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R.L. Stine: Goosebumps, Writing Advice, and His Unintended Journey into Children’s Horror

Decades of Dedication

R.L. Stine, the prolific author behind the Goosebumps and Fear Street series, has captivated generations of young readers with his thrilling tales of horror. With over 350 books to his name, Stine has established himself as a master of children’s horror fiction. His unwavering dedication to his craft is evident in his consistent writing routine, where he produces at least 2,000 words daily, even at the age of 80. Although his writing pace has slowed from 4,000 words per day in his younger years, Stine’s commitment to his craft remains unwavering.

New Non-Fiction Book

In his first non-fiction book, “There’s Something Strange About My Brain: Writing Horror for Kids,” Stine delves into the art of crafting captivating horror stories for young readers. Drawing from his decades of experience, Stine offers valuable insights and practical advice for aspiring children’s novelists. The book is a treasure trove of knowledge for anyone interested in writing horror fiction for children.

Unintended Path to Horror

Stine’s journey into children’s horror was anything but conventional. Initially drawn to humor, he aspired to create his own humor magazine. However, a chance encounter with an editor during a lunch meeting set him on a different path. The editor mentioned a disagreement with a teen horror author, and Stine was challenged to write a teen horror novel. This challenge sparked Stine’s interest in the genre, and he soon found success with his novels “Blind Date” and “Twisted.”

Writing Advice

Stine’s writing advice is as unconventional as his path to horror. He dispels common misconceptions about writing, such as the notion that it is difficult or requires innate talent. Instead, he emphasizes the importance of enjoying the creative process and focusing on entertainment rather than teaching lessons. Stine believes that children’s books should be about fun and enjoyment, not didacticism.

Aspiring Children’s Novelists

For aspiring children’s novelists, Stine’s advice is clear: identify what readers enjoy and deliver entertaining stories that prioritize fun over didacticism. He believes that children’s books should not be limited to teaching lessons but can provide pure entertainment and enjoyment. Stine encourages aspiring authors to embrace their creativity and write the stories they would love to read as children.


R.L. Stine’s journey into children’s horror was serendipitous, and his insights on writing and advice for aspiring authors offer valuable perspectives for those seeking to entertain young readers with thrilling and captivating stories. His new book, “There’s Something Strange About My Brain: Writing Horror for Kids,” is a must-read for anyone interested in writing horror fiction for children.