Chris Colfer’s The Land of Stories: A Treasury of Classic Fairy Tales was just released, but he’s already looking ahead to future literary projects. In a conversation with actress and children’s book author Amanda Peet at EW PopFest on Sunday, Colfer spoke about his new book Stranger Than Fanfiction, due March 7, 2017, and the next release in hisThe Land of Stories series.
Stranger Than Fanfiction, he says, is “about these four kids and they’ve just graduated high school and they’ve spent their whole lives being obsessed with this television show. It’s about these four friends and they decide to go on a road trip to spend the last few days they have together and really celebrate their friendship before they go off to school and as a joke they invite the actor from the television show. He shows up the next day ready to go on the road trip and he instantly is the world’s worst Mary Poppins. He gets them drunk, he gets them stoned, he’s using bad words.”
Colfer, of course, starred in Glee, and while he brought some of his personal experiences to the page, it’s not a direct copy. “It’s not an autobiography by any means, but it’s definitely based on a lot of things that I went through being on a television show… the experiences that I went through being a part of this huge, huge phenomenon were so unique, I thought it’d be a really interesting voice to add to the YA world.”
The novel doesn’t really have a fantasy element to it like his The Land of Stories series beyond the idealization of the television actor, but it does offer the perspective of the fans and the actor.
The next The Land of Stories release, he says, is a work in progress. “It’s in my head,” he told Peet and the audience. “I’m working on the title…I think it’s going to be called The Land of Stories: Worlds Collide. I think that’s going to be the title of the sixth book, and it’s going to be the sixth and final book in the series.” When asked how he knows the series is over, Colfer responded, “I almost don’t know if I decide. I think it’s like this creative alter ego deciding. I think books one through six tell a very good, complete story and I don’t want to drag it on.”
Beyond that, Colfer has a lot of other ideas ruminating, like a prequel to The Land of Stories books or a sequel to Stranger Than Fanfiction depending on how it’s received, but he’s open to other possibilities. He quipped, “I’m sure there’s a saucy adult novel in me somewhere.”
EW PopFest is a pop-culture festival with screenings, panels, performances, and live podcasts held at The Reef in Los Angeles on Oct. 29 and Oct. 30. For details on the event head to ewpopfest.com, and for coverage go to ew.com.