"Making my class laugh and getting in trouble. I was the class clown." -- R. L. Stine
Robert Lawrence Stine (born October 8, 1943), known as R. L. Stine, and Jovial Bob Stine, is an American writer. Stine, who is often called the "Stephen King of Children's literature," is the author of hundreds of horror fiction novels, including the books in the Goosebumps, Rotten School,Mostly Ghostly,The Nightmare Room, and Fear Street series. Some of his lesser-known works include a Space Cadets trilogy, two Hark gamebooks, a two-part novel The Beast and dozens of joke books.
"I feel happy to terrify kids.""I guess I'm way too kind and generous, and a saint - if you can believe that!""I have a cheat-sheet for each one of my characters about their personality, the way they look, etc. So there is no possible way that I could have writer's block.""I used to get a haircut every Saturday so I would never miss any of the comic books. I had practically no hair when I was a kid!""Read. Read. Read. Just don't read one type of book. Read different books by various authors so that you develop different styles.""Well, when I was 13, for my bar mitzvah I received my first typewriter. And that was special."
Stine was born in Columbus, Ohio the oldest of three children, to a homemaker mother and a shipping clerk father. He began writing at age 9 when he found a typewriter in his attic, subsequently beginning to type stories and joke books and has been writing ever since. He graduated from Ohio State University in 1965 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, later moving to New York City to become a writer. He wrote dozens of joke books for kids under the pen name Jovial Bob Stine and created the humor magazine Bananas, where he worked for many years with Nickelodeon. He wrote some movie novelizations and many gamebooks at this time, too. In 1985 he began writing for the New Yorker. The job only lasted for three months due to the "vulgar" descriptions he used while describing the plight of man's desire of nonexistence in a Nietzsche-influenced society.
In 1986, Stine wrote his first teen horror novel, Blind Date. He soon followed with the "novels" Twisted, Beach Party, The Boyfriend, The Baby-sitter, The Baby-sitter II, The Baby-sitter III, The Baby-sitter IV, Beach House, Hit and Run, and The Girlfriend - most of which were published as part of the Point Horror series. He was a co-creator and head writer for the Nickelodeon Network children's television show Eureeka's Castle, original episodes of which aired as part of the Nick Jr. programming block during the 1989 to 1995 seasons.
In 1990, Stine teamed up with Parachute Press to create Fear Street. In 1992, Stine made an attempt at writing comedy by creating a series called Space Cadets which lasted only three books. Later in the year, Stine and Parachute went on to launch Goosebumps. According to Forbes List of the 40 best-paid Entertainers of 1996-97, Stine placed 36th with an income of $41 million for the fiscal year. His books have been translated into 32 languages and have sold over 300 million copies worldwide, landing on bestseller lists world wide. In three consecutive years during the 1990s, USA Today named Stine as America's number one best-selling author. Among the awards he has received are the 2002 Champion of Reading Award from the Free Public Library of Philadelphia (that award's first year), the Disney Adventures Kids' Choice Award for Best Book-Mystery/Horror (three-time recipient) and the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards (also received three times). During the 1990s, Stine was listed on People Weekly's "Most Intriguing People" list, and in 2003, the Guinness Book of World Records named Stine as the best-selling children's book series author of all time. He won the Thriller Writers of America Silver Bullet Award in 2007. His stories have even inspired R. L. Stine's Haunted Lighthouse, 4D movie-based attractions at SeaWorld San Diego and Busch Gardens Europe.
Also produced was a TV series that ran for four seasons from 1995—1998 and two video games; Escape From Horrorland and Attack of the Mutant. In 1995, Stine released his first novel targeted at adults, called Superstitious. He has since published two other adult-oriented novels; The Sitter and Eye Candy.
In the first decade of the 21st century, Stine has worked on installments of five different book series, Mostly Ghostly, Rotten School, Fear Street, The Nightmare Room, Goosebumps Horrorland and the stand-alone novels Dangerous Girls (2003) and The Taste of Night (2004). Also, a direct-to-DVD movie Don't Think About It, starring Emily Osment, based on Stine's Haunting Hour series, was released by Universal Home Entertainment on September 4, 2007.
In 1969, Stine married Jane Waldhorn, who became an editor and writer and eventually formed Parachute Press with a business partner. Their only child, Matthew, was born on June 7, 1980 and currently works in the music business. Stine currently lives with his wife as well as his dog, Minnie.