I'm part of the generation that devoured the Goosebumps books after school. R.L. Stine's adolescent horror stories were a currency, status symbol, any just about the best way to procrastinate in the days before iPads, DSes, and mobile phones less large than a brick. Because of this, I'm absolutely thrilled Goosebumps creator R.L. Stine will be attending C2E2 in just a few weeks, and I'm not alone. While we've welcomed movie stars and comics creators at the top of their game, I don't think anyone has the team more personally giddy than Stine, and I know there'll be a long line of us with our dogg-earred copies of The Horror at Camp Jellyjam waiting to get signed.
I'm now very proud to present C2E2's interview with R.L. Stine, the author answering our questions about what it's like being a creator attending a con (and pie)...
C2E2: With packing for C2E2 on the horizon, what's the first item you'll pack or the one item you can't leave home without?
STINE: I wear all black clothes. It's a costume because I'm supposed to be a scary guy. So I make sure to pack black shirts and pants. I have a whole closet of them at home. My wife says if I don't wear all black, I just look like someone's dad.
C2E2: What are the best and worst things about traveling for a convention?
STINE: Flying is no fun these days. The airlines and security people do everything they can to make sure you are uncomfortable. I guess the best thing about traveling is the gigantic PayDay candy bars they sell at airports.
C2E2: Fans rush about C2E2 and Chicago as if it's nerd Mardi Gras, but what's a convention like as a guest?
STINE: I seldom work at book festivals and conventions. I really like meeting and hanging out with the other authors. And I spend a lot of time talking with my readers. For me, that's the best part of doing these things.
C2E2: Are there any specific Chicago sights, experiences, restaurants, or museums you hope to check out while at C2E2?
STINE: I love Chicago. I love insane steak restaurants like Gibson's where everything they serve is industrial-size. I always take the same walk up and down Michigan Ave. and along the river. I really miss the big Borders store that was on Michigan Ave. near the Ritz-Carlton. I once did a signing on the pier in which 2,000 kids showed up on a Sunday morning. So, I like walking over there.
C2E2: While you're probably most known for Goosebumps, what other projects of yours do you encourage fans to check out? What projects are you personally most proud of?
STINE: I'm very proud of my TV series, R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour. It's in its third season on The Hub network, and I think the stories capture the combination of humor and horror that I try to provide in my work.
C2E2: What are your upcoming projects?
STINE: I'm doing a new Goosebumps series called GOOSEBUMPS: MOST WANTED. It's all new books about my most popular villains and most-wanted characters, and I'm having a lot of fun with it and finding a lot of fresh, scary ideas.
C2E2: Approaching a guest of your caliber can be a daunting thing. Any words of advice for a sheepish fan nervous about seeing you at C2E2?
STINE: My friend was doing a book signing at the Tucson Book Festival, and the third kid in line threw up on her. I'd suggest that my fans not do that. Otherwise, I think I'm the most approachable author in the world. No reason to be nervous.
C2E2: What's the most rewarding thing for you about interacting with fans at a con?
STINE: I love hearing stories about how kids learned to read from my books and stories about reluctant readers who became avid readers because of me. I never get tired of hearing those stories.
C2E2: What's the best professional advice you ever received?
STINE: An editor once wrote on the top of a manuscript I'd written: "Needs more lore." MORE LORE is the best advice I ever got.
C2E2: Any advice for aspiring creators?
STINE: More lore.
C2E2: What words do you live by?
STINE: Don't Panic.
C2E2: Are you a dog person or a cat person?
STINE: Dog person. That's why I write so many scary books about cats.
C2E2: Cake or pie?
STINE: Banana cream pie.
C2E2: If you weren't working in pop culture, what do you think you'd be doing for a living?
STINE: Linoleum salesman.
C2E2: What's your go-to music to listen to when working?
STINE: Silence. I can't write and listen to music.
C2E2: Do you have any hidden talents?
STINE: None whatsoever. Ask my wife.
C2E2: Who was your childhood hero?
STINE: The guys who illustrated Tales from the Crypt and The Vault of Horror comic books.
C2E2: Who's your arch enemy?
STINE: Time Warner Cable.
A big thank you to R.L. Stine for taking the time to chat with us about coming to the con! He'll be appearing at C2E2 on Sunday, and April 28, we look forward to his next book -- The Terrible Terror of Time Warner!
About The Author:
Peter Tatara is the International Director of Content and Marketing for ReedPOP. During his time at Reed, he's planned on-air contests with Cartoon Network, hosted Twitter scavenger hunts around New York City, and bought Joss Whedon a sandwich. In his spare time, he runs a calendar of geeky New York City events called Nerd York City. Follow him at @petertatara and @nerdyorkcity.