R. L. Stine
"There are all kinds of worlds in the real world," she said softly. "Most people don't know that." ― R.L. Stine, Shadow Girl.

Born in 1943, R.L. Stine started out at a young age, by writing jokes and funny stories. He attended Ohio State University and during his time there, he edited the school’s humour magazine, The Sundial. His editorial role earned him 22 percent of the magazine’s profit which allowed him to move to New York after he graduated, with a Bachelor of Arts in English.

After school, he moved to New York City, where he landed an editorial job with Scholastic Books, getting the chance to edit a humour magazine called Bananas, where he often wrote stories under the name Jovial Bob Stine. He worked there for 16 years, writing humour and joke books for kids in his free time. It was not until years later that he was having lunch with an editor friend and she had the idea that Stine should try writing a good scary teen novel. She even told him what to call it: Blind Date. After a lot of research and writing, Stine released his first horror novel for young adults in 1986. Following the novel's initial success, he continued writing horror for children, later saying, "It wasn’t even my idea! It’s kind of embarrassing. I would go to schools and say to kids, 'Why do you like these books?' I didn’t get it. Every single time they would say 'I like to be scared.' I just sorta stumbled on to it and I’ve been scary ever since."

Three years after Blind Date, he launched his popular Fear Street series and then Goosebumps in 1992. At one point, Stine’s Goosebumps series was the highest-selling book series of all time, selling 4 million copies per month! In total, these books have sold over 400 million copies and counting. The unpredictability, plot twists, and cliff-hanger endings of his horror writing relies on surprise and avoids the serious topics of modern-day life and allowed kids to experience what Stine termed "a safe scare."

Fun facts

  • He has a phobia of jumping into water. He has to step into a swimming pool instead of jumping of diving.
  • R.L. stands for Robert Lawrence, but his family call him Bob.
  • He started writing when he was 9, when he found an old typewriter in his family’s attic.
  • To unwind after work he enjoys playing the pinball machine conveniently located in his own apartment.
  • While writing Goosebumps, he worked for Nickelodeon Network as co-creator and head writer of Eureeka's Castle, a children's program.
  • R.L. Stine has used pen names including Eric Affabee and Jovial Bob Stine.
  • He thinks his books is what made Halloween so popular.
  • He originally wrote his ‘Fear Street’ series for girls. But they are just as popular with boys.
  • He does not believe in supernatural things happening in real life.
  • Jack Black plays Stine in the Goosebumps movies. The real Stine makes a cameo appearance in the films as high school teacher, Mr Black.

Get started

On the web

  • Visit R.L. Stine’s official website.
  • Play Goosebumps Horror Town on your device. Ages 9+ R.L. Stine's Goosebumps monsters have come to haunt your phone! Build a town and fill it with the scariest of monsters from the hit horror series. Gather a scary assortment of sinister creatures and terrify townsfolk or play as humans to defend against the monsters! Download on the App Store. Get it on Google Play.
  • Write a letter to R.L. Stine at:
    R.L. Stine 
    C/o Parachute Publishing
    157 Columbus Avenue Room 518 
    New York, NY 10023
  • Listen to the Rainy Night Theatre podcast written by R.L. Stine.
  • Play Home Base, the destination for characters, games and stories. Make new friends as you explore islands from the books you love like Goosebumps, Dog Man and The Bad Guys.

Love the program? Complete the online survey.