R. L. Stine Biography
Nick Name: Jovial Bob Stine
Sun Sign: Libra
Also Known As: Robert Lawrence Stine, Jovial Bob Stine, Eric Affabee
Born in: Columbus, Ohio, United States
Spouse/Ex-: Jane Waldhorn (m. 1969)
father: Lewis Stine
mother: Anne Stine
U.S. State: Ohio
education: Ohio State University
awards: 2002 - Champion of Reading Award
Robert Lawrence “R. L.” Stine is the man who gave goose bumps to children and kept scared teenagers from sleeping through dark, stormy nights with his horror tales of bloody knives and whistling ghosts. Popularly called the ‘Stephen King of children’s literature’, Stine has authored hundreds of books for children and teenagers in the horror genre. The prolific writer is counted among the top bestsellers of modern literature and his books have sold over 400 million copies worldwide. An avid reader of books of various types from childhood, he began writing at the tender age of nine. Even as a child he found the outdoors boring and preferred typing away stories and jokes on his typewriter. He became a writer upon growing up, but his initial works were very different from the horror stories he would eventually become famous for. He began his writing career by writing joke books for kids and created a humour magazine called ‘Bananas’. As a humour writer he used the name Jovial Bob Stine. He began writing full time after losing his day job and made his foray into the horror genre with the novel ‘Blind Date’ which was well-received. Having discovered his niche, he plunged head-on into writing horror fiction and eventually launched the highly successful ‘Goosebumps’ series.
- He was born in Ohio to Jewish parents, Lewis Stine and Anne. His father was a shipping clerk while his mother was a homemaker. He has two siblings.
- He discovered an old typewriter in the attic when he was nine years old and started typing out stories and jokes. He did not like school much and was an average student.
- As a child, he was not interested in playing outside; all he loved to do was to type out jokes and stories on his typewriters which he did for hours at a stretch.
- He attended The Ohio State University from where he graduated in 1965 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. While there he edited the university’s humor magazine, ‘The Sundial’.
- After graduation, he moved to New York City to pursue a career in writing. He found a job at Scholastic, Inc. where he worked on children’s magazines. During his leisure time he used to write humor books for kids under the pen name Jovial Bob Stine.
- During the mid 1970s, he created a humor magazine for children and teenagers called ‘Bananas’. The magazine was published by Scholastic Press for 72 issues between 1975 and 1984.
- He lost his job at Scholastic during a company reorganization which forced him to start writing full-time. It was during this period that he forayed into the horror genre.
- He wrote his first horror novel ‘Blind Date’ in 1986. It was well received by the readers and he followed it with ‘Twisted’ (1987) and ‘The Baby-Sitter’ (1989).
- In 1989 he started writing books in the ‘Fear Street’ series. It was a horror series for teenagers that revolved around teenagers who faced malignant forces like ghosts, murderers, and other malicious characters. The first book in the series was ‘The New Girl’.
- The ‘Fear Street’ series had the punch line “where your worst nightmares lives", and was a hugely popular series that grew to include almost 100 novels that sold over 80 million copies.
- He co-created the children’s television show ‘Eureeka’s Castle’ and was also its head writer. The show was aired on Nickelodeon Network during the 1989 to 1995 seasons.
- He launched the ‘Goosebumps’ series in 1992. The children’s horror fiction follows child characters who face scary situations. The series became extremely popular and over 300 million books of the series were sold worldwide.
- The success of the novel spawned a television series ‘Goosebumps’ that ran for four seasons from 1995 to 1998. It also led to the creation of three video games.
- In the new millennium the prolific writer began working on several different book series including ‘Mostly Ghostly’, ‘Rotten School’, ‘The Nightmare Room’, and the novels ‘Dangerous Girls’ (2003) and ‘The Taste of Night’ (2004).
- In 2007, a horror fantasy film ‘The Haunting Hour: Don’t Think about It’ was made, based upon his eponymous children’s novel. The film was directed by Alex Zamm and starred Emily Osment and Tobin Bell.
- His ‘Goosebumps’ horror fiction series for children earned him the title ‘Stephen King of children’s literature’. The highly successful series has been translated into 32 languages and individual titles have been listed in many bestseller lists, including The New York Times Bestseller list.
- He is the three-time recipient of the Disney Adventures Kids' Choice Award for Best Book-Mystery/Horror.
- He was named as the best-selling children's book series author of all time by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2003.
- He married Jane Waldhorn in 1969. She later became an editor and writer and formed the Parachute Press with a partner. The couple has one son, Matthew.
- He was named America’s No.1 best selling author thrice consecutively by the ‘USA Today’ during the 1990s.
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