Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Interview with author and funny man Hank Quense

BOOK TITLE: Tales from Gundarland
326 Pages
Print Book Price: $17.99
Print Publisher: Create Space
Print ISBN#: 9781452871264

E-book Price: $5.99 pub date: 5/23/10
E-book Publisher: Create Space
EBook ISBN#: ISBN: 978-1-4523-1945-2

Category: Fantasy, Anthology, Humor, Short Stories

All the stories in the collection take place in mythical Gundarland. It's is populated by humans, dwarfs, elves and other races. Gundarland is the backdrop for unique adventures, brilliant heroes and cunning villains.

This collection of humorous short stories and novellas is now available in print, Kindle and ebook editions.

The book is filled with humorous fantasy stories including two retellings of Shakespeare's most famous plays.


"Hank Quense is at it again. He’s sharpened up his satirical pen to let the hot air out of the greedy, the power-hungry, and maybe the rest of us. And therein lies a tale…or several. These action-packed, exciting adventures are laced with humor that will have you snickering, if not falling off your chair laughing. What delicious fun." Jan Clark

"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." Lynn Coyle

Hank Quense is the author of three previously published books. Two, Fool's Gold and Tunnel Vision are fiction while Build a Better Story is non-fiction.

Link to Press Release (click here)

Author Bio

Hank writes Science Fiction and Fantasy stories (along with an occasional writing article) from Bergenfield, NJ. All of these stories are humorous or satiric because he refuses to write serious genre stories. He feels that folks who crave serious Fantasy and SF can get a full measure in any daily newspaper.

He has a novel (Fool's Gold) a collection of short stories (Tunnel Vision) in print and ebook versions. He also authored and published a book on fiction writing (Build a Better Story) available on his website in as an ebook. Much of the book is based on his experiences in critiquing hundreds of short stories and a number of novels

In an un-published state (at the moment) are the first two novels in a trilogy involving both fantasy and alien cultures. He is working on the first book of a fantasy trilogy and several short stories.
* * * 

Thank you for being here today, Hank. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
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.

What have you had published?
To date, 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 an ebook on fiction writing. Finally, there is Tales From Gundarland.

Tell us about the latest book.
It’s a collection of eight humorous talks. 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.

All these stories 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.

Please describe one of the stories in the collection.

Romeo and Juliet is great fun, both to read and write. I’m quite proud of this story. Romeo, a dwarf miner, and Juliet, the elfin daughter of a rich gem merchant, have a rocky courtship because Juliet’s brothers are avowed enemies of Romero’s family. Romeo, while in love with Juliet has a decision to make. If he marries her, he’ll have to five up his career aspirations to be a professional ballet dancer. Meanwhile, rather than marry an old count as demanded by her brothers, Juliet poison’s herself. When Romeo is told, he realizes that Juliet means everything to him. He finds a wizard and has him reincarnate Juliet and the pair live (well, one of them anyway) happily ever after.

How do you go about creating a Shakespearean spoof like this?
First I took his main characters and created different ones with different backgrounds and problems, but still maintaining a lot of his nuances. Next I figured out how to fit these characters into Shakespeare’s plot. To keep in within the bounds of a short story, I had to simplify Shakespeare’s plot because his plots are masterpieces of complexity.

Do you plan to wreak havoc on any other of Shakespeare’s plays?
Yes, I’m working on a two-fer. This will be a novella combining a cimplified Othello with an equally simplified Hamlet. It also has a pair of characters from this current book, Rolf and Ralf who have now gone into piracy. The brothers link the Hamlet and Othello plots. The story is slowly coming together.

How is the book selling?

So far, I have modest sales around here. It’s a best seller un Gundarland. That’s in a parallel universe. The Gundarlandian currency is mostly silver coins to if I can ever figure a way to transport the silver I’ve earned back there, I’ll be rolling in money. One of my son-in-laws is a mechanic and he’s trying to build a transporter out of an old washing machine.

Anything new in the works?
A fantasy/sci-fi novel

How can people find you online?

My website is www.hankquense.com.

Thanks, Hank. Best of luck with your book and your career.


  1. It's funny the way Hank says that Romeo and Juliet are having a "rocky" romance.

    That's probably why some people are naturally funny--puns just fall into place because of the context.


  2. Interesting observation, Barbara. I didn't notice I had used the expression "rocky romance" until you pointed it our.

  3. I agree, Barbara. The world needs more writers like Hank.

    Hank, I'm jealous. You have aliens visiting on vacation, wow. Nothing ever exciting happens around here. Thanks for the interview. I love the premise of your book and I've got it on my shortlist, right under The Fall of The Roman Empire. Just kidding. But it really is on my shortlist.

  4. Thanks Joylene. I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it.

  5. So Hank is from New Joysey. My condolences. Means he's probably a stinkin' Mets or Giants fan. (I live with a Yankees fan - which kinda sucks, 'specially last October.)

    Sounds like a pretty good batch of stories. Betcha Billy Shakespeare's spinnin' in his grave like an oil drill bit. Lotsa Luck.

  6. Hi Dave. Here's hoping you're right and Billy is spinning. What a thrill it must be to have your work still appreciated after all these centuries. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Thanks for introducing us to another writer, Joylene. The collection sounds like a lot of fun!

  8. I like Hank's sense of humour and am thinking Shakespeare would, too. Thanks for a fun interview!

  9. Laura and Carol, I totally agree. Thank you both for stopping by.

  10. JaxPop got it right: I'm a Met's and a Giant fan. Shakespeare wrote his plays more than 400 years ago. They need updates to keep them fresh for newer generations. I like to think I was true to his characters and his plots (well, sort of)

  11. I bet you were, Hank. Sure sounds like it was a fun project. Looking forward to reading my copy. Thanks again for spending time with us.


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