Thursday, July 18, 2019

Camosun alumnus toys with genre expectations with new book

July 10, 2019 by Katy Weicker, staff writer

Local author Logan Hunder recently released his second novel, Astro-Nuts, but six years ago, he was a Camosun student about to graduate from the Criminal Justice program. Although he had never taken more than the mandatory English classes required for his degree, in the months after he graduated, he decided to attempt to write his first novel, Witches Be Crazy

“The summer I graduated from Camosun—so, 2013—I just sat down and I just wanted to see if I even could do a book from start to finish, and I didn’t think I was going to do anything with it,” he admits. “I just thought maybe I’d print it out and put it in a binder somewhere and show it to my friends.”

Camosun Criminal Justice alumnus Logan Hunder (photo by Adam Marsh/Nexus).

The process of writing his first book took around 11 months; Hunder wrote it in his spare time between part-time jobs. Since joining the Royal Canadian Navy just over two years ago, Hunder, who works as a naval communicator on HMCS Vancouver, admits that it’s harder to find time to work on his third novel.

“When you’re actually at sea, it’s a little bit tougher because you’re generally working about 12-hour days,” he says. “And you don’t really have internet access on your laptop or anything like that, so you have to just kind of find time wherever you can.”

Still, Hunder makes time to jot down ideas as they come to him. The results are some quirky novels that defy the typical expectations of their genres with humour and wit. Witches Be Crazy puts a spin on fantasy, while Astro-Nuts branches into the world of sci-fi—a move Hunder made at the suggestion of his editor.

“It seemed like the most logical jump from fantasy if you’re going to change genres,” he says.

Hunder says he watched a lot of the TV show The Expanse to get a feel for the kind of sci-fi he wanted to go for. 

“From there, I just kind of wing it,” he says. “I can’t take anything seriously long enough to put a whole novel together, so unless I’m making fun of it, there’s no way I’m going to get any work done.”

After tackling fantasy and sci-fi, Hunder is toying with a murder-mystery for his next book; he says that he really wants to write a western as well. 

“There’s so many different genres out there that I feel like I’m really not going to run out of options anytime soon,” he says.

Hunder says that his books use the genres more as a jumping-off point for the characters and that the cohesion of his books lies in how he tries to poke fun at the tropes and structure of whatever genre he’s writing.

“At its core, every story is more about the characters and the plot than the actual genre I’m trying to subvert,” he says.

No matter what genre Hunder is playing around with, the one thing that his novels will always have is humour. 

“Even though the genres will change, all of them will have just this air of silliness and slapstick, and complete lack of regard for seriousness, right?” Hunder says. “All of them tend to be fairly lighthearted stories, and I think you don’t necessarily have to like the genre itself to enjoy the story.”

Still, there’s one genre Hunder doesn’t think he’ll be tackling soon.

“I feel like if I wrote a romance novel it would be so unbearable and over-the-top that people wouldn’t even realize I’m kidding, and it will become accidentally successful, and I’ll be the only one in on the joke,” he says with a laugh.

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