Award-winning author Hank Quense lives in Bergenfield, NJ with his wife Pat. They have two daughters and five grandchildren. He writes humorous fantasy and scifi stories. On occasion, he also writes an article on fiction writing or book marketing but says that writing nonfiction is like work while writing fiction is fun. A member of the Science Fiction Writers of America, he refuses to write serious genre fiction saying there is enough of that on the front page of any daily newspaper and on the evening TV news.
He has a number of links where you can follow his work and his occasional rants:
Strange Worlds website:http://strangeworldsonline.com
Follow him on twitter: http://twitter.com/hanque99
Facebook fan pages: https://www.facebook.com/StrangeWorldsOnline\
Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Hank. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?
A: I currently have 13 books published; 6 in print and e-books and 7 in e-book only
Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?
A: I honestly don’t recall the name. I wrote it early in my writing career. I tried to get an agent and/or a publisher but, after a year or so, I came to the conclusion that it was rubbish and I gave up on it.
Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?
A: I had maybe a dozen rejections. Eventually, it was accepted by a small indie publishing house and made it into print. The reading public was unimpressed.
Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?
A: Before starting a writing career, I was an account executive selling high-tech telecommunications equipment. Rejection is part of the selling job. I grew accustomed to it and writing rejections were the same as selling rejections. You shrug them off and try somewhere else.
Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?
A: It was published by eTreasures and I didn’t choose them, they chose me. They offered to publish the book and I let them, since no one else made that offer.
Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
A: At the time, I felt quite proud. I don’t recall what I did (It was about five years ago)
Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?
A: After I got over the shock of realizing I was now the marketing manager and the sales manager for the book because the publisher wasn’t going to do a bloody thing, I started wasting money on useless promotions since I didn’t know have an idea on how to market a book.
Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?
A: No. I think the process I went through was a valuable learning process.
Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?
A: Yes, I have a number of books published since my first one. My story design skills and story-telling skills have improved greatly since the time I wrote that first published book.
Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up? What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?
A: I don’t think I could have speeded up the process. I read once that to become a decent writer, you have to write a million words. You can’t expedite that process. However, with the ease of self-publishing now, you now have tons of junk stories getting published by writers who haven’t spent the time learning how to design the stories and learning how to tell a story.
Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?
A: I have become famously unknown
Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?
A: An alien hunter.
Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?
A: I’d do both. t takes a lot of time to travel between galaxies and I could write fiction during that travel time
Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?
A: Probably dead. But maybe not. It’s hard to tell.
Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
A: Don’t start writing the story until you know the ending.
About Falstaff’s Big Gamble
This novel is Shakespeare’s Worst Nightmare.
It takes two of the Bard’s most famous plays, Hamlet and Othello, and recasts them in Gundarland. There, Hamlet becomes a dwarf and Othello a dark elf and Iago and his wife, Emilia, are trolls.
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, who embezzles money from Othello. After Hamlet becomes king (with help from Falstaff) the rogue becomes the dark nemesis behind throne.
About The Strange Worlds of Hank Quense
Hank Quense has written about the Strange Worlds that he has developed as a background to many of the books he has written. One of these worlds is called Gundarland, a planet inhabited by humans and fantasy creatures. The second is Zaftan 31B, home world of the alien race known as Zaftans. The books contain information on culture, races, religion, politics and other topics. His latest book in this series is Zaftan Enterprises.