts for SENIORS:A FEAR STREET Series and FEAR STREET SAGAS.

    R. L. Stine lives in Manhattan with his wife, Jane, their son Matthew, and their dog Nadine.

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