Here’s How Fandoms Inspired the Diversity in Chris Colfer’s Latest Book

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The Glee cast is full of talents, but how many members can say he’s a Golden Globe-winner, New York Times #1 best-selling author and, at one point, one of Time‘s 100 most influential people? There’s only one… and that’s Chris Colfer.

During the height of the Fox dramedy’s run, the now-26-year-old went off script and onto the written page, tackling the world of fiction every year since 2011, making him “one of the most successful authors for young readers publishing today,” according to TIME. Even now, nearly a year after the musical television series’ run ended, he’s continuing on the same path; only this time, he’s stepping out of The Land of Stories — his soon-to-be hexalogy (six works) of children’s fantasy books — and into something far… ~stranger~.

Chris recently stepped into the world of YA, taking characters (and fans) on a life-changing adventure in his latest work, Stranger Than Fanfiction. “He instantly is the world’s worst Mary Poppins,” Chris says of one of the tale’s leading men, Cash Carter. “He gets them drunk, he gets them stoned, he’s using bad words…”

Regardless of that, though, there’s something far more important to say about Chris’ characters than the bad habits they pick up. There’s SO much representation, guys. Really — among the core group, there are two people of color, a gay character, a trans character, one with a brother with cerebral palsy… Never have you ever have seen a group like this in a work of young-adult fiction before — and there’s no reason why not! Leave it to Chris to break down boundaries.

EXCLUSIVE: Chris Colfer talks Beauty and the Beast‘s gay character!

“I’ve been really wanting to talk about this,” the author tells us exclusively. “The biggest reason why I was inspired to write this book was because fandoms around the world are proof that we can all be united, despite our differences, by something that we love and not something that we hate or something that we fear. Fandoms and fan ships absolutely prove that.”

“It’s funny,” he continues. “I was expecting people to think that there might be too much diversity in this book. But I feel like if you look at a fandom, if you look at one picture of Comic-Con, you’ll see that I underplayed it. But I think that was one of the biggest things that inspired me — ’cause we’re so divided right now, and it’s really rare to see something that bonds us, that is a positive, loving message.”

Stranger Than Fanfiction is in stores now, so make sure you pick up a copy. Oh, and stay tuned ’cause we have more fun excerpts from our time with Chris coming up!
Did you know that the part of Kurt Hummel was actually written for Chris Colfer??

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Kurt Hummel on Glee

At 18 years old, Chris Colfer went to LA to audition for a new show called Glee. While he didn't get cast as Artie as he planned, the producers couldn't get his rosy cheeks and Von Trapp kid-like look out of their minds. So, Kurt Hummel was born and the rest is history.

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The story of how Rachel Berry came about is a bit crazy! Ryan Murphy knew he had the idea for Glee, but didn't have any details figured out. Instead of doing a casting, he watched numerous Broadway plays hoping to be inspired. After he saw Lea Michele's work in Spring Awakening, he wrote the role of Rachel with her in mind. Yes, the actress technically still had to come in an audition for the part, but c'mon -- it was hers without her even realizing it!

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No, Aubrey Plaza never technically auditioned for a Parks and Recreation role, but little did she know a meeting with a casting director would be the biggest 'audition' of her life. Following the meeting, the show's creator was told he had to meet her and put her on the show. When the initial scripts were written, the awkward, sarcastic character was simply known as 'Aubrey.'

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Everyone who came from The Glee Project

When The Glee Project first aired, everyone expected one person to get a guest-starring role. Little did fans know that some of Glee's fave characters would be created thanks to the reality show. Harmony (Lindsay Pearce), Unique (Alex Newell), Rory Flanagan (Damian McGinty), Ryder Lynn (Blake Jenner), Joe Hart (Samuel Larsen) and Betty Pillsbury (Ali Stroker) were all created after Ryan Murphy and the rest of the Glee crew saw what the actors and actresses could do while on TGP.

Photo: Oxygen

You can reach this post’s author, Kaitlin Cubria, on Twitter and Instagram!

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