Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hank Quense Guest Blog


My name is Hank Quense and I write humorous and satiric fiction, either fantasy of scifi. According to family rumors, I was born before the middle of the last century, but most family members don't believe the rumors. Since that dubious beginning, over three dozen short stores and fiction writing articles have been published. I also have a novel, Fool's Gold in print and ebook versions and a ebook on fiction writing advice, Build a Better Story. Today, I want to talk about a collection of short stories called Tunnel Vision. It contains twenty previously published stories, many of them no longer available anywhere else. Tunnel Vision is available in both ebook and print versions. I think the best way to introduce the collection is through the book blurb:

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 scifi 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.


One of the stories is called Rainbow Bridge and here's a synopsis. Gary Helgeson finds an old amulet that belonged to his aunt. He brushes off some dirt and inadvertently summons the god Loki from Asgard. The god has been summoned to go on a quest for the amulet owner and can't return to Asgard until he completes the quest. Unfortunately, Gary doesn't have a quest for Loki. Things go downhill from there.

Saving the Shore is another one of the stories. (Think Lord of the Rings here). Frido, the mayor of the Shore, has a big problem. The Shore is about to be invaded by a construction crew of trolls headed by Freddie Mac and his girlfriend, Fannie Mae. The trolls plan to cut down trees, build roads and pave them. After the roads are in, Freddie Mac will build apartments and shopping malls. To preserve the nature of the Shore, Frido recruits a wizard, an elf maiden bard and a dwarf ax warrior. Together they journey to a mountain where they steal powerful artifacts from an old dragon. However the wizard can't get the artifacts, a series of rings, to work. Then the angry dragon shows up and wants his rings back.

My favorite review of the book is this one:

"If you're tired of science fiction and fantasy that take themselves too seriously, or just want a little relief from the horrors of the daily news, this collection will have you chuckling, snickering, and maybe laughing out loud. Quense has sharpened his satirical pen to let the hot air out of everything from historical characters and classic literature to politics and national defense. Yet "many a truth is spoken in jest" and you'll find plenty of food for thought between giggling fits and guffaws." This one came from another author, Jan Clark.

If you still aren't convinced to buy a copy, here are five more reasons:

  • Relax, have some laughs. Laughter will relieve stress and lower your blood pressure.
  • Meet new and interesting characters, many of them really bizarre.
  • Visit mythical Gundarland, a land populated by humans, dwarfs, elves, half-pints and . . . yuks.
  • Find out what happened to the Ringbearer's descendants.
  • Met a Zaftan.

So far, my sales of Tunnel Vision are going like gangbusters. My projections show that I'll break even in 2065. After that, I'll be laughing all the way to the bank. Getting published is definitely the best investment I ever made, even if it does a bit of time.

And now, I interrupt this interview for a commercial break. Fool's Gold is 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.

In Build a Better Story, I describe how a process to put together a story. It's based on my own writing experiences and on critiquing hundreds of stories. Using the techniques described, you too can duplicate my astounding lack of success in fiction writing.

In closing, I feel I must provide potential readers with a list of precautions to 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.

My website has a lot of stuff about me, 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. I'll leave you a link to the trailer for Lucy in Love, one of the stories in Tunnel Vision.

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