Chris Colfer shot to fame for his Golden Globe-winning portrayal as openly gay countertenor Kurt Hummel on the Fox musical series “Glee” — yet many of his fans know him only as a writer.
“I get messages from people saying how shocked their kids are to find out that I was on TV,” he says, with a chuckle.
At 27, Colfer is the bestselling author of “The Land of Stories” children’s fantasy and its spinoffs, which includes illustrated picture books, audio books and upcoming graphic novel.
Since 2012, he’s been captivating the imaginations of 5- to 12-year-olds with the epic adventures of fraternal twins Alex and Conner Bailey through the worlds of fairy tales, classic literature, and their own creative writing. Those literary realms come crashing into reality in the sixth and final installment titled “Worlds Collide,” which hits bookshelves Tuesday.
In the series closer, Alex has gone missing.
Her brother sets out to find her, and with the help of his fairy-tale friends tracks her down in New York City. She’s under the control of the witch Morina and her band of evildoers who are hatching a plan to take over the world.
Can Conner save Alex and stop these Land of Stories villains before it’s too late?
While he’s never traveled through dimensions, Colfer confesses he’s a lot like his characters.
“I am Gemini, so that means I’m always thinking with two different mindsets, which has been a blessing and a curse,” he says. “Alex represents my people pleasing, smarter-than-my-own-good side, and Conner is my sarcastic, class-clown side. So they’re very much me in different forms.”
Raised with a younger sister just outside of Fresno, Colfer began writing “The Land of Stories” in grade school at the urging of his mother.
“My mom used to read fairy tales to me as a kid,” he says. “I had so many questions about the characters and their motives that I think she finally got annoyed and said, ‘Why don’t you write your own fairy tales?’ So I started writing ‘The Land of Stories,’ promising myself that if I ever got a chance to publish it, I would make it happen.
“I honestly think one of the reasons why the first book has been so popular with kids is because it was technically written by one,” he says, referring to “The Wishing Spell.”
While he was big on imagination, Colfer admits he struggled with reading until J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter came along.
“It was the Harry Potter books that made me excited to read and made me work hard on becoming a better reader so I could keep up with Harry, Ron, and Hermione,” he says. “Some of the happiest memories of my childhood were waiting at Barnes and Noble for the midnight release of the next Harry Potter book, and being there with a roomful of nerds like me. To think that I’m now contributing to the children’s literary world in some ways means a lot to me.”
Colfer is currently on a national tour, which includes a ticketed event hosted by Children’s Book World at the Landmark Regent Theatre on July 31.
At these events, young fans always want to know, When’s the movie coming out?
“I’ve asked them for a lot of patience over the years because ever since the first book (“The Wishing Spell”) came out, we’ve had an interest in this becoming a film franchise,” he says.
As it turns out, he’s busy adapting the first book in the series for the big screen in what will be his directorial debut.
Most of his writing takes place in the guest bedroom of his Laurel Canyon home. He sits a red desk, flanked by a pair of twin beds outfitted in “Star Wars” and “Super Mario Bros.” sheets, listening to film scores like “Lord of the Rings” or “Forrest Gump.” In fact, that’s where he closed the book on Alex and Conner’s adventures in March.
Or did he?
“I might go back and do a prequel series about the twins’ grandmother when she was a young girl growing up,” Colfer says. “I can always do another spinoff of something or other. Just because the series is over does not mean ‘The Land of Stories’ is over, and I can say that with confidence.”
This entry was posted on Friday, July 7th, 2017 at 9:09 am and is filed under #TLOS6, Chris, Interview. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.