Today for a change, we have an interview with another author. Hank Quense is, an American author of humorous and satiric fantasy and scifi stories. We'll be discussing Fool's Gold, his novel about the Rhinegold myth.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born a long time ago, married my wife, she gave birth to two daughters. I left my day job to write stories, my daughters gave birth to five grandkids. That's all that's important.
What have you had published?
Over three dozen short stories and articles on fiction writing. One novel (this one) and a collection of 20 previously published short stores called Tunnel Vision. Recently I self-published a book on fiction writing called Build a Better Story.
What's Fool's Gold about?
It's a retelling of the ancient myth about the Rhinegold. Instead of taking place during the Dark Ages, my version takes place in the future and has aliens instead of fantasy creatures.
What's the hook for Fool's Gold?
My book blurb says it best:
A Ring of Power? That is soooo yesterday. Now it's the Chip of Power. It's the newest thing around and it produces laughs.
Aliens, ancient gods, humor, beautiful Valkyries, heros, conniving nobles, betrayal, greed, incest, a magical gold horde; this story has something for everyone.
This book is only retelling of the ancient Rhinegold myth that is set in the future and is a humorous scifi tale.
Do you have a favorite characters from this story?
Fafner. He's an alien from the planet Zaftan 31B. I love Zaftans. They aren't evil as we humans understand the term, but they think quite differently than we do. They think treachery and assassination are social skills.
How do you go about creating one of these bizarre stories? Is there a process you use? Or do they just pop into your head?
This version came about while I was writing a spoof of the original Rhinegold myth. It occurred to me that this would make a great space opera. It took me several years of thinking about it, off and on, before the story finally gelled in my mind. Others usually start with a character, a bizarre one. I get him into a ridiculous situation then figure out how to save him.
Is there a message in the story?
If there is, I didn't deliberately plant it there. I think readers can take a number of messages from the story. It all depends on there psyche, their upbringing and their personality. Everyone will get something different.
What is the best review your book received? Or your favorite?
"Fool's Gold by Hank Quense is another terrific story written by an incredibly talented and FUN writer. Hank's characters and twists on tales we've heard before takes us down the unbeaten path into the hilariously crazy workings of his mind. And it's a twisted one at that!" That one came from Nanci Arvizu.
In your stories, many of your characters are aliens or dwarfs. Do you dislike normal characters?
Using dwarfs and aliens means I can address sensitive issues without the Political Correctness Police raiding my home. For instance, I wrote a spoof of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, one of the most anti-Semitic plays ever written. I cast Shylock as a dwelf (half dwarf and half elf). In my story I can treat him in an decidedly anti-dwelf manner and it comes off as humor, whereas Shakespeare's play is considered hateful. Here's another reason. In my most recent stories, elves are thuggish and larcenous. They belong to large gangs called "families" headed up by a Godmother. If I described a nationality of humans this way, I'd get sued by lawyers for defamation. Somehow, I don't think the elves will drag me into court.
Does reading your stories have any possible side-effects?
I'm glad you asked that because there are precautions that should be taken by readers. 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.
How can the blog readers learn more about you and your stories?
My website http://hankquense.com has a lot of stuff about me and my stories and my writing. My blog http://hankquense.com/blog has several new posts every week. I blog about my books, the characters I create, life in modern times, book reviews and even an occasional rant.
Tunnel Vision is a collection of twenty previously published humorous short stories. It has plenty of laughs in it.
Build a Better Story is a book on fiction writing. It describes the process I use to develop a story.
Here is a fun trailer to watch.