R.L. Stine is the author of the wildly popular Goosebumps series for kids and he is one hard man to get in touch with. When Tim Harper was writing his article, Horrors! Those Books by R.L Stine for the FamilyEducation Network, he managed to track down Stine via email. Here's what ensued...
Tim Harper: "What does R.L. stand for?"
R.L. Stine: It stands for Rabbit Leavings. No. Sorry! It stands for Robert Lawrence. Everyone calls me Bob.
How do you relate so well to kids?
RLS: Luckily, my mental age is still 12!
Can you send me a picture please?
RLS: Sorry, I can't send pix. Too many requests. Also, my face is too ugly.
What do you do in your spare time?
RLS: I don't have a lot of spare time these days! But when I do, I like to read, watch old black-and-white movies, spend time with my son. Some days I take half an hour out in the afternoon to watch The Animaniacs, my favorite TV show.
Do you have any pets?
RLS: I don't have any pets. That's why I keep my son Matt on a leash and walk him every night.
Who encouraged you to start writing?
RLS: No one ever really encouraged me to write But no one discouraged me, either. When I was nine, I found an old typewriter up in the attic. I dragged it downstairs and started writing jokes and stories. I've been writing ever since.
What other kinds of books have you written?
RLS: I've written Indiana Jones books and G.I. Joe books. I've even written Bullwinkle and Rocky.
How do you think of the plots for your books?
RLS: I don't know HOW I think of all these books. So far, I've been real lucky and haven't run out of ideas.
What do you do about writer's block?
RLS: I'm really lucky -- I've never had writer's block.
What motivates you?
RLS: I just love to write. I love the feeling of putting stories together and coming up with new, surprising ways to say things.