Novel That Was Turned Down by New York "Love At Absolute Zero" Wins Three 2011 "Best" Awards

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When Christopher Meeks's NY agent ran up against marketing departments, Meeks went "Indie" and wins awards

"The novel is a gift--and one of the many that continue to emerge from the pen and mind of so genuinely fine a writer.”--Grady Harp

Christopher Meeks, a novelist from Los Angeles, found himself in a tight spot. While his New York agent, Jim McCarthy at Dystel and Goderich Literary Management, loved "Love At Absolute Zero" and stuck with it for more than two years, McCarthy could not find a publisher willing to commit to it. Three times McCarthy found enthusiastic editors—but the publishers’ marketing departments each basically said, “We don’t know how to market it. Pass.” Finally McCarthy suggested to Meeks that maybe another agent would have other resources. McCarthy wanted to help and would call other agents for him.

After a few more agents were cordial but stumped, Meeks stopped the cycle. He didn’t want to spend more years searching and waiting for the old system to work. He brought the novel out in September under his own imprint, White Whisker Books. The love story has earned three awards much critical praise, and is starting to sell.

"Love At Absolute Zero" is a comic novel, a romance, about a physicist who tries to apply the tools of science to finding a soul mate. Specifically, when Gunnar Gunderson, a 32-year-old physicist at the University of Wisconsin, can only think of finding a wife, his research falters. To meet his soul mate within three days--all the time he can carve out--he and his team use the scientific method to riotous results.

For awards, "Love At Absolute Zero" first claimed one of three Best Indie Romance Awards at Red Adept Reviews. Each reviewer at the site selected his or her favorite from among the many books reviewed during the year. Jim Chambers, who had reviewed the book at the site, wrote, “I was skeptical of the idea of incorporating a complex subject like quantum physics into a love story that would be both readable and enjoyable, but the author hit a home run. It’s a very good story, very well told.”

Second, Sam Sattler at the website Book Chase also placed "Love At Absolute Zero" in his list of Top Ten Best Fiction 2011, which also includes books by Philip Roth, Russell Banks, and Chad Harbach. Sattler says, “It is impossible not to like Gunnar Gunderson. As he progresses from one disaster or near miss to the next, one views him with a mixture of compassion and laughter. 'Love at Absolute Zero' is likely to appeal to a variety of readers.”

Third, "Love At Absolute Zero" won a Noble (not Nobel) Award in's ninth annual end-of-the-year awards, created by Carolyn Howard-Johnson in her “Back to Literature” column. In listing the award, Howard-Johnson says of protagonist Gunnar and his exploits, “The tension between science and emotion has never been more keenly felt.”

Over two dozen critics gave positive reviews for the novel in 2011. “A deeply resonant read that manages to be funny without sacrificing its gravity. Highly recommended!” says Heather Figearo of Raging Bibliomania.

“As engaging as it is amusing, 'Love at Absolute Zero' is, ultimately, a heartfelt study of the tension between the head and heart, science and emotion, calculation and chance,” says Marc Schuster of Small Press Reviews.

Top-Ten Amazon critic Grady Harp, who has reviewed all five of Meeks’s books, writes, “It is a given, now, that Christopher Meeks is a master craftsman as a writer. What surprises us in this novel is just how much research he's done to get the scientific part of it right. Where does all of this passionate knowledge of physics lie, knowledge that allows him to write so comfortably, opening every chapter with a scientific quote, that we novices stay on board with him? It is a gift --and one of the many that continue to emerge from the pen and mind of so genuinely fine a writer.”

“These days,” says Meeks, who grew up in Wayzata, Minnesota, “a good novel doesn’t have to sit in a drawer. I’d been a senior editor at a publishing house once, too, and so I took my knowledge of publishing, hired a good editor, proofreaders, and designers, and published it through an imprint I started, White Whisker Books—named for my cat with one white whisker. Independent publishing takes a hell of a lot of energy, however. It’s energy I’d prefer to spend writing the next novel, but I had to help my own book.”

"Love At Absolute Zero" is available in print and in eBook form on Kindle, Nook, and other places. For more information on "Love At Absolute Zero," or a review copy for reviewers, contact White Whisker Books at (323) 344-7132, visit the website at or write Christopher Meeks at chrismeeks(at)gmail(dot)com.


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