Interview with V Frank Asaro, author of The Tortoise Shell Code

For forty years V Frank Asaro, J.D., was a gun-slinging litigation lawyer. To escape the combat, he wrote for pleasure on the side, but kept the manuscripts in a drawer. Often he would switch to composing music and writing lyrics, and inventing, too- all to take a break.  Disk jockeys across the U.S. played his albums, recorded by world-class guitarist Peter Sprague and his group, with Frank occasionally sitting in. For a time he had played professionally.  The inventions also happened at this time –part of the continuing quest for sanctuary. He holds several patents.  But the triumph he most would like to share is his inventive contribution to products liability law –Greenman v. Yuba Power Products. He made that as a young lawyer-clerk with the California Court of Appeal.  The concept was expanded by the Supreme Court of California, and is now taught in every law school in the English speaking world, including the European Union.

 He reached the highest lawyer peer review rating by secret ballot, published by Martindale Hubbell, was named Whose Who in American Jurisprudence, and in the world.

Website: universalcoopetition.com/blog 

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Frank.  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A: To distract myself from the combat of trial work I would write scraps of fiction in the middle of the night. But I’d keep the manuscripts in a drawer. I guess I began inventing and writing music and lyrics for the same reason.  So I have been writing for perhaps 40 years, but I never got around to having anything published until semi-retirement.  Then I dusted off some of the collected works and two books quickly emerged - the non-fiction work, Universal Co-opetition and its corollary novel, The Tortoise Shell Code.

Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A: Universal Co-opetition explains the axiom that we can better resolve issues and problems if we cooperate while we compete. I mean by that: we synthesize the behaviors of cooperating and competing into one dynamic.  For example when we compete in business we’d better do it ethically or customers will evaporate.

The Tortoise Shell Code is a riveting high-seas crime/legal drama that incorporates this concept of co-opetion into this work of fiction. Orwell, Huxley, Rand, Burdick, to name a few, used the fiction method to communicate their philosophies. But the method seems to have gone out of favor because now there is the perception that pure entertainment is the goal.  No; to me it is not worth the powder to blow it to hell unless it says something thought-provoking.  Bestselling author Spencer Johnson, of Who Moved My Cheese, and co-author of One-Minute Manager, wrote me a personal letter urging me to write these books.  He had read a thirty page synopsis of Universal Co-opetition.

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

A: I didn’t want to finish the manuscript, so much fun writing it. I ended up with too many pages – over 850.  Cutting it down – thinning it - left parts of me on the floor.  But the editors and publisher say 400 pages is more pragmatic.  The good reaction from readers so far, it seems, shows the editors know best.

Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it?  Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it?


A: Online search at V Frank Asaro Bettie Youngs Books, The Tortoise Shell Code and/or Universal Co-opetition


Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV?  What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

A: We are just getting started, but have spoken to the Rotary Club; intend to talk to book clubs, and radio/TV.

Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is?  If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

A: I feel as though my publisher is my agent.  Bettie, of Bettie Youngs Books, is my best cheerleader and adviser.

Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?

A: No media blitz per se, but we are beginning to roll.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A: Yes.   The books are, for the most part, already written, waiting for my publisher to catch up.  She has brought to press probably 20 books in the last two years.
  
Q: Thank you for your interview, Frank.  Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A: Please search V Frank Asaro/ The Tortoise Shell Code, and Universal co-opetiton.com/blog.  Also, V Frank Asaro Bettie Youngs Books.

The Tortoise Shell CodeABOUT 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.
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