Actor Chris Colfer put pen to paper for his latest project.Chris Colfer has already proved himself a triple threat, deftly singing, dancing and acting on his hit show, Glee. Turns out, the 22-year-old Golden Globe winner is the rare quadruple threat: He can write too. Colfer’s debut novel, The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell — a magical story about two kids who suddenly find themselves face to face with real-life fairy-tale characters — hits stores this month. Colfer fills us in on how he added author to his list of accomplishments.
American Way: Does this feel different than when you have an acting project to promote?
Chris Colfer: Yes. I’m a little … scared. It’s all me. There are no writers, no directors, no other actors. Just me. So there’s a lot of ownership in that.
AW: What was your inspiration for the book?
CC: My mother used to read me all the fairy tales. I loved the idea of telling the stories behind the fairy tales, of showing the other side. Like, Sleeping Beauty wakes up and has a lot to deal with. She has to put her kingdom back together. Or Cinderella — it wasn’t such a happy ending, you know. Half the kingdom was furious because they didn’t want the prince marrying a peasant girl.
AW: How did the book come about?
CC: After I won my Golden Globe, I was approached to write an autobiography. And I thought an autobiography was ridiculous. Let me hit 25 before I tell the story of my life. But I’d had the idea for this book in my mind since I was 10, so I suggested it. Honestly, I’ve thought about these characters for so long — I knew what they would look like, I knew what they would say — that I wrote the first five chapters in about a week.
AW: This is a book for both kids and adults. Did you write for a particular audience?
CC: You know what, I just wrote what came naturally. Readers under 30 seem to really love it, and everyone who is over 30 tells me they cry when they read it. I think it reminds them of their own childhoods.
AW: Did you find the writing process similar to creating a character for a show?
CC: Definitely. I don’t know that I consider myself an actor or a writer, just a storyteller. Because all of these things tell stories. I think most actors are writers; they just don’t realize it. —Allison Winn Scotch