The number-one-bestselling children’s author of all time, R. L. Stine is most famous for the creepy Goosebumps series. He is a writer and producer, also known for The Haunting Hour: Don’t Think About It. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Mr. Stine now lives in New York City.
What’s the weirdest fan mail you’ve received? My favorite was from a girl early on in my career. She said, “Dear R. L. Stine, I loved The Babysitter. The same thing happened to me, only it was my uncle who tried to kill me. Keep up the good work.” My all-time favorite letter was from a boy who wrote, “Dear R. L. Stine, I’ve read 40 of your books and I think they’re really boring.” Isn’t that perfect?
Do you answer all your mail? In the early days I could; I think every kid deserves an answer, because it’s hard for kids to write letters. I make sure everyone gets an answer; at one point I had a staff of five answering mail. I try to read as much of it as I can.
People think they lose their imagination as they age. Why do people believe that? I think that most people don’t have the luxury of sitting at home and writing stories. They have to find other ways to earn a living which might not demand as much imagination.
What has been your most frightening personal experience? I haven’t had a scary life, aside from real personal things. I do have a phobia that my nephews think is just insane: I cannot jump into water. I have to step into swimming pools. It’s a real phobia, but my nephews think it’s hilarious that this scary guy is so terrified of jumping into water.
Why do you think people like to be scared? I think everyone likes a good scare, and I think everyone likes to be able to have creepy adventures and face monsters when they know they’re safe at the time. When kids read my books, they’re facing a lot of their real fears in these books but know that they’re not in any real danger.
Do you ever get ideas from readers? That’s never worked out; it’s a shame.
Do you believe in ghosts? No, I don’t believe in any of the stuff I write.