"Where I Like To Read" is a series of short author interviews and blog posts in which writers share their literary tastes and their favorite places to curl up with a good book.
R.L. Stine, the author of the "Goosebumps" series, and a new adult novel, "Red Rain" [Touchstone, $24.99]:
Tell us about your new novel, "Red Rain"
So many people in their 20s and 30s, on Twitter, say "Please write something for us," so I have to listen to them, they're my audience. The book is about evil twins, I mean REALLY evil twins. First of all, I thought it'd be sort of funny or ironic for me to write about evil kids. And it turns out, people have been afraid of twins all through time. Actually I was being interviewed a couple weeks ago by a twin, and she said she was afraid of twins, too!
How do you think scaring kids is different than scaring adults?
The writing is very different. It's like running a race. It's like if you're used to running a sprint, like I am, and then running a marathon. It's a totally different process. You have to change everything. When I write for kids, I have to make sure they know what can't happen. They have to know it's a fantasy. But when I write for adults, they have to think it's real. Every detail has to be real or they won't buy it.
Have you noticed that different things scare kids than adults?
Most fears are basic: fear of the dark, fear of going down in the basement, fear of weird sounds, fear that somebody is waiting for you in your closet. Those kinds of things stay with you no matter what age.
Where do you like to read?
I read everywhere. I read every day. I read on the couch with my dog in the afternoon and at night. I try to read at least two to three hours a day. I read only fiction. I don't like anything real. I read no non-fiction. I only like novels--mostly mysteries and thrillers.
What is the one book that you'd recommend to everyone?
I read "Gone Girl" this summer; it was wonderful. Another book I read this summer is "Seating Arrangements" by Maggie Shipstead; I thought that was really terrific. The author is in her 20s but it captures these older people. It is so well-observed. Now I'm reading Harlin Colin's YA novel, "Seconds Away."
What gives you goosebumps?
Coming to this book festival, and there was this endless line of people who just wanted to say "hi". And that gives me goosebumps. For real. It's an amazing, lucky thing. Sometimes, it's too nice. Sometimes I really can't believe it.