L. M. (Mark) Weeks is a Senior Counsel and former Partner in the global law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. He has practiced law in New York and Tokyo for more than 30 years and served as Managing Partner of Orrick’s Tokyo office from 2007-17. He concentrates his practice on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, clean technology, life sciences, IT and telecommunications asset transfers, strategic investments, and general corporate representation for US, Japanese, and European companies. Mark speaks, reads and writes fluent Japanese. In addition to his work at Orrick, Mark has done pro bono work with young HIV+ parents, indigent criminal defendants, and fisheries conservation organizations. Mark’s passion is tournament fly fishing for tarpon and record chasing. A traveling angler, he has fished all over the world. He was born in Anchorage, Alaska, and raised in Nampa, Idaho. Bottled Lightning is his debut novel.

ABOUT THE BOOK

“L. M. Weeks takes us on a journey of underworld violence, boardroom intrigue, and high-tech advances with geo-political implications. Bottled Lightning is a page turner!”
—Roy Tomizawa, author of the highly acclaimed 1964 – The Greatest Year in the History of Japan: How the Tokyo Olympics Symbolized Japans Miraculous Rise from the Ashes

Torn Sagara, an ingenious international technology lawyer raised in Alaska by his Japanese father and American mother, runs the highly successful Tokyo office of global law firm Hilsberry & Carter. His “super-scientist” client Saya Brooks has invented a never-before-imagined process that generates and harnesses lightning, a technology that is destined to replace all fossil fuels, nuclear power, and other existing sources of renewable energy.

When ruthless forces threaten to destroy both them and Saya’s cutting-edge technology, Torn and Saya work together to protect her invention and themselves. As they get to know each other, the sparks fly with electric chemistry. But Saya, whose American father left her Japanese mother for another woman, wonders whether she can trust Torn who has a debilitating fear of abandonment rooted in his father’s untimely death in the Bering Sea.

After attacks on Torn and Saya, one of which leaves Saya in a coma, and the brutal murder of Torn’s estranged wife, he life-flights Saya to a hospital in the States and sends his children into hiding in Alaska. Torn later learns that Saya has left him in charge of her company. Through a previously recorded video, she pleads with him to protect her lightning invention from oblivion. Another attempt on his life and police inaction and betrayal leave Torn no choice but to find the perpetrators himself, forcing him across international and legal boundaries he has never crossed before.

This suspense-filled legal thriller crosses international, legal, and relationship borders with unforgettable characters who are passionate about protecting the planet and the people they love.

TALKING POINTS

  • Japanese vs. US culture
    • The law and police: The book notes that a person can be held for weeks  of interrogation without the presence of legal counsel. As an expert in both Japanese and US law, Mark can dive into the policing and criminal procedure issues of both countries.
    • Japanese/American mixed-race families: Based on personal experience as well as living and working for years in Japan, Mark can discuss the difficulties fitting in that biracial people sometimes face. 
    • Why it is important to have the cultural background and experience to write a believable story (Japan/Law/Renewable Energy Technology/Motorcycles, etc.).
      • Mark loves motorcycle riding, passed Japan’s notoriously difficult “large motorcycle license” and took a two-day BMW safety driving course. Japan is a motorcycle paradise because of its well maintained and numerous mountain and coastal roads and safe drivers.
  • Is lightning a viable realistic renewable energy source? What’s the research? Which companies/countries are researching/experimenting with this?
  • Relationship between Japan/China/Russia: With Mark’s background in international law, how prevalent is the stealing of technology depicted in the book? Does Mark believe  there are countries or companies that would be willing to murder to get this type of technology?
  • Mark is a tournament fly angler, particularly for tarpon in saltwater locales, including international waters. He can discuss how his fishing hobby ties into the climate change and sustainability aspects of the novel.

TIMELY TIE-INS

July

  • Bottled Lightning Audiobook release (14)
  • Paperback Book Day (30)

ADVANCE PRAISE

“Weeks excels at keeping the intensity impressively high… a memorable work that would make for a stirring start to a series.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Bottled Lighting is a blistering high stakes story revolving around a cutting-edge energy invention designed to dramatically reduce the earth’s carbon footprint, those working to bring it to the world, and those determined to not let it see the light of day. Author L. M. Weeks has written a highly entertaining, engaging, and provocative thriller that will keep you on your toes and guessing the answers until the final page.”
—Ronald S. Barak, author of the bestselling Brooks/Lotello thriller series   

“This action-packed saga follows Torn Sagara—biracial lawyer, motorcycle maniac, and flawed ladies’ man—on a quest to stop a series of mysterious attacks on his inventor client. As the story escalates into murder and international intrigue, the reader is in for a wild ride from Tokyo to Alaska to the Russian Far East. Fans of Barry Eisler and Barry Lancet will want to jump right in!”
—Leza Lowitz, author of Jet Black and the Ninja Wind

“Bottled Lightning reveals both the author’s deep experience and expertise on the book’s many topics and his keen ability to craft and deliver a thrilling, fascinating, and sexy tale of international intrigue.”
—Jeff Wexler, producer, Studio Ghibli and Studio Ponoc, and cross-border entertainment and intellectual property lawyer

“The author’s bona fides as an attorney who knows Japan are clear. The book manages to draw you in without once straying from the path of authenticity. Reads like a James Bond novel, if (and no disrespect meant) Ian Fleming actually knew something about Japan. Brilliant!”
—Tony Andriotis, Partner and Head of International Arbitration, DLA Piper, Tokyo

“Not your father’s legal thriller. L. M. Weeks’s debut novel, Bottled Lightning, hurtles the reader from one chapter to the next. Truly a winner!”
—Larry Bates, General Counsel at Panasonic; former Chief Legal Officer of LIXIL Global; former General Counsel, Japan at GE; former president of The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan

“A thrilling, and yet believable, rollercoaster ride that doesn’t let up until the last line. I recommend Bottled Lightning to anyone looking for a great international legal thriller.”
—Akihiro Wani, Senior Counselor, Morrison & Foerster; Former Partner, Linklaters; Professor Emeritus, Sophia University Law School