— Chris Colfer (@chriscolfer) March 20, 2017
2011 Sessions > Set 013 [+ 7]
There’s a powerful connection between characters and the fans who love them.
Anyone who scribbled Harry Potter fanfiction or dissected the latest teen drama with their friends knows. And the line between actor and character is often completely muddled for viewers that live far beyond the realities of Hollywood.
But what if those same fans were stuck on a road trip with the object of their obsessions? That’s the idea behind the most recent book from Glee star and bestselling author Chris Colfer, Stranger than Fanfiction.
Colfer is best known in the literary world for his popular middle grade series The Land of Stories. In his latest novel, Colfer explores the world of television fandom and the trials and tribulations of teenagers on the brink of major life changes.
Stranger than Fanfiction follows four best friends who’ve bonded over nearly a decade of watching their favorite sci-fi show. As the group embarks on an end-of-high-school road trip, they impulsively invite the star of said show. When he actually shows up to join them, all five begin a journey full of misadventures, mayhem, and secrets revealed.
In a special episode of the MashReads Podcast, MashReads spoke to Colfer about his return to YA and the inspirations behind the story, from both sides of passionate fandoms.
Then, as always, we close the show with recommendations. Colfer recommends:
The Demonologist by Gerald Bittle, which explores the career of the famous paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren in a documentary fashion. “The facts are scary enough by themselves,” said Colfer.
Intimacy Idiot by Isaac Oliver, a collections of essays and stories about finding love and intimacy in New York. To Colfer, “It’s the gay man’s manifesto, in a way.”
Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher, the first memoir by the late actress, based on her one-woman show. It’s also one of Colfer’s all-time favorite books. “Parts of that book I felt she wrote just for me”
Sage-ing While Age-ing by Shirley MacLaine, a book that is part memoir and part life advice from the actress. “It’s just fantastic.”
And if you’re looking for a book to sink your teeth into, we recommend A Separation by Katie Kitamura, which is this month’s official MashReads book club book.
Listen to their interview here
The Glee cast is full of talents, but how many members can say he’s a Golden Globe-winner, New York Times #1 best-selling author and, at one point, one of Time‘s 100 most influential people? There’s only one… and that’s Chris Colfer.
During the height of the Fox dramedy’s run, the now-26-year-old went off script and onto the written page, tackling the world of fiction every year since 2011, making him “one of the most successful authors for young readers publishing today,” according to TIME. Even now, nearly a year after the musical television series’ run ended, he’s continuing on the same path; only this time, he’s stepping out of The Land of Stories — his soon-to-be hexalogy (six works) of children’s fantasy books — and into something far… ~stranger~.
Chris recently stepped into the world of YA, taking characters (and fans) on a life-changing adventure in his latest work, Stranger Than Fanfiction. “He instantly is the world’s worst Mary Poppins,” Chris says of one of the tale’s leading men, Cash Carter. “He gets them drunk, he gets them stoned, he’s using bad words…”
Regardless of that, though, there’s something far more important to say about Chris’ characters than the bad habits they pick up. There’s SO much representation, guys. Really — among the core group, there are two people of color, a gay character, a trans character, one with a brother with cerebral palsy… Never have you ever have seen a group like this in a work of young-adult fiction before — and there’s no reason why not! Leave it to Chris to break down boundaries.
“I’ve been really wanting to talk about this,” the author tells us exclusively. “The biggest reason why I was inspired to write this book was because fandoms around the world are proof that we can all be united, despite our differences, by something that we love and not something that we hate or something that we fear. Fandoms and fan ships absolutely prove that.”
“It’s funny,” he continues. “I was expecting people to think that there might be too much diversity in this book. But I feel like if you look at a fandom, if you look at one picture of Comic-Con, you’ll see that I underplayed it. But I think that was one of the biggest things that inspired me — ’cause we’re so divided right now, and it’s really rare to see something that bonds us, that is a positive, loving message.”
— NOVL (@TheNovl) March 8, 2017
Events in 2017 > 03-02 – Build Series Presents Chris Colfer Discussing “Stranger Than Fanfiction” [+32]
Join New York Times Best-Selling author Chris Colfer as he takes over BUILD Studio @692 Broadway for a “Stranger than Fanfiction” book event. Colfer will discuss the book, and take questions from fans. A signed copy of the book is your ticket in. Books will be sold on site.
Events in 2017 > 03-02 – Chris Visits SiriusXM [+ 5]
“Glee” star Chris Colfer talks about Shirley MacLaine and aliens when describing his favorite moment on set. Plus, the author opens up about his new TV project inspired by his sister with special needs.”