He's Baaaack...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

If you were one of the most popular writers of horror stories for kids, what would give you goosebumps?

How about running out of ideas?

"Oh, don't say it!" author R.L. Stine begs.

Although he's spent more than 20 years writing for kids and teens, Stine isn't finished yet.

The newest addition to his Goosebumps lineup is HorrorLand, a series of 12 books with two stories in each. One story features familiar Goosebumps characters; the other puts those characters in HorrorLand, a freaky new theme park.

Here's the really cool part: The second story in each book is ongoing and won't conclude until Book 12.

The first two HorrorLand books -- "Revenge of the Living Dummy" and "Creep From the Deep" -- came out this month. The rest will follow at two books per month.

As a scary theme park, HorrorLand lacks for nothing, including zombies and frozen eyeballs on a stick. Yum!

To create this creepy place, Stine drew from his own experience with amusement parks.

"I love theme parks," he says in a phone interview from his home in New York City. "I would like to live at Disney World. I love it."

After visiting the Florida theme park many times, Stine had a fairly good idea of what he wanted in his park. Before he even began writing, he drew a map of HorrorLand and made detailed notes.

Kids often ask Stine how he deals with writer's block, a condition in which authors can't think of anything creative to write. He tells them that preparing before writing -- by making maps and detailed outlines, for example -- is one way to start.

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