Hank Quense – Tales From Gundarland

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

Tales From Gundarland is a collection of six short stories and two novellas. I think the book blurb has an accurate description:

Laughter is like free health insurance: you can’t get too much of it. This book will give you enough laughs to boost your health.

It’s filled with delightful entertainment. Without commercial interruption!

Gundarland is populated by humans, dwarfs, elves and other races; it’s the backdrop for unique adventures, brilliant heroes and cunning villains.

There are six short stories and two novellas in here. All are new. You’ll meet some of Shakespeare’s most famous characters, a warrior-cook, vigilantes, a trio of beautiful, lusty princesses to mention just a few of the memorable characters in the stories.

While I was writing up these answers, I learned that Readers Digest awarded a medal to this book in the scifi/fantasy category

Tell us something about yourself.

Here is my “official” bio:

Hank Quense writes humorous fantasy and science fiction along with an occasional article on fiction writing. He lives with Pat, his wife of many years, in Bergenfield, NJ. They have two daughters and five grandchildren.

Bergenfield is located 15 miles from midtown Manhattan. Midtown is frequently referred to as the entertainment center of the galaxy because so many extra-terrestrials go there on vacation. A favorite vacation package for these visitors is to get a gig driving a taxi for a few days.

To date, Quense has over forty stories and articles published. His novel Fool’s Gold is a sci-fi retelling of the ancient Rhinegold myth. Tunnel Vision, a collection of twenty previously published stories. Both books are available in ebook and print formats.

Build a Better Story is non-fiction and will help fiction writers with a process to develop a story. His latest, Tales from Gundarland, is a collection of humorous short stories and novellas.

He is presently working on a novel that is a blend of fantasy and science fiction and a second novel that is pure fantasy.

What inspired you to write this book?

I love writing spoofs, especially on Shakespeare and myths. I had a number of stories I was flogging to magazines and I decided I could make more money selling them in a book rather than as individual stories. I wrote a few more to get the word count up and viola! A new book. I guess you could say my inspiration was just your basic, everyday, ordinary greed.

How did you choose the title?

That was fairly simple since all of the stories take place in Gundarland. By the way, Gundarland is in a parallel universe only a wormhole or two away from our universe.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

Traditional publishers. Several of them rejected it (After taking months to make a decision). Finally, in disgust with the publishing industry, I decided to go the other route and use non-traditional publishing methods

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I was a sales manager for a large corporation. When I turned fifty, I decided I better start looking for a new career because it was only a matter of time before I got tapped on the shoulder and told to take a hike: it’s the American way. I always loved reading fiction and decided to become an author. I’m happy to report I have no regrets.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Naw. I do insist that my fiction has to be humorous or it gets ditched. If you want serious scifi or fnatasy, read the front page of any major daily paper.

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

I have a book that lists names for various nationalities. I chose one of them and misspell it. For instance, my trolls have Russian-like names and my eves have Italian-like names

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

I learned that Shakespeare’s work has incredible plots and complex characters. Spoofing him is hard work.

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?

Start writing at an earlier age

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?

Humorous genre fiction, historical fiction and fiction. My favorite authors: Terry Pratchett, Tom Holt, Chris Moore and Bernard Cornwell.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

It’s title is Zaftan Entrepreneurs. It’s a blend of scifi and fantasy in that aliens orbit Gundarland and plan on extracting minerals whether the natives like it of not. One of the natives, a dwarf, doesn’t and goes to war against the zaftans.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Know the ending before you start to write the first draft.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

Anyone who likes the first three favorite authors I mentioned

Is it safe to read your books?

Very good question. There are some basic precautions that readers should take. First, check with your doctor to determine if you are healthy enough to take part in spontaneous laughter. Second, if you are suffering from a contagious disease such as the flu, wear a mask to limit the spread of airborne germs when you laugh out loud. Finally, no one should read my stories while driving a car or operating heavy machinery.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

My website is the best place: http://hankquense.com. There you’ll find links to all the book sellers. Here are some other links.

I’m on Twitter: http://twitter.com/hanque99
I’m on facebook: My fan pages are here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hank-Quenses-Fiction-Writing-Page/102293491907#!/pages/Hank-Quenses-Fiction-Writing-Page/102293491907?v=wall