In July 1992, Scholastic introduced a monthly book series by R.L. Stine called Goosebumps with Goosebumps: Welcome to Dead House. Twenty-five years (and several generations of frightened kids later), Goosebumps is now one of the best-selling children's series of all time with more than 350 million English language books in print. To celebrate this milestone, we invited R.L. Stine into the studio to reflect on the last 25 years and to give us a look at what's still to come for the master of horror.
Stine kicked things off by taking us back to the origin of the series. "You want to know the real funny part that I don't talk about all the time is that I never wanted to do Goosebumps," he said. "I said that's a horrible idea, scary books for 7- to 12-year-olds. . .That's the kind of businessman I am."
Of course, we know he eventually agreed to start writing the books, and the rest is history — a megabestselling series, a TV show, and a movie later, and kids are still devouring Goosebumps!
Though Stine is often hailed as the master of fright, he is also a jokester. In fact, I don't think anyone could make it through this episode without laughing out loud.
One of my personal favorite parts of the show is when Stine shares some of his favorite letters that he's received over the years from young readers.
"Dear R.L. Stine," one begins, "You are my second favorite author."
Stine laughed. "That was all it said! She kept me in suspense!"
This episode also features a special gust co-host, Scholastic employee Gina Asprocolas. Gina is an internal communications manager, and quite possibly one of the biggest Goosebumps fans of all time — or, as she says, at least in New Jersey.
Gina shares her story of growing up with Goosebumps. I love when she talks about how quickly she would devour the books — she would start reading in the bookstore, continue while walking through the mall and the whole car ride home, so that she was done almost immediately after getting home. Of course, at that point, she demanded another book! It got so egregious that her mom instituted a rule that she wasn't allowed to start reading until they walked through the door of their house.
To prove that she's the ultimate Goosebumps fan, we test Gina's knowledge with some R.L. Stine trivia. And she shares some millennial-inspired Goosebumps titles since, you know, the series was born in the '90s and all.