Marcia Hammerhead: if there is anything worse than an author who writes genre trash, it’s a prolific author who writes gene trash. My latest assignment is to interview, once again, prolific author of genre trash, Hank Quense. His newest genre trash is called Moxie’s Problem. According to Quense, it is a coming-of-age novel that takes place against a backdrop of Camelot. If we’re lucky, Quense will have left the lovely Camelot legends unchanged. I doubt that will happen. Well, I may as well get this onerous assignment over with.
MH: Mr Quense, in Falstaff’s Big Gamble, you utterly destroyed two of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, Othello and Hamlet. In Wotan’s Dilemma, you forever damaged Richard Wagner’s reputation and his Ring Cycle of operas. What possessed you to write yet another genre novel instead of a literary work that would enshrine your name in history? Nothing says talent like an incomprehensible work that befuddles critics and readers.
HQ: To me, literary works are boring. Thousands of words without any action. On the other hand, my genre trash, as you call it, is filled with action, humor, satire and entertainment. I love writing stories like this, Martha.
MH: Action, humor and entertainment have no place in real literature. True literary novelists rely on many, many words to hold the readers’ attention. Are there any literary elements in your new novel?
HQ: I hope not. The story is about a teenage princess, Moxie, who struggles to come to grips with a reality that is quite different from the world she grew up in, her father’s castle. The book also has a number of unusual activities in it.
MH: I’m sure I’ll regret asking this, but what unusual activities are you talking about?
HQ: In my story I have a retelling of part of the Robin Hood legends. I have the witches from Shakespeare’s MacBeth, and even the Tristan & Isolde legend, sort of. The Saxon invaders concentrate on beating the Knights of the Round Table football team.
MH: Good Heavens! This is even worse than I anticipated. How can you possibly justify all this disconnected nonsense in one story?
HQ: That was the easy part, Margo. I just sprinkled some scifi dust on the plot. Once I did that, I realized this Camelot wasn’t the Camelot of the traditional legends. My Camelot is in a different parallel universe. So all bets are off and I’m limited only by my imagination.
MH: This is an outage, The Camelot traditions and legends are part of the English-speaking culture. How dare you play fast-and-loose with Camelot.
HQ: Sorry, Margaret. It’s my job to rewrite stuff like this in order to entertain readers.
MH: That’s preposterous. The purpose of literature isn’t to entertain readers, it’s purpose is to give them weighty subjects to discuss at prestigious cocktail parties. Since we are so far apart, I must terminate this interview. You’ve wasted enough of my time. And my name is Marcia!
HQ: Thanks for talking to me, Mary.
Hank Quense is the author of 50 published short stories along with four novels and three collections of stories. All of these are humorous and/or satiric scifi and fantasy. In the non-fiction area, he has over a dozen articles published on fiction writing and he’s the author of the Fiction Writing Guides series and the Self-publishing Guides series. Both series consist of a number of ebooks. The Fiction Writing Guides and the Self-Publishing Guides are an outgrowth of his lectures on both subjects.