The best thing about the Goosebumps books -- or at least the best thing we remember about reading them 15 years ago -- is how irresistably scary they are. No matter what creepy plot R.L. Stine uses to pull young readers into his uncanny tales of haunted ventriloquist dolls (Night of the Living Dummy) or scary muck monsters (Lost in Stinkeye Swamp), there's also a message of courage, when the young protagonist inevitably faces her fears. This must be because R.L. Stine is a fearless man. In a just published interview with the Village Voice's Jen Doll (and soon to be senior writer for The Atlantic Wire), Stine declared:
I never get scared. I don't know what the feeling is. Even as a kid. It's something lacking up there or something. People say, "your book keeps giving me chills," but I don't know what that feeling is. Horror always makes me laugh. Normal adult things scare me, but not things from a book or a movie. I never intended to be scary; I only wanted to be funny. I can never lose myself or suspend reality. We have this waterslide and I'll go on it once every 5 years. I don't like losing control.
So now you know. Oh, and those silly Twilight books? Stine thinks they stink: "I read half of the first book, but I didn't finish it. Pale kids? We know they're vampires, get on with the story. I'm obviously wrong."