Chris Colfer on His New Kids' Book, Gloria Estefan, and Rewriting History
Like many children, when Chris Colfer was a wee lad, he would doodle silly characters and write passages to his made up stories. As he grew up, he kept adding to those stories that once helped him get through adolescence. And now as an adult, he's able to share those same stories with the world.
"I promised myself that one day I would get it done, and thanks to Glee, the opportunity came and I jumped on it," Colfer told Cultist over the phone from New York City.
What he got done - aside from a successful run on Glee, winning a Golden Globe, writing a young adult novel (Struck by Lightning), writing a screenplay and producing his first major film - was finally getting around to bringing his fairy tale scribbles to fruition. The first installment in a now-growing series, The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, was published in 2012, followed by The Enchantress Returns in 2013, and keeping the steady flow, The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning was just released this week.
Colfer has embarked on a national book tour to promote the popular children's book, and Miami is his sixth stop. He'll make an appearance at Books & Books this Sunday.
"When Glee started airing and my character really became inspirational for a lot of people, I kept getting a lot of offers to do autobiographies or books for kids or books for people like me," he recalls. At only 20 years old at the time, he hadn't experienced much of life to write an authentic autobiography. But he did have another story in mind he could share.
Taking a page from the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tales, Colfer felt inspired not only by the brothers themselves, but also the time period they lived in. "I remember when I initially sat down and thought about the third book, I thought it was so interesting what a hectic time these men lived in because Napoleon's army was just taking over the world at the time, and they were publishing kids' stories."
That's how the premise for Colfer's third book in the TLOS series, which follows two twins who travel to the fairy tale world and get into all sorts of adventures, was born. "Napoleon's grand army could make such a great group of villains, and so in a way, the third book is all about Napoleon's grand army trying to take over the fairy tale world," Colfer explains.