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.”