Today I would like to welcome Hank Quense, author of Tales from Gundarland.
Natasha: Tell me about yourself. How long have you been writing? When you’re not writing, how do you like to spend your free time?
Hank: I've been writing full time since the mid-90's. That's way back in the last century! I fill my free time by using iPhone and iPad apps, games mostly. Also by watching my grandkids grow up. If they're around, I can't use either of those devices. That's my own fault because I downloaded a bunch of apps for young kids; games, books that are read out loud to them etc. I've also been known to drink red wine.
Natasha: Your novel, Tales from Gundarland, was recently published. Can you tell us a little about it? How long did it take you to write?
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.
These stories accumulated over a number of years. An early draft of one novella was critiqued (and panned) over five years ago. I had several stories set in Gundarland and I realized I could make more money by publishing a collection of stories myself rather than trying to sell them individually to various story markets. After that, I wrote a few more stories specifically for this collection. The Merchant of Venison was one. Chasing Dreams was another. Overall, a fun project. I thoroughly enjoyed writing these stories.
Natasha: What was your favourite scene to write? What was your least favourite scene?
One of my all-time favourite scenes is in Romeo and Juliet. The two incipient lovers meet in her garden but they are thwarted by Juliet's chastity belt.
Another favourite is in Merchant of Venison. The final scene takes place in a courtroom and I remember laughing and giggling while I wrote the first draft.
I don't have a least favourite scene. If I don't like the scene, it doesn't stay in the story; it's replaced.
Natasha: Do you have any upcoming projects in the works?
Hank: Do I ever. I recently finished a plan to write two trilogies over the next three years. Once novel from each trilogy will be published each year. The Zaftan Trilogy is scifi combined with fantasy. In book one (scheduled for the end of this year), nasty aliens, called zaftans, arrive in orbit over Gundarland and plan to mine exotic minerals. Book two is complete except editing and some revisions. The second trilogy, The Drakin Chronicles, follows the adventures of a dwarf hero named Drakin. The first two books are partially finished. That's probably a lot more than you wanted to know.
Natasha: Do you have any advice for beginning writers that are trying to get published?
Hank: Yes, I do. I have an entire ebook of advice primarily aimed at beginning writers. It's called Build a Better Story and you can find out more here: http://hankquense.com/BABS-main.html
If I have to give one piece of advice, it's this: Don't start a first draft until you know the ending and how the characters will get there. If you ignore this advice, mostly likely you'll waste a lot of time.
Natasha: What is the best way for readers to contact you? (website, e-mail, facebook, twitter, etc)
Hank: My main website is http://hankquense.com
My blog is http://hankquense.com/blog
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