Iola native’s novel retells Cinderella story
By Jane Myhra
Katelyn Hoffman will hold a book signing from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27, at the Millstone of Iola Mills, 300 N. Main St., Iola.
Hoffman recently released her first novel, “Allegra.”
She will be offering copies of the novel for $15, with $3 from each sale going to the local Little Free Libraries program. She will also sign previously purchased books,
Hoffman is a 2008 graduate of Iola-Scandinavia High School. In 2012, she received a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.
After graduating, she spent a year in China teaching English.
“I then spent some time substitute teaching and volunteering in the I-S Elementary School before deciding that I wanted to go back to school to get my teaching certificate,” Hoffman said.
She enrolled in the weekend licensure program at Alverno College while working as a legal assistant and at the Millstone. Her duties at the Millstone include making gelato and helping clients plan events including weddings, showers and concerts.
Hoffman is currently student teaching at a high school in the Madison area.
She has always had a passion for writing and telling stories. She wrote her first “book” when she was 6 or 7 years old.
“I have always been working on a piece of creative writing,” Hoffman said. “I actually wrote the first draft of ‘Allegra’ when I was a junior in high school. It was a personal challenge. I wanted to see if I could write a full novel. I certainly never planned to publish the novel, or to share it with anyone at all.”
She finished the novel last winter, working on revisions between work and school.
“It sometimes became difficult to remember what it was that I loved about literature and about writing,” Hoffman said. “I knew that if I lost my love for reading or if I lost my passion for writing, I wouldn’t be able to be the teacher that I wanted to be.”
“It was too easy to get bogged down in the details, and to forget what it was that I wanted to share with students,” she said. “Writing has made my teaching better, and teaching has made my writing better.”
Hoffman self published the novel, which she describes as a fairy tale.
“I love fairy tales, especially the dark original Grimm Brothers versions,” she said. “This story is a retelling of the Cinderella story that is all about girl power, integrity, friendship and kindness.” According to Hoffman, “Allegra” has several plot twists that will keep readers guessing until the end of the book.
Her writing was influenced by J.K. Rowling, Alice Hoffman (no relation), Shannon Hale and the Grimm Brothers.