R.L. Stine

Photo of R.L. Stine
Robert Lawrence Stine was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1943 and grew up with two siblings, Bill and Pam. When Bob was nine, he found an old typewriter up in the attic, a discovery that changed his life. He carried it down to his room and started typing stories and little joke books.

His mother begged him to go outside and play, but Bob stayed in his room typing away—and he has been writing ever since! In school, Bob was not a great student, but he never studied very hard, preferring to spend his time writing stories and joke magazines.

After graduating from Ohio State University in 1965, Bob headed to New York City to become a writer. He wrote dozens of joke books and humor books for kids. And he created Bananas, a zany humor magazine which he wrote for ten years, under the name Jovial Bob Stine.

In 1986, R.L. turned scary! He wrote his first teen horror novel, Blind Date, which became an instant best-seller. Many scary novels followed, then in  1989 he created the young adult series, Fear Street.

The Goosebumps series began in 1992 and quickly became a hit around the world. It has been translated into 32 different languages and also made into a successful TV show.

R.L. lives in New York City with his wife Jane and his dog Minnie. His son Matthew is a composer, musician, and sound designer. 

Author's Comment: Q.  Why did you decide to write scary books? Was there a certain movie or show that inspired you?

A.  I always liked scary movies and books. When I was about eight or nine, I started reading scary horror comic books. They were called VAULT OF HORROR and TALES FROM THE CRYPT. My brother and I went to every scary movie. We didn't get scared—we always LAUGHED!

Q.  Where do you get your story ideas? Stuff that happens to you in real life? Your dreams/nightmares? From daydreaming?

A.  Ideas come from everywhere. But most of my ideas start with a title. I try to dream up a really good book title first. Once I have a title, it leads me to a story. By the way, I've never gotten a story idea from a dream. I have the most boring dreams!

Q.  What kind of stuff do you find scary? Got any phobias?

A.  I have one phobia—I can't jump into water. I have to step into a swimming pool; I can't jump or dive in. My nephews think it's a riot that a scary guy like me is afraid to jump into a pool!

Nationality: American

Featured series by R.L. Stine

Goosebumps (Original) - Age 8 & up