R. L. Stine
It is said that fear and laughter are the most difficult feelings to convey in books, but looking to your successful literary career it doesn’t seem a problem for you. What do you do to transmit that horror and humor to your books?
For me, there is a very close connection between horror and humor. Horror films always make me laugh--not scream. If you listen to people on a rollercoaster ride, you hear them laughing and screaming at the same time. These are visceral, basic reactions which I think are easy to get on paper.
Where does your fascination for fear and terror come from?
I think we all like to be scared--if we know we're safe at the same time. We like to have virtual creepy adventures. It makes us feel as if we have control over the scary things in the world. I was drawn to horror at a very young age by horror comics and movies. But as I say, they made me laugh--not tremble.
Teenagers have changed a lot. Now they aren't so easily scared as before, or are they? Do you think that, no matter how much time passes, the young people will continue to fear the same things? What are the major terrors that underpin you to develop your stories?
Technology changes. Some attitudes change. But the same fears remain. We are still afraid of the dark... afraid of being all alone in a creaky old house late at night... afraid something is lurking under the bed, waiting to grab us by the ankle.
What do you think of the current young adult literature, in which vampires and werewolves break hearts instead of scaring? Can we still find horror novels as before?
The romantic vampire books don't interest me as much as the frightening, violent vampire books. But they present a fantasy young people crave these days. And it always makes me happy to see young people reading.
You started to publish before all the current YA literature boom. How were your beginnings? How do you think the Internet and the Social networks have influenced the evolution of children's literature?
My first YA horror thrillers in the FEAR STREET series began in 1989. I'm happy to say that I created my own YA boom then. We sold over 80 million copies of Fear Street books. I think it's too early to say how social networks have influences children's literature. So far, I'd say, Not Much.
Which authors or books have influenced you most?
The sci-fi fantasy stories of Ray Bradbury. Isaac Asimov and other sci-fi authors. The horror comics of the 1950s. P.G. Wodehouse humorous novels. Agatha Christie.