Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Guest Blogger - Hank Quense

Hank Quense, an author of humorous and satiric fantasy and sci-fi stories, is stopping by Dark & Stormy today to discuss his collection of twenty short stories called Tunnel Vision. Welcome Hank!

Can you briefly give us some background 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. I have over three dozen short stories and a few fiction writing articles that have been published. I also have a novel called Fool's Gold in print and ebook versions and an ebook on fiction writing Build a Better Story.

Let's get to Tunnel Vision: what's the hook?
I think my book blurb tells it best:
Live longer. Laughter is good for your health. Read this book and you may live longer. Unusual characters, settings both strange and familiar, and bizarre plots are a few of the things you'll experience and enjoy.

Aren't you tired of reading sci-fi and fantasy stories that take themselves too seriously? Well, you won't find any stories like that here. It doesn't take anything serious. Politicians, Shakespeare, Lord of the Rings, the military, aliens, the undead, they all get cut down a notch or two.

What are your favorite stories in Tunnel Vision?
I have a couple. MacBeth the Sequel is one of them. I gave the Wryd Sisters a starring role in this one. They are out to save their pet Nessie from the Laird of the Loch. Lucy in Love is another. In this one, Lucretia Borgia and her father Pope Alexander VI are sent to modern-day Manhattan by Satan. Their mission is to increase Hell's market share of souls. Then there is Ida and undead chick who can't remember her last name. She's the catcher on an undead softball team that plays in a league in Central Park. This story is called Manhattan Monsters.

Do you have favorite characters in the book?
Of course. Besides the three mention in my last answer, I have a few others. Rhonda Mi nestra is one of them. She has been the protagonist in several of my stories. She works for her uncle who is a life-style consultant in Manhattan. The two of them are plagued by alien visitors and time-travelers. Zaftig the Magnificent is one of those aliens and another of my favorites.

Do these stories have a message or a common theme?
All the stories are about characters that have tunnel vision. We all have it to some degree, but my characters have it to an extraordinary degree. This overabundance of tunnel vision generates much of the humor as my characters react on surprising ways.

Fool's Gold about?
It's a retelling of the ancient myth about the Rhinegold. My version takes place in the future rather than in the Dark Ages. I also replace fantasy creatures with two different races of aliens. A Ring of Power? Forgetaboutit. Now it's a Chip of Power.

Build a Better Story?
In this book, I describe how a process to put together a story. It's based on my own writing experiences and on critiquing hundreds of stories.

What do reviewers or readers say about the collection?
"Hank knows how to take the every day ordinary and twist it into a parallel universe of you-never-know-that-could-be sense of humor that keeps me hooked. Tunnel Vision is a collection of Hank's short stories, which make it easy to pick up on an e-reader (I use my Black Berry) and read a story during any "wait time". But be careful where you read; you could find yourself laughing out loud." This was written by Nanci Arvizu.

Does reading your stories have any possible side-effects?
A. 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.

Where can folks learn more about you and your stories?
My website has a lot of stuff about me and my stories and my writing. My blog has several new posts every week. I blog about my books, the characters I create, life in the modern world, book reviews and even an occasional rant.

Here is a link to a trailer for
Lucy in Love, one of the stories in this collection


Bev Pettersen said...

Enjoyed your post, Hank. Sounds funny and with my new Kobo, I'm now in the e-reading business.

Anonymous said...

HI Bev
I'm glad to see you found my post entertaining. Enjoy reading the books

Janet said...

Great post, Hank - I'm not a Sci-Fi or Fantasy fan, but I love humorous writing! I'll have to check out your interpretation of those two genre.

Thanks, Kelly, for bringing this author to my attention.

Anonymous said...

Hi Janet
You can sample my odd way of writing at my website. I have a free story in the Library and the Reviews page offers links to stories printed in ezines. Some of them are available.

Janet said...

Ooh, thanks, Hank. I'm off to have a look-see :)

Pamela Callow said...

Congrats on all your books, Hank. I love how you are mixing genres -- sounds very fun!


Anne MacFarlane said...

Loved the trailer, Hank.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anne. Book Candy Studios made the trailer.

Kelly Boyce said...

Very interesting blog. Thanks for stopping by Hank! It was great having you.

Anonymous said...

Actually, it was my pleasure, Kelly. I enjoy reading and responding to the comments

Michelle Helliwell said...

Great post - I appreciated your line about sci-fi taking itself too seriously. I'm a fan of Red Dwarf - great series - and a little tongue in cheek is a healthy thing. Will have to check this out!

Anonymous said...

A few of my stories are tongue in cheek but mostly they are flat out satire or outrageous humor (or so I like to delude myself into thinking)

Anonymous said...

If anyone is interested, you can follow my antics, comments and rants on twitter here: