R.L. Stine Interview

“Don’t ask me about nonfiction. I never read it. I hate anything real.” ~ R.L. Stine.

Probably due to the new Goosebumps movie coming out, R.L. Stine has been more in the news lately. An interview he did with The New York Times gave me a chuckle, but also an insight into the mind of a brilliant writer.

See the article here, and find out for yourself how droll he is.

In it you’ll learn he hates nonfiction, adores Ray Bradbury, thinks horror is funny, and hasn’t yet read the “autobiography” about himself written by five other people.

Many of his questions are humorous, and it was interesting seeing him through his own eyes.

I’m not going to deny, I couldn’t read the Goosebumps books when I was a kid. Self-proclaimed scaredy-cat. They gave me nightmares. John is not at all like that. But I sure am.

Looking back, I know they weren’t nearly as scary as my adolescent mind made them to be, and I’m tempted to go and re-read them.

But the one quote that struck me above all the others was the one I posted at the beginning of this post. He hates anything real?

As a fiction writer, myself, I can understand the lure of escaping the real world, but there is so much to learn from history and current events. And many times, history is fictionalized and we end up reading about “real” life anyway.

What do you think? Do you like nonfiction? Fiction? What do you think of his opinion? (Unless it was sarcastic. I won’t know. Ask John. I’m a doof when it comes to sarcasm).


~ Amy

14 thoughts on “R.L. Stine Interview

  1. Perhaps he was just using hyperbole. I read a lot of nonfiction myself – mostly mythology books and books on the crafts of writing or film. There are some other popular nonfiction books that I’d like to get my hands on, such as “Outliers.” I feel like one of the few ways to keep learning things as an adult is to read some nonfiction every now and then. Sure, we have the internet, but there’s still a lot of information in books that never made it to the browser.

    I read a lot of Goosebumps as a child and enjoyed them, although some of the cover art really scared me (namely the dummy and the shrunken heads. EEK!) You’re right, they’re not as scary looking back on it. And I’m not really sure the movie hits the right points from what I can tell. It seems too campy/silly and geared towards today’s children rather than geared as a nostalgia trip for people our age, which is a little strange. Do kids still read Goosebumps, I guess? Ha, maybe I’m just a selfish Millenial and I automatically expect to be fed nostalgia now. Thanks, Hollywood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nostalgia is good!! That’s one reason I haven’t been going to the movies as much, lately. Nothing appeals to me, and it’s probably due to lack of nostalgia.
      I hope he was being hyperbolic. Coming from such a renowned writer, it would be awfully careless of him to not encourage the reading of nonfiction.


  2. I prefer to read non-fiction. His statement doesn’t really bother me, it’s his opinion, and although there are aspects of the real in most fantasy works, I get what he means when he says anything ‘real’ it’s not reading someone’s life story and it’s not reading a history book.


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