Chris was born in California and is of Irish ancestry. "I'm very Irish, my family is all Irish and St. Patrick's Day in my house is crazy." As a child, he was confined to a hospital bed for three months following lymph node surgery, which left a scar on his neck and which he credits as one of the difficult experiences that made him interested in fictional worlds. At an early age, Colfer showed a passion for writing. He was "born wanting to be a storyteller", using both writing and acting as ways to entertain people and escape reality. His grandmother was his first editor, advising and encouraging him in elementary school when he first attempted to write a fairytale-inspired novel, which would later become The Land of Stories, in 2012. Chris is also an actor and acted in the TV show Glee in 2009.