Bloody-Disgusting’s Jonathan Barkan recently got the chance to do an interview with iconic horror author R.L. Stine, whose Goosebumps series has sold hundreds of millions of copies and is translated into dozens of languages around the world. In the interview, we ask about Stine’s inspirations, his new book, “It’s The First Day Of School…Forever!,” which is being made into a feature film, and more!
Stine will also be the Thrillermaster at Thriller Fest VI in New York from July 6th-9th. He will be joined by Ken Follett, John Lescroart, Diana Gabaldon, and more where they will all discuss writing techniques and meet with readers. For more information on Thriller Fest VI, check here.
BD: What inspires you?
R.L. Stine: My big inspirations have been other authors. Ray Bradbury… Rod Serling… the guys who wrote and illustrated the EC comics of the 50s—”Tales From The Crypt”…
BD: What was the first story that frightened you?
R.L. Stine: Pinocchio. It was very creepy for a young kid. Boys turning into donkeys? At one point, Pinocchio falls asleep with his feet on the stove and BURNS HIS FEET OFF! Terrifying.
BD: What was the first horror movie that you saw?
R.L. Stine: Hard to remember. I think I saw the original Frankenstein and Dracula movies at a very young age. Karloff and Lugosi. They were so dark and creepy, they made a real impression.
BD: Your new book, “It’s the First Day of School…Forever!” will be made into a feature film – can you tell us a little more about it?
R.L. Stine: The poor kid in this story has the WORST day of his life. Everything goes wrong. Everything! And it’s the first day of school. And he keeps living it over and over and can’t find a way to escape. It’s funny and scary, and I hope it makes a good movie. It’s kind of Groundhog Day Meets Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
BD: Is your latest TV series, “The Haunting Hour,” similar to the “Goosebumps” show?
R.L. Stine: Very similar. A new scary story each week based on my short stories. I think the new series may be just a teeny bit scarier. We’ve been lucky to get a lot of popular TV stars to appear. I’m so happy we’re doing a new season of 18 more episodes.
BD: Do you feel that the music you listen to inspires your work?
R.L. Stine: I don’t think music inspires my writing, although I find I have to keep up with pop music in order to stay in touch with kids. My musical tastes are quite eclectic. I listen to everything from country music to opera. Some of my favorites include George Jones, Van Morrison, Billie Holiday, Bonnie Raitt, Randy Travis, and Nina Simone. A mixed bag, as you can see–and nothing too scare-inducing!