I have a disproportionate number of memories about writing this book. Its first incarnation was a 500-word piece of flash fiction that made no sense, written between shifts in the small parking lot behind a noodle shop in Colorado Springs. I remember writing it again, later, in the parking lot outside the south campus of Pikes Peak Community College, a much larger black-top, far hotter, listening to the sound of gunshots from the army shooting range less than a mile from my car. One time, while struggling with words at a Seattle's Best coffee shop at a Borders (which I miss), I put away my laptop and began to march frustrated lines between the shelves of books, staring at names of writers who were apparently better than I was. My self-loathing reached a breaking-point that caused me to sit down on the floor, back to a bookshelf, and begin writing again. This time I wrote on a legal pad, my handwriting so poor that it would take a cryptographer days to discern my words.
The trend of writing by hand would continue. From then on, most of it was written by hand, and I rewrote the book that I would eventually call Absolute Tenacity eight times over the four years I worked on it. I had five different jobs, dropped out of college and enrolled at a university, lived in two different cities, fell in love and got engaged, all while I was writing Absolute Tenacity. I spent several days sitting on the fourth floor of the University of Colorado's Auraria science building, filling legal pads with unreadable scrawling while my fiance did science. She became a Masters of Science. I became an author.
In order to write Absolute Tenacity, I tossed my muse in a great vice and squeezed a million words from her. Of those I kept roughly twenty thousand. Hopefully they were the best of those words.
Absolute Tenacity was published by the Max Avalon imprint of TZPP on January 18th. I'm not as concerned with its best-seller rank as I am with those reviews, and the conversations I've been having with everyone who's read it. They're the vindication that I spent those four years doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing. From where I'm sitting now, all that hard work wasn't so bad after all.