Erik John Bertel (pronounced bûr-tel’ as in burr-tell), the author of the Flore Girl Trilogy, survived SUNY at Stony Brook with a degree in biology while training as a physical anthropologist. Erik actually studied with some of the same team that examined the Homo floresiensis find. Professionally, he enjoyed a successful career in product marketing and Internet marketing with several large Fortune 1000 companies. Prior to finding his love of writing Erik John Bertel has expressed himself by painting post-modern art. Erik had the good fortune to study with the late Laurence Alloway, the art critic who coined the phrase “Pop Art”, and Erik has enjoyed delving into his left and right sides of his brain ever since.
Before writing Flores Girl, Erik did enjoy writing the occasional short story or pithy corporate email but his writing didn’t really blossom until the find on Flores Island in 2004 galvanized him into action. Originally conceived as an adventure story centered about Richard the alcoholic and womanizing scientist the novel took a decided different turn with the introduction of Sarah Levine, the temperamental and sensitive protagonist to Richard. Sarah’s presence allowed the concept of the original novel to develop into a trilogy and beyond. In the second novel, “Emptiness and the Warrior” Sarah is physically and spiritually transformed from the victim of the first novel into a classic reluctant hero.
As the trilogy and characters evolved so did opportunities for other related novels. In fact seven novels in the Flores Girl series are being planned, including a prequel that explores Sarah’s sensual pre-Flores adventures and three sequels to the original trilogy. Also, in the works is a screenplay being adapted from the first novel. Early on the first Flores Girl novel was released as a podcast on Podiobooks and continues to enjoy thousands of downloads a month. To date there have been 400,000 downloads of the ebook and podcast. In terms of non-Flores Girl works Erik has a draft of a series of short stories that are a “Long Island” flavored homage to James Joyce’s Dubliners. This series of short stories will focus on the private lives of Long Islanders in much the same way Joyce detailed the quiet desperation of the Irish in Dubliners. One of the stories, actually a novella,has an alternative life-path for Sarah that fans of Flores Girl might find interesting or perhaps even disturbing.
Erik presently lives on Long Island with his wife and family in a quiet suburban setting while conjuring his Flores Island visions and turning them into adventure novels.