Chris Colfer, a star of the hit TV series “Glee,” is headed to a local bookstore to promote his new children’s book, “The Land of Stories.”
Colfer will sign his book Friday at Mrs. Nelson’s, 1030 Bonita Ave. “Glee” fans, who are known as Gleeks, are expected to swarm the store.
Based on inquiries, 600 people are expected, which would make the event among the largest at the store since its 1985 founding. But while Mrs. Nelson’s has seen fans of an author trek from neighboring states, Colfer’s appearance may go international.
“What freaked me out,” confided general manager Andrea Vuleta, “is there are people coming from Japan for this.”
Japan? Yes. Three or four people emailed or phoned from Japan to ask for details about the event and say they’re coming.
“They’re huge fans and they want the chance to meet him,” Vuleta said. “A lot of people do.”
Some fans from Mexico have also told the store to expect them, all for the chance to meet Colfer for a few seconds.
Vuleta admits she didn’t know who Colfer was when she was approached to host him at the store. But she said yes, and she was glad she did once she read and enjoyed his book - a 448-page fairytale mashup meant for middle readers, ages 8 and up - and saw the affection for him at a publishing convention.
I didn’t know who he was either, but it turns out he plays a character named Kurt, an openly
gay student on the Fox series. Colfer, 22, won a Golden Globe last year as best supporting actor.
His only other Southern California tour stop is at the Grove in L.A. on Thursday. After Mrs. Nelson’s, he’s headed to Ohio (the La Verne of the Midwest).
At Mrs. Nelson’s, Colfer will do one thing only: sign copies of the book, up to three per person, purchased only at the store. He will chat briefly with fans but will not pose for photos.
Imagine having a camera flash go off in your eyes 600 times in one evening and you’ll understand.
The store sold 300 copies of the book by reservation before its release Tuesday and expects to sell several hundred more.
The line for the 6 p.m. event will not form until 3 p.m. This will give the visitors from Japan and Mexico much of the day to explore La Verne’s tourist attractions.
May I recommend the full-sized Liberty Bell replica and the In-N-Out with the double drive-through?
“People can show up earlier than 3, but they won’t know where the line starts,” Vuleta said impishly. “We won’t start the line until 3. They’ll just have to mill around the store.”
There are worse ways to spend an afternoon.