By GIANNI MOGROVEJO
The man who gave us all nightmares as a kid had a signing for his recently published book Goosebumps Most Wanted: Night of the Puppet People, which came out this past September. The event took place at the City Center in White Plains on Saturday December 5th at 2PM. With over 300 books written and over 350 million of them sold, as well as having a major motion picture released based on his popular Goosebumps series, it’s no surprise the best selling children’s author had fans lining up all throughout the store. The only price for admission was to buy a copy of the new novel, after which you would receive a wristband, guaranteeing your entrance. A lot of kids were in attendance, but there were some older fans as well, including myself.
The wait on line was a little more than an hour, but my photographer and I kept ourselves occupied by reading the new book. The kids on line were getting a bit restless after waiting for a while. One of them asked their mom “Can we just give up on the line?” Their patience would pay off at the end though, when they got to get up close and personal to the legendary author.
On my way down the line to see him, I overheard one of the kids who had just gotten his book signed say “Bye Mr. Stine. Keep writing more books,” which warmed my heart. Now it was my turn to speak to the man who played such a huge role in my childhood. After reading so many Goosebumps books and watching so many episodes of the show, I would get to see in person the face behind these creations.
We didn’t have a lot of time, but I told him about how much I love The Haunted Mask story and the message of self-love in it. He laughed and told me that that’s probably one of his favorite books that he’s done. To anyone who may not know, The Haunted Mask is a story about how a girl puts on a scary mask on Halloween in order to get revenge on the people who bullied her. The mask soon starts to take over her, and she becomes evil to everybody, even the ones she cares about. The story is resolved when the girl is able to take off the mask by displaying an act of love.
Satisfied with the meeting, we were ready to leave. On our way out, another kid had just met him and was very excited. “He wrote over 300 books!” he kept saying to the boy beside him, who then began to join him in announcing this fact. It’s awesome to see a whole new generation of kids be inspired by R.L. Stine. I’m glad he is known by not only people my age who grew up on his scary stories, but to plenty of kids who are just now learning of him. If I were to have said anything else to Mr. Stine, I would have added in what the random kid in the store had said after meeting him, “Keep writing more books.”