Friday, October 10, 2008
This book is a little different: it’s not written by our favorite writer R.L. Stine. But it is called My Favorite Writer: R.L. Stine! Such a good find right? My local library has everything you need to stalk R.L.
Alright, let’s start with childhood. R.L. was born October 8, 1943, which means we just missed his 65 birthday! Gosh, I wish I knew about this book sooner, we could have had a shin dig. He was born in Ohio and grew up near some railway tracks. Random. When he was a kid he wrote books like The All New Bob Stine Giggle Book, which sounds weird to me. I think probably because I’m picturing him and he doesn’t look like he giggles very often. Nor should he. Bob liked to tell scary stories to his brother Bill, with whom he shared a room (that sucks!) and got a typewriter for his bar mitzvah present. Mazal tov!
The College Years: His nickname was Jovial Bob. He was the editor of the college newspaper. Wow. University was different back then apparently. Jovial Bob? That must have been a sarcastic nickname.
Getting Started: Bob published his first magazine for kids called Bananas. His first book ever was called How to Be Funny and is described as “a very silly guide book to help children be funny.” Must. Find. Copy. He also wrote for a children’s show called Eureeka’s Castle in the 1980s. This “writing for kids” thing is actually pretty surprising considering how much messed up crap he wrote later with Fear Street. When do you think he got his fabulous idea of having shitty heroines fall in love with their attackers? Hopefully while writing a show for ages three-five!
Hoooooorror: So apparently Bob wanted to write a horror book that was “funnier” and less gory than others aimed towards an 8-12 audience. So he wrote Blind Date (which I also don’t have!) Weird that he wanted to write funny books since Fear Street books aren’t supposed to be funny (OMG, wait, are they?! Were all those puns in the taglines … bad jokes?! Mind. Is. Blown!) Blind Date was a best seller, and then came Twisted and the Babysitter. So someone was SO impressed with the BABYSITTER, that they asked him to write a whole series like that? 1989 was a bad time for books I guess. The first Fear Streets were The New Girl, The Surprise Party and The Overnight (none of which are stellar…)
Since Fear Street was so successful, he decided to write for kids again and introduced Goosebumps in 1992. My Favorite Writer tells us that the main difference is that “children do not die in the Goosebumps stories”. *Sigh* But wouldn’t those books be better if they did? In 2000, Bob was still riding that success wave, and so launched Nightmare Room, which no one really knows about.
The end of the book has some of his favorite books. The two Fear Streets are: Switched and The Face. Embarassingly, I squealed when I saw that. The Face is MY absolute favorite, and one that I’m going to review verrrry soon for you all. AND Switched is one of L.K.’s favorite which we haven’t found yet, but oddly talk about all the time. So the three of us are on the same wavelength! I bet Bob would like our website if we told him about it.
The rest of the book is pretty boring with creative writing tips and a how-to of “writing a biography review”. WTF? Is the author trying to get kids to review his book?
There is some Fan Information though. Apparently Bob answers EVERY letter he gets! He used to have a staff of five to answer his fan mail. So guess what my next project is?! I’m going to write Bob and tell him how big a fan I am! I’ll post my letter AND response when I get one.
There is also a quiz. I’ll give you some sample questions. If you try to answer them in the comments I’ll let you know if you’re right!
1. Where and when was Bob Stine born?
2. What is the name of Bob’s most successful series?
3. Who did Bob marry? (HAH, I didn’t tell you! Just try…it starts with a J)
4. What is the name of Bob’s brother?
And FYI there is a glossary in the back that includes the words bar mitzvah and gory. The more you know!
Alright, I feel that we are much better acquainted with Our Favorite Writer. I can’t wait to get my hands on Blind Date. O I forgot to mention the cover! (Yes I realize that it's terrible quality. Do you know how hard it was to find this?) Bob looks… well, he looks bored. And kinda like Eugene Levy. Too bad. It also needs a tagline. Maybe “R.L. Stine wouldn’t sneak into your room at night to kill you… would he?” Yeah!