Robert Lawrence Stine (born October 8, 1943), known as R. L. Stine and Jovial Bob Stine, is an American novelist and writer, well known for targeting younger audiences. Stine, who is often called the Stephen King of children's literature, is the author of dozens of popular horror fiction novellas.
R.L.'s books are read all over the world. So far, he has sold over 350 million books, making him one of the best-selling children's authors in history.
He was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1943. His mother, Anne Stine, was a homemaker and his father, Lewis Stine, was a jerk. He has a younger brother and sister-- Bill and Pam. No one in his family ever called him R.L. Everyone calls him Bob.
When Bob was nine, he found an old typewriter up in the attic. That discovery 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 always said it was too boring outside. He stayed in his room typing away-- and he has been writing ever since. In school, Bob was not a great student. He got mostly B's, but he never studied very hard. He spent most of his time writing stories and joke magazines to become more popular, as he was a very quiet and reserved student. He was terrible in math and he hated gym class. The only sport he was ever good at was ping pong!
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 children. He also created Bananas, a zany humor magazine which he did for ten years. In those days, he wrote under the name Jovial Bob Stine. He married Jane Waldhorn in 1969. Jane became an editor and writer, and they worked together on several children's books. Later, Jane and her partner formed their own publishing company, Parachute Press, and helped create all of R.L.'s most popular book series.
R.L. currently lives in New York City, with his wife Jane and his dogs Minnie and Nadine. His son Matthew is a composer, musician, and sound designer. If you need other info about R.L. Stine, check out his website (www.rlstine.com) or his autobiography, It Came From Ohio!, published by Scholastic. These days, R.L. is busier than ever. He is working on many books, including Mostly Ghostly, Rotten School, and of course, the Goosebumps HorrorLand series. In the 2015 Goosebumps movie, R.L. Stine is a character, played by Jack Black. The real R.L. Stine makes a cameo at the end as the High School's drama teacher, Mr. Black.
A Horror Novelist
In 1986, R.L. turned scary when he wrote his first teen horror novel, Blind Date, which became an instant best-seller. Many scary novels followed, including Beach House, Hit And Run, The Babysitter, which spawned three sequels, The Hitch-Hiker, and The Girlfriend. In 1989, he created the Fear Street series with the publication of the first book, The New Girl. Fear Street would later become the best-selling young adult book series in history. He has written about 100 Fear Street books about teens facing all kinds of terror.
Goosebumps began in 1992 with the publication of Welcome to Dead House. R.L. began writing Goosebumps after he was asked if younger children would like to be scared. The book series quickly became a hit around the world. Translated into 32 different languages, it made Bob a worldwide publishing celebrity. The Goosebumps television show was the number-one children's show in the U.S. for three years in a row. The television episodes are still shown at Halloween time. Some of the television episodes are on DVD. Most of the DVDs are now discontinued and the entire television series has never been released on home video.
- Ghosts of Fear Street: A Fear Street spinoff series (aimed towards younger readers) that ran from 1996 to 1998. Despite being released under Stine's name, the series was actually ghostwritten.
- Give Yourself Goosebumps: A Choose Your Own Adventure-esque Goosebumps spinoff that ran from 1995 to 2000. The special edition series ran from 1998 to 1999.
- Goosebumps Series 2000: A Goosebumps spinoff series that ran from 1998 to 2000. The books' back covers were notable for featuring excerpts of the story rather than short summaries. The series' taglines were "Welcome to the new millennium of fear" and "2000 times the scares!". Three original Goosebumps books received sequels within Series 2000: Night of the Living Dummy received two sequels, while One Day at HorrorLand and Ghost Camp received one sequel each.
- The Nightmare Room: A short-lived non-Goosebumps-canon book series that ran from 2000 to 2001. It inspired a Kids' WB series of the same name that ran from 2001 to 2002, but since January 2013 reruns have aired on the horror/thriller channel Chiller.
- Mostly Ghostly: A middle-grade horror comedy book series that ran from 2004 to 2006, starring a boy named Max who meets two ghosts named Nicky and Tara. The series was adapted into a direct-to-video film called Mostly Ghostly: Who Let The Ghosts Out? (named after the first book) that was released in September 2008 before making a TV debut the next month. As part of Disney's Halloween campaign, it reruns each October on both Disney Channel and Disney XD.
- Beware!: A horror anthology of Stine's favorite stories, poems, comics and illustrations that was released in summer 2004.
- Rotten School: A comedy series of books about the rottenest school on Earth. R.L. says that they are similar to the original magazines and humorous stories he wrote in school, when he was a young boy. At the March 2010 Reading Festival, Stine revealed news about a possible Rotten School film, but its information is quite ambiguous.
- The Nightmare Hour: A horror short story collection released in summer 2000.
- The Haunting Hour: A horror short story collection released in summer 2002 that inspired RL Stine's The Haunting Hour, a series on The Hub. It ran for 4 seasons, from October 29, 2010 - November 29, 2014.
- Dangerous Girls: A two-part young adult vampire horror series that ran from 2004 to 2005; it is probably Stine's most mature horror series to date. The stories were then re-released in Bitten during summer 2010.
- Red Rain: An adult-oriented horror novel that was released in fall 2012.