Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with author Hank Quense to discuss his new collection of short stories and novellas entitled Tales From Gundarland.
Jessica: Readers would like to know a little bit about you and your writing. Tell us how you came to be a writer.
Hank: I live in Northern New Jersey with my wife. We live about 12 miles from mid-town Manhattan often called the “Entertainment Capital of the Galaxy” because of all the extraterrestrials who go there on vacations. These visitors enjoy plays, concerts and sporting events, but the most popular attraction is getting a gig driving a cab for a few days.
To date, I've had published over forty short stories and fiction writing articles and four books. Fool's Gold is a short novel that retells the ancient Rhinegold myth as sci-fi rather than fantasy. Tunnel Vision is a collection of twenty previous published short stories. Build a Better Story is a how-to ebook on fiction writing. Finally, there is Tales From Gundarland.
On my fiftieth birthday, I faced up to reality. It was only a matter of time at work until I got tapped on the shoulder and told to take a hike so some young kid could have my office. I needed something else to do after that and I decided I wanted to write fiction.
Jessica: Your latest book, Tales From Gunderland, is now out in both ebook and paperback forms. Tell me a little about the book and where the idea came from.
Hank: It's a collection of eight humorous tales. Six are short stories and two are novellas. Here is my book blurb.
“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.
The idea to package the stories came about when I realized I had written a number of stories that take place in Gundarland and maybe it would be easier to print a collection of the stories rather than shop them around individually to various markets.
Jessica: The success of a book depends largely on the audience. Who is your ideal reader? What are they like?
Hank: Anyone who likes authors Terry Pratchett, Chris Moore or Tom Holt will like my stories. I also think the YA market is another area. Teenagers from around 13 or 14 and up will resonate with this collection.
Jessica: Who are your writing and comedic influences?
Hank: The three authors I mentioned above because I read a lot of their works. I also get a plenty of inspiration from the front page of newspapers. They are filled with bizarre tales and weird people. I don't necessarily use the news items, but the way people respond to the situations described is a priceless resource for me.
Jessica: Ha! Agreed! What has your experience been with reviews of the book – what are people saying about it?
Hank: People who have read it love the stories and the characters. Fran Lewis, for instance wrote in her review: "Hank Quense is the master of humor, satire and hilarity in this great book filled with magic, wizards, humans, and many races and, of course, some zany characters that I hope he brings back in his next book." Another reader, Lynn Coyle, wrote: "Tales from Gundarland is a magical escape into a world of quirky and colorful characters. The author, Hank Quense, writes satirical spin-offs from traditional tales and cleverly blurs the archaic gender stereotypes. Romeo the Ballet-Dancer, Burga the Warrior-Cook, and Gerhilde the Independent Princess are just a few examples of the author's innovative and humorous characters. Tales from Gundarland is filled with lots of laughs, adventure, & wit -Don't miss out - Buy your ticket to Gunderland today!"
Jessica: Is it safe to read these stories?
Hank: A 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.
Jessica: Where can people purchase Tales From Gunderland?
Hank: It's at the Ipad store, Amazon both here and the UK, Smashwords, B&N and other places. The simplest way to get access is to go to my website. http://hankquense.com/TFG-main.html. There you can find links to all the major sellers.
Here's a link to the book trailer:
Jessica: Thanks, Hank! I look forward to reading it, and I hope my blog readers will check it out!