Giving us goose bumps

Author, Author

June 30, 1999|By MELODY HOLMES

R.L. Stine, the writer of the popular "Goosebumps" horror series, began writing in 1952 when he was 9 years old, not much older than many of his current fans. Before he began the Goosebumps series in 1992, Stine was known for his humorous children's books that included "101 Silly Monster Jokes" and "Bozos on Patrol." He was also editor of Bananas magazine.

Stine remembers being a big fan of scary movies when he was a kid and he recalls those titles when he names new books in the Goosebumps series. But he chose the name of the series from a TV listing that said, "It's goosebumps week on Channel 11." This circle was complete when the Goosebumps series became a Fox television series in 1995.

Stine draws from, then exaggerates, real life for his books. For example, the idea for No. 11 "The Haunted Mask" came to him when his son bought a Halloween mask and then had trouble taking it off. Stine says it takes him about eight days to write a book. He says he is always careful that his books, which sell at the rate of 1.25 million a month, are not too scary for his young readers.

Books in the Goosebumps series now total 62 and include:

* No. 5: "The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb"

* No. 13: "Piano Lessons Can Be Murder"

* No. 26: "My Hairiest Adventure"

* No. 32: "The Barking Ghost"

* No. 54: "Don't Go to Sleep"

Pub Date: 06/30/99

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