Author of Goosebumps debuts new book

Photo: Korina Rojo • CU Denver Sentry

Photo: Korina Rojo • CU Denver Sentry


On Aug. 14, authors R. L. Stine and Marc Brown visited the Tattered Cover bookstore to promote their new book, Mary McScary.

The crowd, a mixture of both kids and kids at heart, was a buzz as they eagerly awaited to receive their own copy of the book—the duo’s first collaboration. Stine is known for his bestselling Goosebumps series, containing over 400 books. Brown is the creator of the ever-popular Arthur the Aardvark books, which is also a PBS television show.

Mary McScary, written by Stine and illustrated by Brown, tells the story of a young girl who makes it her mission to scare her cousin Harry, the only person who isn’t afraid of her.

The authors read their book to the audience, who greeted it with thunderous applause. The two then talked about the creative process behind it.

“The idea for Mary came from growing up in Ohio,” Stine said.“I always wanted to be scary, and I re- membered one Halloween when I was thinking. I want to be something really creepy,’ and my parents went out to buy a costume for me. I opened the box and I looked inside and it was a fuzzy, yellow duck costume. I had to wear that duck
costume three Halloweens in a row.”

“I think of her as a young Beyoncé”

“I was remembering this and I thought, ‘wouldn’t it be great to be a kid who’s scary?’ and so that’s why I did Mary,” Stine said. When Brown got ahold of the book, he set to work on creating all of the illustrations.

“Each little piece is a special piece of paper that’s been hand-colored, so it took about six months,” Brown said. “Mary went through about 25 iterations. [The editors] would pick a face from one drawing and hairdo from another, clothes from another—kind of assembled her. I think of her sort of as this young Beyoncé. She’s gonna run the world.” The authors also played various games with the audience, including one in which Stine read potential Goosebumps titles to see if readers knew which ones were actual books. His contestants passed with flying colors. It was also decided that the Goosebumps character Slappy was the audience favorite of all of Stine’s creations.

Brown drew different audience members’ caricatures, making them terrifying in ways that Mary McScary herself would approve of. He then spoke of a new project in development.

“I’m working with these two new characters, Hoot and Hop,” Brown said. “PBS seems to be very interested in them for maybe a new TV show. Hoot drives a sports car. She doesn’t think about things very much before she says them, and Hop runs a little delicatessen and cooks. He lives in a houseboat.”

Brown showed rough sketches of the characters and explained their world and friends to the audience.

The night ended with the authors signing copies of Mary McScary. As the kids lined up to meet the two and parents take pictures, the room once again erupted in excitement as the star-studded and eventful night came to a close.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *