Chris Colfer On "The Land of Stories: An Author's Odyssey" | BUILD Series



Oh Oh OMG honey you're trending on Twitter Oh My you're a hashtag huh oh oh oh no oh no this is horrible Oh disgusting Oh oh they hate you whoo-hoo oh hi nice thanks for being here oh thank you so much for having me congratulations on your think yes yes thank you yes in the green room I said textbook and you kind of correct right yeah um number um I'm not sure gosh I feel like a parent with like a lot of kids uh uh fifth in the series but I think it's my eighth or ninth published book so that is incredible 26 26 I'm the big I just turned the big to six you just turned the big to six and you have this many published books have you had a quarter life crisis at all or are you good are you just sort of coasting what most people would have is a quarter life crisis Oh cause life is a constant quarter life crisis for me oh and it's funny I still think like oh god I wish I wish I could have done more by brothers by this age I rely really do I feel bad about it um at this point after glee is finishing you are this much of a writer you're writing this much you're publishing this much do you consider yourself an actor as much anymore do you consider yourself more of a writer oh gosh I just consider myself mentally insane um I don't you know I don't know I think I just this sounds so Zen so cliche and and awful but I think I just consider myself a storytelling I mean I've storyteller because I think storytelling is what is my true passion in any form that I get to do that in I'm happy to do it well that's right you write screenplays as well right hey Jared it's my little side hobby they all have to in some ways feel like side hobbies because you're doing so many so many things or is are the books the land of stories are those two sort of main focus on a day to day basis well they certainly are now for sure it's funny because when I started writing it was you know acting was my my main job and and writing was just kind of my side hobby and and now it's kind of completely reversed and now like the book series is my number one job and in that the acting projects are by my side gigs what's your process is a writer do you now that it's become your number one job is it something that like every morning you wake up five hours dedicated to writing or is it something that's a little more kind of a if I get the ideas I'll write if not I'll hang out and try to wait for an idea to come to me oh gosh I wish I had I wish I had a process but I have such severe a DD that I could never play I don't like if I could really force myself to do it 9:00 to 5:00 I'm always like squirrel you know and and then I then I can't I can't write but if I ever have like writer's block I don't force myself to write because I think when you force yourself to write it only makes it that much worse so in this in this book in book five we have the twins sort of going into Connors original stories rather than the stories that they've been consistent the fairytales that they've been sort of running through in the past few books where did you get this idea to sort of travel into the sort of the stories that a child would write we now have a child traveling through his own sort of stories well it was many things it was always my dream as a kid to go into my own stories but mostly from my experience as a screenwriter because I think screenwriting is unlike any other writing because because you know one minute you are at your computer creating a character and then the next minute you know they're living and breathing right in front of you and I thought that would be such an amazing element to bring to to the series and every single story that that Connor in the book writes and travels into were also stories that I wrote as a kid so that's also all of you all of these stories the siblings and of the others these are all stories that you wrote as a kid yeah the sibling starboard eeeh blimp boy such there's such great titles for like a children's book there the executive titles a child would write and it like the siblings instead of siblings as a child yeah and that one letter yeah and I was I was his age and younger when I when I came up with them so I'm glad it fits so this is something that you know you you have the last four books and then this idea come this idea come to you at what point in the writing process of the other books did this come well you know it started off as one book and then it did well so I I did I did a second one and then they kept doing better and better and my original plan was just to do four but then I was so horribly depressed at the end of I think writing the third one um why is that I just I love the characters so much they're just they're there I don't know they're they're just like they're my imaginary friends that I've always had my I'd like to press from possibly leaving them leaving them and not get not getting to spend time with them and you know coming up with ridiculous things for red to say and and then for Goldilocks to put her in her place and and and it mean it was it was like like almost like postpartum depression a little bit so I convinced my it wasn't hard wasn't hard convincing but a convinced my publisher to have to do two more and and then the plan changed from from four books to five books and then at the end of the fourth book I was starting to feel it again and so I decided to split the fifth book into two separate books which I'm so glad I did because I had so much material for for just the the first half of the book it you know it may create but became a nice a nice book itself so there's another another version of the second part of this fifth book coming yes and that'll be the sixth book and that'll be the final book in the series I promise sure well I never say never but I think I think for now I think for I think it'll pass the torch to another child throughout its go ahead they could you could write them as I'm pitching now this is great yeah it could become parents and have their own kids that they give this storybook life to absolutely and I think you you might have nailed what I have planned uh but uh oh my my fault sir yeah I know it's our nose right now it's your alert uh yeah I know I mean it's great but I think I think the six one will be a little wrap-up the current series and then and then I you know I could always revisit that you know a dragon could come in the mix or something I go knows you know so why why – why children's books how did that come to you were you always even when you were even when you were acting in glee or before that before you were published author and you were just a writer were you writing children's story yes and I think I went to children's books mostly because I get to get to write my reading level really so that's a plus but um I love the the escapism of children's books and had it not been for Harry Potter had it not been for Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland in the Narnia books and and you know that the young Jedi series you know when I was a kid to take me away from some unfortunate things that happened in my childhood I don't know how I would have survived so I loved the fact that I now that I'm older I'm able to add add to that world and give kids an escape is in nowadays we definitely need one yeah absolutely I'm curious when you decided to actually become a published author to write these books you were already stirring on Glee it was what 2010-2011 that you um what was that like for you pitching yourself to publishers or to your agents and saying okay look I'm a writer I want to also be a published author and that were they at all like now you're not you're an actor on the show Glee we're making some good some good change off of that I don't think so or were they very supportive right off the bat and saw your writing and saw the sort of where it could fit in the marketplace well sometimes I feel like I'm still fighting that yeah I think I'm still fighting off that that's Sigma I what cuz originally came to me was it was so strange because I always I was told myself that the land of stories was not something that I would it's necessarily spearhead for myself but like if an opportunity ever came to me that that's when I knew it would be the time to do it and and after what thanks to a bunch of my success on Glee a lot of people wanted me to do an autobiography and I was like 19 at the time so I didn't I didn't want to be that guy uh and uh Chris Colfer my story right so far right so exactly uh I think that's actually the title of kelsey Grammer's books I really think it's my life dot that dot so far yeah oh yeah no I just I don't think I didn't want to be giving anyone advice of how to live their life you know like I was I'm still working on my motor skills for goodness sakes but um and so so when those one of those like phone call start coming in I I was like oh maybe this is the right opportunity to do that at the kid series and and you know of course people were were skeptical at first you know you know there's oh here's this young kid who thinks he can he can write a children's chapter book not just like a 15 page picture book but a full chapter book um so I had to write the first about the first half of the book first to kind of convince people that I thought I could write and and I thought I I was very adamant I did not want to have a ghostwriter I did not want I didn't even want to humor the idea of having someone and come in and put their own words in my mouth so it was it was it was hard but um I'm so glad I did it I'm so glad I did it when I was young because I even though I was like 20 the time now that I'm 26 I don't think I would have the confidence to do it why is that I don't know I think you just the older you get the more you kind of get a more of a I cannot bitter taste but just more of a realistic taste or I don't know I I think I think there's a lot of there's a lot of ignorance and courage that comes when you're young and there's some time your idea of time management and what it takes to do these things and they all pretty good Matt yeah called you that right a pin for six days and all right this book it's fine and now that you're 26 and you've done that you I will monitor my time perfectly so that I don't have to stay six days to write this book and I think you get you get to know yourself a little bit better and you're like oh okay maybe that's not a good idea uh but I'm so glad I did it because uh otherwise I know if I would had the courage to do it later in life now when it comes to have you thought about or have you written excuse me for not knowing as I said I think your Wikipedia is off in the books that you've written have you thought about writing adult literature at all or more adult stories that sounds like erotic fiction of some kind but you know you know adult has gotten co-opted in the entertainment world but you know he's after dark um yeah I could you I could use fifty shades of red uh but I haha um yeah I think I think it would there's a lot of things that I get nervous I get so nervous because you know it's like even when I find out that adults are reading my books I'm like really you're reading them you know you like even if you like older than sixteen I I don't know I think I couldn't come very very shy when it comes to writing so well a book is also so much different than a movie in the sense that if you wrote the screenplay at the end of the day when the movie is finished being made if it doesn't go the way that you would a lot of people would hope you wrote the screenplay you didn't make the movie right right there was someone else to blame which is great yeah when it's a book though you are the you are the author your name right you're the only person to blame you can only blame yourself but I kind of I kind of like that though I really I really like having that I like having you know the hands on the wheel when it comes to create creativity no we're talking about your book but we saw a clip to start this interview a clip from you in the ab fab movie which is unbelievable that it got made and incredible that you got to be a part of it congratulations so much it could have been my make-a-wish really it could have been how did that happen it well I I was on I was on the Glee tour in 2010 and I didn't know anyone in London so when we stopped in London I reached out to Jennifer Saunders who's always been a hero of mine and I've been obsessed with them we would app fab since I was since I was a little kid and I just reached out and asked if she wanted to wanted to come to the show and she did and and I met her backstage and we became friendly and and she sent me a message one day saying that she was gonna do a movie and I had to be in it and I like peed my pants on the spot and and tried to act as cool as possible yeah even though I like my heart was like it was like on a trampling as soon as she said it and the next thing I know I was over I got a call saying they were going to shoot it and it happened and I'm so thankful I mean it-it's really how long ago was this shot this was shot last November last November yeah but I so it took about like from the time that I met her to the time that I was on set with her it was probably probably good for years yeah and that's generally the case with with movies though it takes a while I guess yeah yeah there's always yeah it takes a lot of time yeah you have done Glee and you've been in a few movies you've been in ab fab and you another movie that you wrote an executive produced and starred and it seems to me that for the most part you like to generate your own material that you're a part of or at least you're just too busy generating your own material to be sort of a part of a lot more projects is that true a little bit of both yeah yeah I know I mean I love nothing more than creating something and then and then and then really bringing it to life myself I love that but but I mean I also love just I love writing books too and and even even if you write a screenplay you know there's so many cooks in the kitchen you know you're not responsible for the whole meal and I think there's a kind of beauty to that like kind like you're saying with with with books as you really are you're the only chef and it's really it's up to you to really completely paint the whole picture that you want to paint whereas with movie sometimes you know sometimes because of budget cuts or whatever it's not always it's always the exact vision that you want to bring to life I was talking to someone the other day who's in pre-production on something and they're just like it's the worst because it's literally two months of being like oh we were going to shoot this but now we have to rewrite it to be this because we lost money to do that right yeah this whole period of time where you're just waiting to go shoot make a movie while you changed the movie beforehand yeah I know I mean I think of like all the budget think things I had a cut for struck by lightning like I think people who and people really like that movie would be shocked to know what else was was supposed to be in it but but uh yeah but they'll never know as a creative person who is also an author did you ever find yourself on Glee really protective of your character with the writers did you want to work with the writer I know you wrote an episode but did you before that were you even kind of like trying to work with the writers or talk with the writers is a fun author yourself constantly but it was is is in the sense of Glee like like I was very much not I was very much a passenger on that bus but more more more of a creative conversation it was a it was it was the conversation about actually being a young gay kid in this world and many times there are things that come up that I was ecstatic about or unhappy with because I didn't think it really fit you know today's today's my young mindset you know so so I was very very protective of that stuff and and and yeah Wheatley that those were those were those were conversations I had whether they wanted to hear it or not did you ever find I mean coming from Glee playing a young gay man being an openly gay man is a political act whether you want it to be or not especially at the time that Glee was coming now it's pre legalization of gay marriage in the states so you are you are sort of a political piece whether you want to be or not at that point do you ever find when you were writing these land of stories books that it's sort of I mean they are a political they are not addressing really any they are a positive escapism I think as you said that was your intention for any kid who may be struggling at a young age do you ever find yourself struggling yourself as a struggling as a writer to not sort of impose or have any of those sort of elements of your life and your story in those books at all I don't know if I if I struggle with it because I'm pretty I'm pretty stubborn about it I think I'm I I never wanna in my books ever be a preacher you know I I think I just I try to write about common good and common decency and and you know you know there there are a lot of issues that I could I could choose to write about in land stories but they I think they mirror the real world world too much and it kind of defeats the whole purpose of you know this case escapism look that I was talking about but I I definitely try to slip in things here and there like and the Mother Goose Diaries I wrote about her standing up for women's rights and and and marching with Martin Luther King and and then standing up for marriage equality and and I really I really love kind of introducing introducing topics like that to kids in that kind of light so you know kids can really see that the battles that we are fighting today are very much the battles that that that we are fighting six you know 60 70 years ago and just in to subvert fairy tales in that way because so often fairy tales are considered these sort of antiquated ideas of how we construct ourselves socially with other people especially in regards to men and women you think of Cinderella you think of a number of other fairy tales where the male is the prince is the savior of the woman and and and all of those things so for I think someone who is coming from a very political place personally political is such a bad word in regards to this but I think you know what I mean more progressive progressive yeah I mean political sounds like you're trying to be something but I just mean in the sense of the way that the world works you end up sort of being that right um that you end up sort of subverting these old fairy tales that have come in many ways to represent something antiquated right and it's interesting because so many fairy tales have such stigmas to them that the fairy tales never invented themselves like the whole thing about you know Cinderella needing a man to save her that was something that we did our our generation did through movies and whatnot that was not what the story was really about when the Brothers Grimm told it you know there's so many wacky things people get in their eyes pecked out by birds and getting their feet cut off we're the ones who really put like the hates of the sexism and into it um so it's you Disney problem but uh yeah not me he's an ash I'm sorry uh but they've made up for it they've made up for uh but um my bad sorry never gonna be Pinocchio damn it no but it's really fun to kind of reintroduce reintroduced those those stories as they were originally told and you know to have to have a young girl in in the land of stories Alex the lead you know say like when she looks at Cinderella she doesn't think it's about a man saving a woman she sees it as a story about Karma I'm gonna open up to the audience for questions does anyone have any questions out here in the audience hi I was wondering if you have any prewriting rituals that you do to help you get in the zone before you start a new chapter or a new book great question I pet my cat for 45 minutes uh not not really no I think I'm uh if I have one gift when it comes to creativity I I'm very fortunate where I anything that I'm about to write I kind of see almost like a movie trailer in my head and then when I get when I sit down the computer it's just a matter of connecting those images with with words but um III think I think images are so important when you're writing so I google image searching and a lot of music I listen to to to inspire me but um yeah I think I think it's more inspiration before than then rituals when I write next question hi hi so you just got the snapchat I was wondering in the wind I'm really excited about it I was wondering what your favorite snap filter was Oh God um I love the old lady you know the yeah I I might have lip-sync to the Golden Girls theme song couple times and sent that out took you and my friends that was fun next question hi um oh yeah sorry I'm like oh I know you're writing or already done with your next book stranger than fanfiction and which I which I think we're really excited about but um if nobody knows I'm plugging it so thank you thank you it's about this um celebrity that goes on a road trip with four other fans but anyway Shaq hashtag hashtag hahaha but um what where did you get your inspiration for these fans like you go to Twitter or fans you mad no I think they are they are there are four of them there for fans and they are all voices that I think the the why a world needs more of there will be a trans character there will be a as a brother of someone with special needs and I have experience with there there will be the the kid that is in the closet and then there'll be the girl that's too smart for her own good you know and very much like the whole reason why I wrote about struck by lightning was because I just didn't see a kid like me and in the the young teen world and so I would like to kind of continue to continue that with this book next question uh hi hi hi I absolutely love all of the books like I'm really excited to be this one I was just wondering which one was your favorite book to write oh my gosh this may be this one actually I had a lot of fun with this one because I thought kind of got to write about writing which was fun because it's such a crazy unpredictable process and I love that when Connor goes into his own stories which you guys will find out if you read the book he he learns that you know he's a really bad speller so he thinks something's going to be one way and then he gets into the story and realizes oh no I spelled it wrong so it's completely different and and that that that was always a frustration for me was sometimes I I think sometimes something will get published and I would have spelt it wrong and then I'm like crap I had to change the plot now because I because of a typo and there's a book there's a part in the book when he has an argument with a typo like he he's like I'm arguing with the typo so I hope you enjoy it is the the Dalai Lama is that from here one of your original stories as well uh no I just came up with that now I thought it was funny it is funny next question hi how do you feel or did you expect how does it make you feel that the land of stories has been brought into the classrooms and so many people are using it so many teachers and it's become so big in the classroom inspiring all whole children a whole generation it's uh it's the best feeling I've ever had in my whole life honestly no no of course not no I I was I thought maybe I wrote it I would write it in maybe a thousand people would would read it you know and I thought maybe maybe I was really really lucky to make it to the to the New York Times bestseller list so I'd have that title to my resume but I I never thought in a million years that it would it would it would do what it's done and and what it's become and and and no but it is it's I think it's I think it's the best thing that's ever happened me yeah thank you so much thank you have time for two more questions next question hi Chris um over here over oh my hi um your books are my sister's favorite and she wanted to know if they got me into a movie who would you cast as Connor and Alex oh oh gosh why I would say Meryl Streep but that's ridiculous uh she can she can play any Oh chicken oh she's mean I don't hesitate she can do anything um Alex and Connor same time at the same time uh uh you know it's funny is I really want Alex and Connor if the movie happens and and it's getting close it's getting really close that uh thanks but I really want to find like unknowns to play Alex and Connor so that when the kids go in the movie theater they really feel like they are having adventures with kids that are just like them and not you know a kid from that TV show or this TV show but it's really funny because every time I picture someone to play another one of those parts like like Jack and Goldilocks they end up becoming this huge huge successful like oscar-winning a person so so I have to like I have to like stop myself because I want people to available like like who do you have any why wanted Jennifer Lawrence to be Goldilocks so bad that's not gonna happen I wanted them as Sam oh I'm in a butcher's last name Sam a cat Kaplan from from Hunger Games how do you say isn't how do you say his name yes I wanted him to be Jack that's not gonna happen you know so I wanted Lily James to be read from from Downton Abbey and Cinderella and that's not gonna happen now oh gosh I wanted um I wanted Kate Blanchet to be the Evil Queen so bad then she had to be the evil stepmother so so yeah so but but there's still plenty of uh fun people uh last question right here hi there um would you ever consider going to Broadway or writing a Broadway show of course of course yeah I um i annoy my friends endlessly because I think I'm gonna actually write myself a play one day and I think it'll be fun someday a little busy right now but um definitely I think definitely Oh see you guys there first um when does the book come out today the books out today yeah you're all gonna get go buy a copy I'm imagining and when does that fab come out July 22nd congratulations Chris thank you so much you

25 thoughts on “Chris Colfer On "The Land of Stories: An Author's Odyssey" | BUILD Series

  1. i love these books I'm on the 5th book my fav is the first i am a book worm and can't live without those books

  2. I aspire to be a writer/actor one day, and his is one of my biggest models. Chris, never change who you are!

  3. hi you and j.k rowling are my inspiration if you would write a 7-11 book either more on alex and conner or next gen

  4. chris colfer has star quality, that's one of the reasons why I love him. also, I love his books, it's amazing.

  5. I jsut finished the series and I got so mad at the end. When alex gets triggered. froggy is still trapped. everything is still a mess. but cant wait for next book!!!!

  6. this is kinda random but i'm on the first book and i was wondering if the twins get older in the other books

  7. I love land of stories its one of my favorite series! if you are into fiction, you should totally read one of these books (WHATEVER AFTER girls interest extremely rare for boys to like, LAND OF STORIES everybody interest, WINGS OF FIRE, everybody interest but mostly male and decent number of girls can like this) THESE SERIES ARE SOOOOO GOOD

  8. Watching this interview brought tears of joy to my eyes. Gosh. I feel so connected with the author even though we've never even met (YET) just because of his novels. The power of literature is truly amazing.
    And Colfer confirming that there will be a 6th book of the TLOS series… Oh my goodness! 😍 I've already read some articles of him confirming it but it's a different feeling when I heard it directly from him.

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