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TFK talks to Chris Colfer, author of The Land of Stories: An Author’s Odyssey

Chris Colfer is a man of many talents. He sings, acts, and writes a wildly successful book series, The Land of Stories. Book 5 hits bookstores today. Though he vowed not to reveal any secrets, Colfer talked to TFK about The Land of Stories: An Author’s Odyssey and his inspiration for its fantastic fairy-tale world.

TFK:

How do you keep getting new ideas for books in this series?

CHRIS COLFER:

I’m so lucky, because the ideas for the books have always really been with me. I came up with most of the ideas for the series when I was a kid. Whenever I get something new; the things I see on the street—anything from statues to buildings; anything that I read—all these inspire me. I get inspired a lot by history too.

TFK:

How long does it typically take you to write a book? What’s the process like?

COLFER:

I wrote most of the books while I was filming the TV show Glee, so I didn’t have much free time. I would try to write as much as possible with the very little time I had. If I added up all the spare hours—here and there and weekends and an hour or two after work at the end of the day—I probably wrote each book in about two to three months. I wish I had more of a process than I do. I like to outline everything chapter by chapter, and then I let the characters in my head do all the talking.

TFK:

Do you reread the fairy tales that the characters come from?

COLFER:

I do. I read a lot of fairy tales before I put them in the book. Usually I look for funny quirks that could make an interesting personality for the characters before I put them in the book. We look for things that can be funny, because we know that kids will like that kind of stuff.

TFK:

Do you decide what the cover will look like?

COLFER:

I do. With the start of each new book, I draw exactly what I want the cover to look like. I use little stick figures because I am not a very good illustrator. Once I’m done, I send it to the illustrator, Brandon Dorman, and he makes it into a beautiful, wonderful cover.

TFK:

In all the books, there’s a quest. What’s An Author’s Odyssey going to be like?

COLFER:

An Author’s Odyssey is an adventure that Connor and Alex take through Connor’s imagination. They get to go inside the stories that Connor has written, and he gets to meet all the characters he created and see all the worlds he made up. Actually, the stories that Connor’s going to travel into were some of the first stories I wrote when I was a really little kid.

TFK:

What does it feel like to have a lot of fans?

COLFER:

It’s the best! The best part of being an author is when kids come up to you and talk to you as if the characters are real.

TFK:

Do you have advice for kids who want to be authors?

COLFER:

If you want to be a children’s author, remember what kinds of stories you like to read and what kinds of stories entertain you. That will be the best way to write for kids later, when you’re an old man like me.

Source: timeforkids.com

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Projects
Stranger Than Fanfiction
Written by Chris Colfer
Release: February 28, 2017

Cash Carter is the young, world famous lead actor of the hit television Wiz Kids. When four fans jokingly invite him on a cross-country road trip, they are shocked that he actually takes them up on it. Chased by paparazzi and hounded by reporters, this unlikely crew takes off on a journey of a lifetime–but along the way they discover that the star they love has deep secrets he’s been keeping. What they come to learn about the life of the mysterious person they thought they knew will teach them about the power of empathy and the unbreakable bond of true friendship.
 
Julie's Greenroom
Chris as himself (episode 2)
Release: March 17, 2017 on Netflix

Ms. Julie and her assistant Gus (Giullian Yao Gioiello) will bring the performing arts to a new generation of kids known as the “Greenies,” played by original puppet characters built by the renowned Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.
 
Trollbella Throws a Party:
A Tale from the Land of Stories

Written by Chris Colfer
Release: July 11, 2017

It's Queen Trollbella's birthday and she's throwing herself an epic celebration. She has everything a troll girl would want: musicians, magical creatures, carnival rides, a gigantic cake, and more. So why isn't she having any fun? Trollbella knows something is missing, until she meets a goblin boy sneaking into her party. It's his birthday too! When Trollbella decides to share her party, she knows she's finally figured out what is missing. A happy kingdom and learning to give back is the best gift she could've ever received.
 
The Land of Stories: Worlds Collide
Written by Chris Colfer
Release: July 11, 2017

In the highly anticipated conclusion to the Land of Stories series, Conner and Alex must brave the impossible. All of the Land of Stories fairy tale characters--heroes and villains--are no longer confined within their world! With mayhem brewing in the Big Apple, Conner and Alex will have to win their biggest battle yet. Can the twins restore order between the human and fairy tale world?
 
Since My Life Began
Chris as Noel Coward
Release: tba

A story focused on the early life of flamboyant playwright Noel Coward.
 
Calendar
Oct 16 - 'The Land of Stories: The Ultimate Book Hugger's Guide' Release
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