R.L. Stine Is Here and Ready to Take Your Questions!

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Did a chill just run down your spine? That's probably because R.L. Stine has arrived at Jezebel to take your questions.


With apologies to Ann M. Martin, there's probably no author quite so associated with a nineties childhood as R.L. Stine, professional frightener of kids. According to his website, the man has sold a whopping 350 million books. That of course includes both the Goosebumps and Fear Street series, which are fondly remembered for their (mostly) age-appropriate scares and amazing cover art. Paperbacks don't get any better than this:

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Can I get that in makeup pouch form? Thanks.

Fun fact, though: Stine was also co-creator and head writer of another franchise that'll be familiar to many who grew up on Goosebumps: Eureeka's Castle. While you probably associate him with the shivers, turns out it was right up his alley. He told the AV Club:

I'd always liked puppets, and I do a lot with puppets and dolls and things in Goosebumps. It was mainly writing, and I'd been funny for years. I never wanted to be scary. I always wanted to be funny. At this point, I'd written about 100 joke books for kids and I'd written a humor magazine for kids for 10 years called Bananas. I was used to writing funny stuff, so it was just a matter of writing these seven- to 10-minute funny puppet scripts. That part was easy. The hard part was getting used to collaborating with people.

Most recently, Stine relaunched the Fear Street series with Party Games, about a birthday party gone horribly awry. (The "Fear Island" venue should've been their first clue.) Jezebel recently reread Cheerleaders: The First Evil and found it a great reminder of Stine's talent for creatively offing teens.

Got any lingering plot questions from your days reading Fear Street under the covers with a flashlight? Wondering how to break into scaring kids for a living? Ask away!


Updated, 2pm: And that's a wrap! Thanks for your questions, everyone, and thanks very much to R.L. Stine for stopping by. (And also for turning many of us into devoted, lifelong readers.)

Illustration by Tara Jacoby and Jim Cooke.


Madeleine Davies

Mr. Stine! As a former (if not lifelong) member of Scholastic's OFFICIAL Goosebumps fan club, this is a very big deal for me!

A few questions:

Were you given any creative control over the Goosebumps tv show? Were you ever on set for it?

Lastly, I once read that you named your characters using names from your kids' school directory. Is that true?