Hank Quense writes humorous and satiric scifi and fantasy stories. He also writes about fiction writing and self-publishing. He has published 18 books and 50 short stories along with a few dozen articles. He often lectures on fiction writing and publishing and has a series of guides covering the basics on each subject. He is currently working on a series of two humorous novels that take place in the Camelot era.
He and his wife, Pat, usually vacation in another galaxy or parallel universe. They also time travel occasionally when Hank is searching for new story ideas.
FICTION WRITING WORKSHOP FOR KIDS
Genre: How To
This interactive ebook shows grammar school and middle school kids how to go about creating a short story while having fun. Three separate story worksheets are included along with complete instructions shown in short video clips. Target audience:grades 4 through 7.
This is not an ordinary ebook: it’s interactive. Besides text and graphics, it features audio tracks and video clips. Not all ereaders can open the epub version. The iPad and iPhone (with the iBooks app)c can and some Nooks can. Kindle can’t. You can open it on a PC computer if the computer has Adobe Digital Edition app installed. You can download this free app here: https://www.adobe.com/solutions/ebook/digital-editions.html
Mac computers have the iBook app pre-installed and will open this type of ebook.
The mobi verison will ony work on Kindle Fire tablets.
Book One of the Zaftan Troubles
Genre: Satiric Science Fiction / Fantasy
An alien mining ship discovers a planet loaded with rare earth minerals. The aliens, known as zaftans, plan to fill their ship with the mined minerals. Unfortunately, the planet is inhabited by intelligent beings. But what could possibly go wrong with a simple mining operation on a planet with primitive natives?
Genre: Non-Fiction/How To
Do you have a story in you?
Do you know how to write it or how to tell it?
Creating Stories has the answers. Hank Quense, the author of more than twenty books, tells you how to do it. He believes that stories come from the melding of three elements: getting ideas, story design and story-telling. Ideas have to come from the author. Creating Stories covers the last two.
The book concentrates on developing characters including such rarely discussed requirements such as a dominant reader emotion and the character’s biography.
Plots are also covered in depth and a number of graphics are included to illustrate complex points. Another topic discusses subplots and how to utilize them and how to nest them within the main plot.
A separate chapter discusses the relationship between the plot and the emotional arcs.
Other topics covered are: character arcs, scene design, point-of-view, writing voice.
FALSTAFF’S BIG GAMBLE
This fantasy adventure is Shakespeare’s Worst Nightmare. It takes two of the Bard’s most famous plays and recasts them with fantasy characters. You don’t have to know anything about Shakespeare to enjoy this fantasy comedy. Hamlet is now a dwarf, Othello is a dark elf and Falstaff is a human. If that isn’t bad enough, these two tragedies are now comedies with Falstaff, Shakespeare’s most popular rogue, thrown in as a bonus. Both Hamlet and Othello are plagued by the scheming Falstaff, a human.
Hamlet is the Prince of Denmarko and is striving to start a private business — bee-keeping — to demonstrate his competence and independence from the court. He is shocked to learn, from a ghost, that his uncle Clodio murdered his father. Indecisive, he tries to balance his love of bees with his mother’s demands to help Clodio and the ghost’s insistence that he avenge his father’s murder. Othello, using a tarted-up resume, is named to the post of Minister of Homeland Security in the city of Dun Hythe. Once he assumes the post he realizes his responsibilities are much greater than he imagined they would be. He soon discovers his appointment was engineered by his wife’s grandmother who heads the local crime syndicate and demands that Othello illegally award her the contracts to rebuild the Dun Hythe’s walls. Falstaff is a life-long schemer and scam artist. He calls himself Sir John Falstaff since he won the title ‘Sir’ in a card game with the knight. A deserter from the army, he travels around the country with his batman, Poulet, searching for opportunities. During the story Falstaff sees Hamlet and Othello as easy marks and gulls both of them. Falstaff, claiming he and Othello once fought in the same battle, accepts money from Othello to recruit a force to put down the piracy that plagues Dun Hythe’s port. Instead, he steals two ships and goes into the piracy business on his own.
Later on, Falstaff decides to give up piracy as it is getting too dangerous. He saves Hamlet’s life after Clodio tries to assassinate the prince. Falstaff helps Hamlet avenge his father’s murder, then accumulates vast power by persuading Hamlet, now king, to let him take over the burden of ruling. Falstaff convinces Hamlet that Dun Hythe and Othello will invade Denmarko shortly and their only hope is to attack first. Falstaff recruits an army and leads it , along with Hamlet, to attack Dun Hythe where Falstaff plans to make himself king over the richest city in Gundarland. Othello, incapable of leading the defense of Dun Hythe, turns over the responsibility to his subordinates and they prepare the city for an attack. Falstaff’s arrives and, expecting to attack an undefended city, sees the now formidable defenses. His army falls apart without striking a blow and Falstaff scampers off to seek new prospects. Hamlet and Othello agree to end the attack and declare peace. In the end, Hamlet becomes comfortable with ruling Denmarko, Othello is considered a hero and a success for the first time in his life and Falstaff continues a life of running scams.
This fantasy quest is a blend of sci-fi and fantasy story and is a retelling of the ancient Rhinegold myth. The adventure takes place in a future Dark Ages with the usual fantasy creatures replaced by aliens. This comedy has beautiful Valkyries, magical gold, quantum electronics, aliens, a murderous god and great heroes. The main fantasy story concerns the Valkyrie, Brunnhilde and her quest to understand mortal love. For defying her father, Wotan, she is exiled to Midgard as a mortal and put into an enchanted sleep atop a mountain surrounded by a ring of fire.
,A separate story line involves a struggle to possess and control the magical horde of gold known as the Rhinegold. The Rhinegold is discovered by an exiled alien genius named Alberich. He transforms the gold into quantum electronic devices of immense power. Another alien, a notorious criminal named Fafner, steals the devices from Alberich.
Without the Rhinegold, Wotan and the gods will age and eventually die. Wotan is desperate to regain the Rhinegold as is Alberich. Alberich and Fafner have a series of bizarre confrontations. Meanwhile Wotan develops an old-fashioned hero to recover the Rhinegold. Wotan’s hero, Siegfried, is strong of arm and weak of mind.
Eventually, Siegfried ends up with the devices and rescues Brunnhilde from an enchanted sleep.
Siegfried is soon murdered because of the devices and Brunnhilde seizes them. Brunnhilde decides the Rhinegold has caused enough bloodshed and she destroys the devices.
Brunnhilde then continues her quest to find mortal love while Wotan and the gods head for the Ancient Gods Retirement Home.
With the Rhinegold no longer a source of contention, Fafner and Alberich join forces to conquer the world.
Genre: Humor / Satire/ Fantasy
Do you like fantasy coming-of-age stories? You won’t find one more unusual or more humorous than Moxie’s Problem. Moxie is an obnoxious, teenage princess who has led a sheltered life. Until now. She struggles to come to grips with reality. This fantasy comedy takes place against a backdrop of Camelot. But it’s a Camelot in a parallel universe. In Moxie’s Problem, Moxie, a teenage princess, leaves her father’s castle for the first time to travel to her betroth’s home. She is escorted by three Knights of the Round Table, Percivale, Gareth and Bors. Along the way Moxie is stunned by the real world, so different from life in the castle. For one thing, the knights ignore her demands and her commands. They expect her to sleep on the ground, get up at dawn and eat what they can catch or find. Moxie notices how independent they are. The knights do what has to be done whether it’s deciding on a route or fighting brigands. Moxie realizes she hasn’t been trained to do anything. She doesn’t have a life. When Moxie finally meets her betrothed, she hates him on sight, refuses to marry him, breaks the engagement and demands the knights to escort her home. Percivale and the others are reluctant to spend more time with Moxie but finally agree. Moxie and the three knights suffer through more adventures together as she gradually puts together a plan to make something of her life. Moxie decides she wants to be the queen after her father dies. But her father refuses to name her as successor. Her uncle also wants the crown and tries to eliminate Moxie’s competition. Meanwhile, Camelot strives to defeat the vicious Saxons on the football field. Merlin, a wizard, investigates the ‘Magic of the Mind’ using primitive Rorschach charts and Stonehenge is a theater-in-the-round. Sir Tristan writes a play that sounds like something Shakespeare will write a thousand years later. The three knights when not escorting Moxie go on quests in Sherwood Forest and what is now Scotland.
Genre: Humor / Satire / Fantasy
Moxie has a plan; she’s determined to rule as queen after her father, King Smedley, dies.
But Smedley refuses to acknowledge her as his heir. Her uncle also wants the throne and he’s already tried once to eliminate Moxie as competition.
Moxie recognizes she hasn’t been trained to rule and she needs lessons about the real world. Moxie goes on a quest to learn how to rule and to learn about life outside the castle. Moxie faces unexpected obstacles as she struggles with adventures in a brutal reality that tests her mettle and determination.
This is a fantasy coming-of-age story that is decidedly different than the usual ones. The book is filled with satire and humor. What more can a reader wish for? It takes place against the backdrop of Camelot, but this isn’t the Camelot of legends. It’s Camelot in a parallel universe where the Knights of the Round Table play football and Guinevere coaches the team’s cheer leaders. The wizard Merlin struggles to understand the Magic of the Mind using primitive ink stained diagrams and Stonehenge is a theater-in-the-round.
Moxie’s rollicking adventures are the stuff of comedy. Enjoy!
Genre: Humor / Satire / Fantasy
In this humorous tale, it is now ten years since Moxie became Queen of Usca in south-west Britain. A tribe of Picts shatter her peaceful reign by migrating from the north and occupying territory just outside her border.
Moxie decides to build a fort to help control the wild Picts. To her surprise, she discovers that the fort has been built on land claimed by the forest fairies. Oberon, the King of the fairies, destroys the fort using magic.
Moxie threatens Oberon with military might. Oberon threatens Moxie with magic. To counter Oberon, Moxie asks Camelot to send Merlin to help her out and Arthur agrees.
Once Merlin arrives, Moxie demands that he confront Oberon and use magic spells to defeat the fairy King. Merlin isn’t thrilled by the request. Moxie wants him to cast field magic spells, a type of spell casting that Merlin has never been able to master.
The Picts hear about the fort and decide Moxie has become hostile. They determine to attack rather than wait for Moxie to attack them.
Meanwhile, Moxie’s only child, the ten-year-old daughter, Aethelwine, decides she won’t be the next queen, leaving Moxie without a heir. Tristan, a Knight of the Round Table, has been exiled by Arthur for insulting all the nobles with his songs and is staying in Moxie’s castle. He is working on a play to be staged in Stonehenge. Tristan hopes the play will end his exile since it praises King Arthur and Camelot.
Faced with threats from the fairies and the Picts, Moxie decides to take on the fairies. Merlin tells Moxie and Oberon they are both idiots for fighting each other when the real threat comes from the Picts who will be able to conquer both after they fight a battle and are weakened by casualties.
Moxie and Oberon agree to a treaty and combine forces to confront the Picts who have been reinforced by boatloads of warriors.
Can Moxie and Oberon convince the Picts to back down?
And what about Aethelwine?
Is Tristan’s play any good?
PLANNING A NOVEL, SCRIPT OR MEMOIR
Genre: Non-Fiction / How To
Creating a long story such as a novel requires a great deal of effort and creativity.
It is easy to get lost in the details and to lose focus on the main issues.
This book describes a process to plan your story project prior to writing the first draft. The purpose of the plan is to allow the author to concentrate on the important elements of the story such as character development, plots and scene design. Other sections in the book address story setting, character arc and emotional arc. Charts depict how the emotional arc is used to develop tension in the reader leading up to the story’s climax. A separate chapter describes how to use mind-maps to help develop and control the story project.
Written to keep your book on track, this guide provides proven methods to develop your project from inception to completion.
Whether you are writing a novel, a script, a play or a memoir, the building blocks are all the same. This guide breaks down the essential elements of a story and focuses on each individually. This is the road map you need to develop your story. This innovative book contains a wealth of advice to keep your story project on track and focused on the important story elements. The author has written ten fictional works and uses the process described in the book for every story he writes.
TALES FROM GUNDARLAND
Genre: Humor / Satire / Fantasy / Short Stories
This fantasy comedy book is filled with laughter and laughter is like free health insurance. This book has eight fantasy adventures. All are new stories and are filled with memorable characters. Among the stories in this book, you’ll find two parodies of Shakespeare’s plays: Romeo and Juliet and The Merchant of Venison. Both stories are now fantasy adventures stocked with dwarfs and elves. Both stories pay lip service to the Bard’s plots, but end up with quite different climaxes.
A novella, Chasing Dreams, was nominated for a Nebula award by the Science Fiction Writers of America.
Boggerts Blue features one of my favorite characters, Burga the Warrior Chef. Burga is on a quest for more recipes and to rescue a kidnapped princess.
The Big Bang is a tale of magic, both white and black. Mixing both types is mostly a fatal mistake.
The Queen’s Hero is a fantasy quest concerning a young knight, Knuben, who eager to earn a reputation and three beautiful princesses with a bet on who can bed him first.
In Inter-racial Musical Playoffs we witness a band competition with various fantasy races competing for the award while nasty wizards try to influence the outcome.
Finally, in Tactical Surprise we see a dwarf general famous for winning wars with mostly non-violent battles. This time, he’s also fighting a female dwarf who he has long and secretly admired.
Tales From Gundarland was awarded a bronze medal by Readers’ Favorite and EPIC short-listed it for best anthology of the year.