Peter James asks writers like R.L. Stine, Joan Collins DBE, Lynda La Plante CBE (and more!) about their guilty pleasures.
King of childhood nightmares, R.L Stine, the author of the Goosebumps books, is trying his hand in writing a graphic novel inspired by Goosebumps series. R.L Stine has partnered with Boom! Studio to launch Just Beyond series, The Scare School. The story follows two versions of the same middle-school, that exist in the same time and place as each other.
Image via Entertainment Weekly
The twelve-year-old characters, in old fashioned clothing, are traveling between the worlds, running from a cyborg that is seeking to drag them back to their own world. R.L Stine will be showing up at New York Comic Con to preview his new graphic novel. Check out the exclusive look into R.L Stine Just Beyond graphic novel.
Featured Image Via ScreenerTV
Just this past weekend, during the annual thriller-writers conference, Thrillerfest, authors R.L. Stine, Lee Child, David Morrell, Heather Graham, and George R.R. Martin had a chance to sit together and discuss social media, their struggles as they strived for success, some of the stranger things fans have said to them during meet-and-greets, and more.
Three of the wordsmiths even decided to delve on into the world of Hollywood and discuss the quirks, fumbles, and just all-around generalized awkwardness that can come with doing a cameo-appearance in your own book-to-film adaptation (it was exactly everything you’d expect and oh, so much more)!
Author of all things spooky, R.L. Stine, had initially wondered if he should maybe just play himself in the 2015 film adaptation of Goosebumps! However, after a bit of disagreement from his fans (and his wife), he decided a short cameo within the film would be more than enough to satiate his hunger to be on screen. In the original script, Stine (who plays the Vice Principal in the school where the film-version of Stine teaches) was set to stand on-stage and hand one of the lead children a trophy.
I told the director I needed a line and he said, ‘okay…say something!’ so I handed the kid the trophy and said, ‘Congratulations, sonny!’
Popular Thriller writer and author of the Jack Reacher series, Lee Child, said that after he’s been given a script and asked to choose which scene he’d like a cameo in, he always chooses a scene essential to the plot that he knows cannot wind up on the cutting room floor. He also went on to describe the strange sort of feeling that comes along with meeting a character of your own creaton.
The production team thought me handing him the toothbrush would be like me, the creator of this character, passing the baton onto Tom Cruise…
Image via PJ Wetzel
The legendary creator of the entire Game of Thrones franchise, George R.R. Martin, spoke about his cameo in his 1987 television-series, Beauty and the Beast. According to Martin, he assumed the cameo would be the perfect opportunity to plug his new book whilst eating a free cheeseburger or two. However he had no idea that the scene would take hours upon hours to shoot (and cheeseburgers upon cheeseburgers eaten).
These weren’t Shake Shack, or even McDonalds…I’m talking the twenty-four pack of microwavable cheeseburgers…so if you’re going to be a featured extra make sure you’re doing something your okay with doing ninety times in a row.
Featured Image via Digital Spy
During an open-panel discussion last Saturday at the popular thriller-writers conference, Thrillerfest, George R.R. Martin (author of Game of Thrones) and R.L. Stine (author of Goosebumps!) talked all things social media and well, they don’t exactly see eye-to-eye…
R.L. Stine, George R.R. Martin, Heather Graham, David Morrell and Lee Child at Thrillerfest | Image via Twitter
George R.R. Martin started off the discussion,
I don’t know, social media…some days I want to burn it all down…”
That seems like a fair enough statement considering the fact that, as I’m sure anyone with any sort of social media account already knows, the internet can be an insanely scary, cruel, and vindictive place. It seems like there are people out there who, for whatever reason, feel compelled to spew insults and hatred from behind the safety of their computer screens, seemingly forgetting (or choosing not to acknowledge, rather) that real people are at the receiving end. For example:
This doesn’t look like you’re writing a book, maybe finish that job and stop fucking about ? ?
— tom (@tm41132) July 14, 2018
Martin went on to ask
Has social media driven us mad, or were we always mad, we just did a better job at hiding it?
Now, as valid as this statement is, R.L. Stine chimed in to talk about how he’s experienced social media in an entirely different light:
I love Twitter, I’m on it all the time…I love connecting with my fans from the nineties
Now, if you take a look at Stine’s Twitter feed, it’s no surprise that this man loves to tweet…
You nearly brought me to tears. I’m sharing your article with everyone connected with the series.
— R.L. Stine (@RL_Stine) July 11, 2018
It’s interesting to how see two wildly famous household names have had such contrasting experiences on social media!
Martin rebutted Stine’s statement with:
It’s ugly…I don’t know what to think about it all…it ain’t the seventies.
Stine simply replied:
This silly disagreement was done with laughter as the two authors poked fun at each other because, as everyone knows, George R.R. Martin’s fans have a lot of animosity toward him due to their growing impatience while they wait for the yet-to-be-announced release of the final Game of Thrones novel, while R.L. Stine’s fans have loved him since childhood, and have had zero reason to be angry with him.
So, let’s maybe cut George R.R. Martin some slack because writing a novel of that caliber has to be extremely stressful and time-consuming and, at the end of the day, he’s just a human writing fictional stories of a fictional place and it isn’t worth attacking, threatening, or hurting his feelings because we’re excited to see how the story ends.
So, let’s keep lovin’ on R.L. Stine and showing him how grateful and nostalgic he makes us feel, while extending some of that love on over to George R.R. Martin because he deserves it, too. (Don’t we all?)
— R.L. Stine (@RL_Stine) July 7, 2018
Featured Image via Twitter
This weekend, Goosebumps! author R.L. Stine spoke to a panel at the annual thriller-writers conference, Thrillerfest, and man, was it thrilling! The world-renowned Young Adult Horror author told-all, starting with where his fame began…
RL Stine at Thrillerfest | Image Via Author
According to Stine, he’d never joined this industry with the idea of being a horror writer for children ages eight-to-twelve in mind:
I wrote joke books…I had no idea that children love being scared!
In fact, it wasn’t until Stine wrote his first creepy novel, Blind Date, and was quickly thrust into the world of praise from his new cult of pint-sized and happily terrified fans, that he realized he might be onto something. So, Stine decided to trust in his instincts and take the leap out of the world of comedy, and into the ever-so-spooky world of children, possessed dummies, gooey monsters, and all of the things that go bump in the night!
Image via Amazon
And, as you may already know due to his international notoriety and the sheer prominence the entire Goosebumps franchise holds as an important part of our pop culture history; turning toward horror novels for kids could not have worked out better for our most nostalgic wordsmith. Soon, he was filling bookstores and meet-and-greets with his avid-readers and loyal fans who couldn’t wait to shake his hand and hear him speak.
And, at one particular meet-and-greet that still stands out to Stine today, a teacher approached him at the table and said,
Can I take a picture with you? The kids all think you’re dead…
Never one to get bent out shape too easily, Stine told this story with joy, laughter, and the dry hilarity his friends and family know him for.
R.L. Stine went on to talk about the process of taking his works from the page to the screen; revealing that the first Goosebumps film adaptation was on the seventeenth version of the film script, written by the fourth team of writers, when they finally started filming. He even added that they hired a writer, paying him a flat-rate of $500,000 to go through the Goosebumps script for an afternoon and add-in jokes and silly phrasing. ($500,000?! Anyone know how I can sign-up for that gig?)
Stine also went on to talk about the difficulties and hurdles that came with casting, especially when it was nearing the time to decide which actor would take on the role of R.L. Stine, himself.
For months he mulled over the different actors he thought might be right for the role. And, every time the news broke about an actor who was potentially up for the part, fans would react in such an open (and slightly intense) manner; soon sending messages to Stine about how he should just play the role himself. Receiving an inbox filled with mixed signals and feeling more confused than ever before about who should play the role, Stine decided to take the decision to the two people he trusted most: his wife and son.
But, when he asked his wife, Jane Waldhorn, whether or not he should just play the role himself, she simply replied:
You’re too old to play yourself.
And, when he asked his son, Matthew Stine, for his hot-take on the whole casting process, and if he had any ideas about who should play the part, he said:
I think you should be played by Morgan Freeman.
Feeling like casting Morgan Freeman might be a bit of a stretch, Stine decided to once-again trust his gut and let the casting department go with their first choice actor: Jack Black.
Still, although he didn’t get to play himself, Stine was still granted his very own cameo within the film.
(Also, can we just take a second to talk about how beautifully meta it was for Jack Black, whilst in character as R.L. Stine, to bump into Stine and refer to him as “Mr. Black.” Clever, Goosebumps team, very clever…)
It was so, insanely exciting to spend the afternoon listening to such an important and iconic creator speak so candidly, and in such a fun, light-hearted manner, I’m still buzzing with adrenaline from it all!
The trailer for Goosebumps 2 was released this week, watch it here! The film is expected for release October 12, 2018 (and I don’t know about you but I am so ready!!)
Featured Image via Vox Media