CHICAGO (CBS) — A writer who’s been scaring young children for 20 years, is now trying to terrify adults with his latest novel.

R.L. Stine, author of the popular “Goosebumps” series, has been called the “Stephen King of children’s literature.”

He says his writing career started with joke books. Then one day, an editor asked him to write a scary story for kids.

“It was a number one best-seller. I said, ‘Wait a minute.’ I’d never been close to the best-seller list,” Stine said in an interview with WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger Reports

“I did a second one – another best-seller. I realized I’d stumbled onto something that kids like – they like to be scared.”

Since then, he’s written anywhere from six to 12 books a year for two decades in his series called “Goosebumps.”

“That word is perfect for what I wanted to do,” he said. “I didn’t really want to scare little kids that badly. I wanted something that was scary and funny at the same time. It’s also a funny word.”

Now, like Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, Stine has written a book for adults, a horror novel called “Red Rain.”

“My readers have grown up – the original readers – and I thought I’d try to grow up with them,” he said.

Stine describes “Red Rain” as an old-fashioned horror story.

“Horror novels are a way for adults to re-live their childhood fears,” he said. “And reading horror is sort of a way to be a child again.”

Author R.L. Stine will be signing books at 7 o’clock tonight at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville.

Watch & Listen LIVE