Sci-Fi/Fantasy Author Hank Quense Talks about His Love of Writing Shakespearean Spoofs

Name: Hank Quense

Name of Book: Falstaff’s Big Gamble

Guest Post for The Story Behind the Book:

 I love writing Shakespearean spoofs.  I’ve redone Romeo and Juliet, the Merchant of Venice and I wrote a sequel to MacBeth using the Wyrd Sisters.  All of those were short stories.  For a long time, I’ve wanted to spoof Hamlet and also Othello.  During that time I could never get one of these short stories to click.  One day, I decided to combine the two and see if anything would happen.  It didn’t, because I didn’t have anything to connect the two.  In desperation, I tried adding Falstaff to the mix.  In a flash of intuition, everything fell into place.  I knew the ending, I knew the plot, I knew the character interactions, I knew the characters’ motivations.

Unfortunately, the novel (it was short stories any more) existed only in my head. Now I had to get it down on paper.  Not easiest thing to do.

For the next three months, I worked on the design of that novel.  That included developing the characters, building three plots that interacted, establishing the characters’ motivations, breaking up the story into scenes and all the other small details required before actually writing the first draft.

One other chore I’ve learned to do after I think the design work is finished: I build a mind map of the novel.  Someone once told me that the mind map for the Falstaff novel is really a graphical synopsis.  I guess it is just that.  anyway, if I can build a mind map for the story, then I know the design work is done.

The story, as designed had about 110 scenes.  Since I write one scene a day when I’m working on the first draft, that means three months of effort.  It took me more than four months because by the time I finished it, the story had 140 scenes.

After I went through 2 revisions, I sent it out to a few writers who read it and suggested changes and revisions.  By the time that was done, another three or four months had passed.

At that time, I started my marketing efforts: getting a cover, writing synopses and book blurbs and a lot of other stuff.  And now, the book is published and I thing it’s the best story I’ve ever written.  However, I think that about everything I write when it’s finally finished.

  About Hank Quense

Award-winning author Hank Quense writes humorous fantasy and sci-fi stories. His motto is fantasy and sci-fi stories told with humor and satire. He has over forty published short stories and a number of nonfiction articles. 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. 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.  Hank lives in Bergenfield, NJ with his wife Pat. They have two daughters and five grandchildren.

Hank’s previous works include Zaftan Enterprises, Zaftan Miscreants and Tales From Gundarland, a collection of fantasy stories.  Readers Favorite awarded the book a medal and EPIC designated it a finalist in its 2011 competition.  His Fool’s Gold is a retelling of the ancient Rhinegold myth and Tunnel Vision is a collection of twenty previously published short stories.  Build a Better Story is a book of advice for fiction writers.

He has a number of links where you can follow his work and his occasional rants:

Hank’s Blog:

Strange Worlds website:

Follow him on twitter:

Facebook fan pages:

Purchase Falstaff’s Big Gamble in paperback or kindle format at Amazon

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.

Purchase Falstaff’s Big Gamble in paperback or kindle format at Amazon

Zaftan Miscreants

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.

Strange Worlds website:

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