Robert Lawrence Stine, or R.L. Stine to his readers, is one of the bestselling authors of all time. His books – largely via the Goosebumps and Fear Street – have sold over 350 million copies. Here are X facts about the children’s horror author.
1) Early starter
R.L. Stine found a typewriter when he was just nine, and set to work straight away – turning out short stories and joke books! He also joined the school newspaper team.
2) Stine started a humour magazine called Bananas
Stine isn’t all about horror and scares – he has a funny bone too. In 1975, he started a humour magazine aimed at teenagers. It was called Bananas, and was published by Scholastic Press. The magazine ran for 9 years before coming to an end in 1984.
Take our quiz: Spot the fake Goosebumps book!
3) Fear Street became the bestselling Young Adult series of all time
In 1989, R. L. Stine released his first Fear Street book. The series was about dark and strange happenings in a neighbourhood. The original series had 17 installments, and quickly became the bestselling Young Adult series in history.
4) R.L. Stine worked on a TV show
After releasing a few novels with Scholastic, he left to work on Eureeka’s Castle – a children’s TV puppet show. The show finished after 3 seasons.
5) Stine’s first Goosebumps deal was for 6 books
After working with puppets, Stine returned to writing books. He developed the idea of Goosebumps with his wife, and pitched it to his old friends at Scholastic. They ordered a series of 6 books from Stine, to test the waters. The original 6 sold out, and the rest was history!
6) Many of the Goosebumps books took just 6 days to write
Once R. L. Stine got into his stride, the words tumbled out of him. He’s said that many of the books in the Goosebumps series took him just 6 days to complete. His speediness at producing the stories is a key element in what makes him so prolific.
7) R.L. Stine starts off with the title
Before Stine starts to write a Goosebumps book, he first thinks of the title, and works from that. Next, we works out the ending. He says that that way, he can trick the audience into thinking the story is going one way, when it’s actually going another.
8) The Haunted Mask was inspired by a true event
One of the most popular Goosebumps books – The Haunted Mask – follows Carly Beth; a young girl who buys a halloween mask to try to scare her bullies, but the mask turns out to be evil, fuses to her skin, and turns her into a menace. The book was inspired by an event in Stine’s family home. One Halloween, his son put a mask on, and couldn’t get it off again.
There you have it – 8 facts about R.L. Stine!