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West Jordan Journal

‘Land of Stories’ Author Makes Appearance to Local Fans

Aug 09, 2016 04:36PM ● By Mylinda LeGrande

A full house attends author, Chris Colfer’s event at the Viridian Event Center in West Jordan on July 21. –Mylinda LeGrande

By Mylinda LeGrande | [email protected] 

The line at the Viridian Events Center to attend the bestselling author and actor event on July 21 was a long one. Though attendees were guaranteed two seats by pre-ordering “An Author’s Odyssey,” the fifth book in Chris Colfer’s series “The Land of Stories,” there were many there without tickets.

Hannah James and Sarah Haynes stood in the long line to get into the event. 

“We like the book,” James said. “We started it when we were 10 [years old]. We’ve both been reading the series and had to finish it.”

Whitney and her mother, Sian Bandongen,  a were attending the event together.

“My daughter absolutely looked the books,” Sian said. “She’s read all of them.”

“I like the fairytales,” Whitney said. “[Colfer] spins them and makes them different. He created kids of the fairy godmother, and he has them go through the different fairy tales and become part of the story like ‘Neverland,’ ‘Wonderland,’ ‘Red Riding Hood’ and ‘Jack and the Bean Stock.’”

By starting time, every seat in the bleachers was filled, and it was necessary to set more up on the floor. Jim Cooper, Salt Lake County Library director, stood up to introduce Colfer. 

“Salt Lake City is one of only 10 cities selected to participate in Colfer’s 2016 U.S. Book Tour,” Cooper said. “I connected with Little Brown Books, the book publisher, and I have a 10-year-old granddaughter who loves the series, so we were able to bring him here today.” 

After the introduction, Chris took the stage, and the crowd enthusiastically cheered and clapped.  He first read from his new book and then led an interactive discussion with trivia questions. Right answers were rewarded with a limited edition book cover badge. Then he took questions and gave answers.

Jordan, 13, asked how Colfer was inspired to write the books. 

 “I had a sister who was ill all the time, and I loved to read to escape it all,” Colfer said. “I would daydream about all the adventures I’d like to have with the characters.” 

Ava, 12, asked for advice for aspiring authors. 

“Don’t be discouraged by other writers,” Colfer said. “I think some authors can be very competitive, and they like to discourage you. If you have a story to tell, you have every right to tell it. There is plenty of audience to go around.”

Hannah, 8, asked how long it takes Colfer to write his books.

“It takes me a solid three to four months to write a book,” Colfer said. “Whenever I feel writer’s block coming on, I get up from my computer, and I walk away until I feel like writing again.”

After answering a variety of questions, he thanked the audience for making the series number one, signed books and met the participants.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly Colfer discussed his characters and his new book.

“Alex and Conner have traveled into the realms of fairy-tales and classic literature. In ‘An Author’s Odyssey’, it is their first adventure in a world created from their imaginations,” Colfer said to Entertainment Weekly. Like a screenwriter, Conner has the exciting and sometimes nerve racking experience of seeing the characters and stories he has created come to life. The series has inspired so many kids around the world to read, and I hope this fifth book will encourage readers to write their own stories, too.”

Colfer has also gained international recognition for his portrayal of Kurt Hummel on the television series ‘Glee.’ In his portrayal of the character, Kurt, he has been the recipient of several awards, including Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film at the 2011Gold Globe Awards and three consecutive People's Choice Awards or Favorite Comedic TV Actor in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

In addition, Colfer wrote, starred in, produced and novelized his first film, "Struck by Lightning," which debuted at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. He is a New York Times No. 2 bestselling author of "The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell,” the first novel in his middle-grade reader series.