Robert Lawrence Stine (born October 8, 1943) is the author of over 330 books for children. His book series, including Goosebumps and Fear Street, has sold nearly 400 million copies around the world, making him one of the best-selling childrens authors in history.
Born in Columbus, Ohio, Stine graduated from Ohio State University and moved to New York, where he worked as a freelance writer. Initially, he focused on comedy writing, publishing several joke books and comic novels for children, many under the pen name "Jovial Bob" Stine. He also edited the comedy magazine Bananas which ran from 1975 and 1984 and co-created the children's television series Eureeka's Castle for Nickelodeon. Around this time he also wrote a few pieces for the Gamebook genre, including some starring the likes of Indiana Jones and G.I. Joe. In 1986 Stine published a standalone teen horror novel called Blind Date, the success of which persuaded him to focus on horror writing.
Stines thrillers and horror tales have proved to be great reading motivation for young people. The Young Adult series, Fear Street, started in 1989 and was followed in 1992 by the Middle Grade series Goosebumps, which quickly took off around the world. Goosebumps has been translated into 35 languages. These days, Stine continues to add books to the Goosebumps series, scaring a new generation of kids.
He has had three TV series based on his works: Goosebumps, The Nightmare Room and R.L. Stines The Haunting Hour. The last one ended its run in 2014. In addition, several TV movies have become perennial Halloween favorites.
Stine has published three thrillers for adults: Superstitious, The Sitter Eye Candy. The Sitter is currently being developed as a feature film by Sam Raimis company. In 2012, Touchstone Books published a new R.L. Stine adult horror novel, Red Rain.
Stine is a three-time winner of the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award (for Deep Trouble in 1995, Even More Tales to Give You Goosebumps in 1996, and Deep Trouble II in 1998) and a recipient of the American Library Association Award. For his work in promoting literacy, he was also a recipient of the ITW Silver Bullet Award.
In 2017, Stine entered the world of comic books with his take on Man-Thing. In 2019, he started an original comic series called Just Beyond.
In 2020, Stine signed a contract with Abrams to publish a three-book miniseries for the Garbage Pail Kids. The last two were released in 2021.
Works by/associated with R.L. Stine with their own pages include:
- Give Yourself Goosebumps
- Fear Street
- Point Horror
- Nightmare Hour
- The Haunting Hour
- The Nightmare Room
- Mostly Ghostly
- Red Rain
- When Good Ghouls Go Bad
- Eureeka's Castle
- Eye Candy
- R.L. Stines The Haunting Hour
- The Haunting Hour: Don't Think About It
- Wizards, Warriors and You
- Just Beyond
Tropes in his other works include:
- 13 Is Unlucky: The 13th Warning centers around a kid who considers 13 to be his lucky number, and is the 13th kid of parents who were also 13th kid. However, on Friday the 13th, his 13th birthday, his luck turns around in a bad way.
- Author Appeal: Stine likes redheads so you can expect to see one in at least every other book he writes.
- Bookends: The Best Revenge begins and ends with screams. Specifically, the screams of delight as the kids discover they got bikes from their father and then screams of horror as two bullies are eaten by the zombie kids.
- Creator Provincialism: Played straight a few times with his home state of Ohio but he intentionally averts this with his current home in New York, as he states he has a superstition about setting his books there, except for The Sitter and Eye Candy.
- Ghostwriter: The Ghosts of Fear Street books were written by people besides Stine, despite being marketed using his name, with the real author or authors listed inside each book. One Ghosts of Fear Street book was written by a pair of sisters who go by AG Cascone; they later went on to write their competing series of books, Deadtime Stories.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: It's the First Day of School...Forever! focuses on a kid having to repeat a disastrous first day of school over and over again. The loop starts before he even finishes the day and things get wilder as they go on. It turns out this is all a videogame and the loops were due to the player getting a game over.
- The Full Name Adventures: The Adventures of Shrinkman, named after an in-universe superhero that the protagonist is a fan of.
- Incredible Shrinking Man: The Adventures of Shrinkman, which was a recycled version of a Goosebumps Series 2000 book that had been canceled.
- Product Placement: The Beast and The Beast 2 was written to promote the titular real-life roller coaster, so they have many instances of the characters going on about how awesome The Beast is.
- Tomato Surprise and Tomato in the Mirror: His other works are just as fond of this as Goosebumps was:
- My Alien Parents: A boy believes his parents have been replaced by aliens, but he's just a robot who was malfunctioning.
- Joe is Not a Monster: Joe is picked on by kids for being a monster, but the narrator insists he isn't. How does he know this? He's Joe's second head.
- The Best Revenge: A family is revealed to be zombies, who take care of a pair of bullies that had been harassing the kids.
- It's the First Day of School...Forever!: Artie's life is just a video game a kid is playing.
- Yet Another Christmas Carol: Young Scrooge, about a boy named Rick Scroogeman who is given this treatment.