TRU English faculty member and author Karen Hofmann released her latest novel What is Going to Happen Next on Sept. 15. This is Hofmann’s second novel following her 2014 release of After Alice.
The story follows four young people who grew up in rural B.C., where they didn’t really have adequate parental supervision, making them almost like “feral children” as Hofmann explains. The plot picks up later when the four characters are in their 20s and 30s but now living in metro Vancouver. It follows their life as they try to figure out who they are and how to navigate through life especially without having a strong background in the lives they are now living.
What is Going to Happen Next is written through the perspective of three different characters, all with different thoughts and experiences throughout the plot.
The novel fits in with Hofmann’s previous work with similar themes such as family life and siblinghood.
The novel follows the family fiction and literary fiction genre, a genre that Hofmann states she’s enjoying right now, but has plans to expand her writing styles and themes in the future. Hofmann mentioned that she’s interested in working more with public themes in the future as her current novels handle more domestic situations.
When asked about the development of this novel, Hofmann gave a little insight. “I’m always trying to learn new techniques of writing. I’m always trying to get better at removing filters, getting closer to the characters’ heads and presenting their experiences subjectively.”
While getting published is always a bonus to the craft, Hofmann doesn’t place the publications of her work on the top of her list when it comes to the most rewarding aspects.
“I think the most rewarding part is that intense experience of being in a writing space,” Hofmann said. “Many many hours can go by and you don’t even notice because you’re just so engrossed.”
Hofmann encourages new and aspiring authors to keep it up and not to give up if it starts to seem to difficult.
“Start with smaller, more manageable things,” she said.