Monday, December 3, 2012

The Tortoise Shell Code On Tour

It’s my pleasure to welcome V. Frank Asaro, author of THE TORTOISE SHELL CODE, here today as he tours blogdom on his first Pump Up Your Book virtual book tour.

Frank is a lawyer, musician/composer, inventor and author/philosopher who began developing the theory of co-opetition not long after he was selected out of law school as lawyer-clerk to the California Courts of Appeal. He went on to receive the highest-category law career peer review, Martindale Hubbell rating, and appeared in Who’s Who in American Law, 98-99 and Who’s Who in the World 2000.

He joins us today to talk about his legal thriller and has graciously answered some questions for me. First, a brief synopsis of THE TORTOISE SHELL CODE:

Off the coast of Southern California, the Sea Diva, a tuna boat, sinks. Members of the crew are missing and what happened remains a mystery. Anthony Darren, a renowned and wealthy lawyer at the top of his game, knows the boat’s owner and soon becomes involved in the case. As the case goes to trial, a missing crew member is believed to be at fault, but new evidence comes to light and the finger of guilt points in a completely unanticipated direction.

Now Anthony must pull together all his resources to find the truth in what has happened and free a wrongly accused man — as well as untangle himself. Fighting despair, he finds that the recent events have called much larger issues into question. As he struggles to right this terrible wrong, Anthony makes new and enlightening discoveries in his own life-long battle for personal and global justice.

Mason - Have you always wanted to write or was there an event that lead you to writing?

Frank - As a lawyer involved in constant heavy litigation, I really needed to get into another zone for relief from the combat every once in a while. I’d awake in the middle of the night and write scraps of fiction, often not remembering the next day what I’d scribbled. My secretary would type up my notes and I let them pile up in a drawer. After some time I realized that I had developed manuscripts of more than a few books  - often very long ones.

Mason - Do you jump right into a story or do you plan and outline before you begin?

Frank - I definitely know where I am going to go before I begin telling a story. I don’t outline it. The outline is in my head. 

Mason - What research did you do for this book? Was it a process you enjoy or just find necessary for the end result?

Frank - THE TORTOISE SHELL CODE? They say write what you The-Tortoise-Shell-Codeknow. I have hundreds of stories from my years in practice. I did maritime law. This is a high-seas crime/legal drama with romance revolution and some philosophy. Mixing facts and circumstances to capture good fiction is the idea, but never telling the true story, which is often more intriguing. I am mindful of the privacy of the client or the confidentiality of a witness. My non-fiction UNIVERSAL CO-OPETITION concept, that I often like to weave through a plot, I do to provoke thought and critical analysis. THE TORTOISE SHELL CODE is totally fiction, but is plausible.

Mason - Do you have average writing days with favorite places to write, a favorite time and such?

Frank - I wish I had all day to write. I love to sculpt a phrase, and to find a rhythm, and build to a crescendo – like a musical theme. But it is only to get into another realm and to become one or another of my characters that I write.

Mason - What was the most difficult task in writing this story?

Frank - When the publisher said I had to cut the book to a reasonable size, I had a hard time eliminating some of my favorite material. THE TORTOISE SHELL CODE was originally over 800 pages! It ended up at about 400. I justified the slashes by telling myself that I will someday produce the unabridged version and make happy again those who read through the original manuscript.

Mason - What can readers look forward to next from you?

Frank - I have two manuscripts of  past life regressions, one in Italy/California, another set in Alaska/CA. The former is a movie musical -  I was a professional musician while attending law school.

Frank, thanks so much for joining us today and answering these questions. I can’t image having to trim down a manuscript in half. That must have been hard.

To find out more about Frank and his writing, join him on his virtual book tour this week at the following sites:
Tuesday, Dec. 4 - guest blogging at My Life, One Story At A Time
Wednesday, Dec. 5 - interviewed at American Chronicle
Thursday, Dec. 6 - guest blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner
Friday, Dec. 7 - interviewed at Divine Caroline

Thanks everyone for stopping by today. Do you enjoy mysteries that have legal elements blended in?



  1. Frank, thanks again for visiting with us today. THE TORTOISE SHELL CODE sounds most intriguing. Wishing you much success.

  2. Mason - Thanks for hosting Frank.

    Frank - Thanks for sharing what went on 'behind the scenes' while you were writing. Like you, I plan my writing, so I can completely understand your approach. And I do enjoy legal mysteries; I'll check this one out. I wish you much success.

  3. Sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for the interview with Frnk, Mason.

  4. Great interview. This sounds like a must read.

  5. Coast Guard Husband might enjoy, too, especially as it involves an aspect of maritime law.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.