Book Notification

David Tunno Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Intrepid Spirit (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Fixing the Engine of Justice: Diagnosis and Repair of Our Jury System (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Most of David Tunno’s career years were spent in the field of trial consulting. Most people know that as jury consulting, a field that came out of the shadows in high-profile cases such as the O.J. Simpson trial. Tunno was the Director of Trial Communications Consulting for Litigation Sciences, Inc. before departing to launch Tunno & Associates Trial Consulting. His practice included work on many high-profile cases, including one in New York where his opposite number was Dr. Phil McGraw, who later gained fame outside of the field. Tunno was a frequent media source and guest commentator for trials, including the O.J. Simpson, Unabomber, Rodney King and Michael Jackson cases. His work led to his writing a critical review of the American jury system, Fixing the Engine of Justice: Diagnosis and Repair of Our Jury System. His career and the book are detailed on

After retiring from his consulting practice, Tunno returned to his roots in theater and film. He combined that with a life-long affinity for the age of sail and, in particular, the history of USS Constitution, “Old Ironsides,” a ship that marked the beginnings of the U.S. Navy and one that was built specifically to battle the Islamic terrorists of that era, the Barbary Coast pirates.

The attack on 9/11 provided the spark for a screenplay. Intrepid Spirit, Tunno’s debut novel and based of that screenplay, owes its cinematic qualities to that heritage.

From the prologue on, the story ties the past to the present in an inevitable collision of the two. Implied, but not directly stated, is the notion that the Barbary Coast War never really ended. Further, that it never ended because the ideologies and directives embedded in the Muslim faith, as taught in the Quran and practiced by its most fervent adherents, has never changed.

As if anticipating the future, the history of USS Constitution laid the necessary foundation for the novel. The U.S. Navy has kept her in excellent condition and, more importantly for purposes of the story, she is still a commissioned U.S. Navy warship, the oldest in history.

Intrepid Spirit places Constitution in Italy on a Mediterranean goodwill tour at a crucial moment in history, the eve of regional mid-east peace talks, led by US Vice President Virginia Mitchell. Not everyone wants peace, however, and a plot by Iran is afoot not only to end any such plan, but to light the fuse on a world-wide jihad with the capture and assassination of Mitchell. To that end, a deliciously evil and mysterious character, Colonel Farzad, provides the perfect antagonist to Lieutenant Moses Redding, a brash navy loose cannon, who stirs the political pot when he causes an international incident that threatens the peace talks. Commanding a navy gunboat in the Persian Gulf, Redding encounters an Iranian warship threatening a vessel and its refugee passengers fleeing Iran. Fleet command orders Redding not to take action. With the history of his sketchy navy record in mind, and in spite of what Redding sees unfolding in front of him, Redding hesitates long enough for the Iranians to destroy the refugee vessel and its passengers. Against orders, he then destroys the Iranian vessel, but the memory of the results of his brief inaction haunt him.

Political pressures force the navy to deal with Redding. He’s banished to command of Constitution – purgatory for a man of action. Brooding and resentful of his new command and the orders for his silence about the gulf incident, Redding is put at odds with the crew, his executive officer and the alluring Dr. Miriam Hannah, a naval historian and top aide to VP Mitchell in the peace talks. She’s on board for research on a new book. The attraction between she and Redding is mutual, but is stronger than the barrier between them? A battle of the sexes ensues that only adds to the battle within Redding.

Tunno’s goal in writing Intrepid Spirit was to create a different kind of action/adventure yarn. For him, that meant creating well-developed, three-dimensional characters intended to stick in the mind of the reader long after the last page is turned. Multiple points of view are used to further connect the characters to the reader. The liberal use of humor, along with the romantic element and pathos are upmarket elements in keeping with the goal of a novel distinctive from the more commercial works that dominate the genre. Intrepid Spirit is meant to be entertaining, uplifting and heartbreaking.

Adding significantly to the above goal is the inclusion of a prominent supernatural element. Her history as a haunted vessel contributed to the writing of Constitution herself as a mysterious, but important character. She affects the character arc of Redding and outcome of a story that ironically puts her in a pitch battle with the descendants of her historical foes and in those same waters.

The desire for authenticity required a great deal of research into virtually ever detail of the story. That included the history of the ship, the mechanics of tall ship sailing and operation of the antique weaponry of that era. What might have been an improbable terrorist plot is made frighteningly believable with extensive research into the Quran, as interpreted by Muslim scholars, and the presence of Islamic terrorist groups worldwide. Time, speed and distance calculations were made to conform the story to a needed time line. Additional research subjects included regional meteorology, flora and fauna, the layout of cities used as locations, US Naval presence in the region, navy regs and many other small details.

At this writing, the audiobook edition of Intrepid Spirit is in the editing stage. After extensive research into audiobook production services and publishers, and after listening to some examples of audiobooks in the genre, Tunno decided to record the book himself. He wanted more of an actor’s interpretation and delivery of the text, a performance, rather than a straight narration. He found an experienced studio within driving distance and applied his training and experience as an actor to that task. More about the book and the author can be found on the new website for that purpose,

Book Series In Order » Authors » David Tunno

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