Category Archives: Books/Literature

Been a while…

…and I’m sorry for the dearth of posts for -gasp- something like a month now!

The past month has been, emotionally exhausting.

Issues regarding the collapse of Champlain Towers South -and the death, among others, of my parents- has moved to its end stages, and the family and I have been incredibly busy getting everything readied.

There are two stages to the various lawsuits: First is the value of the lost property itself. The owners and heirs of the apartments are entitled to a portion of the sale value of the property and we needed to provide paperwork verifying our status as heirs. This was known for a while now, but things need to be signed and verified nontheless.

The second part of this is the wrongful death lawsuit, which involved filling out the paperwork for the deaths of my parents along with writing testimonials of what they meant to us. We also made an appointment with the judge who is handling the whole situation and, in his courtroom last week, presented their life story and what they meant to us.

It was, to say the least, a difficult thing to do. There was no telling how it would go and how coherent we would be. This was the first time, truthfully, we expressed our feelings about our losses outside of our family and… it was tough.

Tough but, in the end, cathartic.

I was proud of my sisters and their families. I was proud of my own family. We presented our feelings and memories and I believe we did well in telling the judge who our parents were and what they meant to us as well as the unimaginable horror of this loss.

So we did it, and now we sit back and wait to see what happens.

There are those out there who have speculated all the relatives/heirs of those lost in Champlain are going to get a big payoff, as if the money somehow will justify the horror we’ve gone through.

It may be a good amount. It may indeed wind up being a very big amount.

And I just don’t know how I feel about it.

Because there doesn’t pass a moment where I think about a world where my parents are still alive and most of their possessions aren’t lost in the rubble of the collapse of Champlain Towers.

In the afterwards to my latest novel, The Ebb of Time, I wrote this:

As cliched and silly as it sounds, I urge everyone out there reading these words to take a moment of time and hug your loved ones or, if you can’t, at least reach out and tell them you love them.

Things can change dramatically from one moment to the next.

I know.

Don’t leave things unsaid and, as my father used to say, please, please enjoy your day.

I do hope everyone out there has a good day.

On Writing… edits

As I’ve mentioned before, my latest novel, The Ebb of Time, is now available over on Amazon and I’m getting fairly strong interest in it… at least insofar as people are reading it -usually in what appears to be one sitting!- and that, in turn, encourages me to think that perhaps I’ve written another book that those who take on get into and want to see what comes next…

I hesitate to use the term ”page turner” but that’s indeed what’s usually in the back of my mind when I write these works. I want people to be ”hooked” onto the novel and its presence and hopefully get so into it they read it all the way through and indeed in that one sitting.

I’ve mentioned before, perhaps too many times now, that I find Elmore Leonard’s writing advice quite fascinating and, of the items he lists, this is my favorite:

Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

What he’s saying is that your novel/story should be a lean and focused work, one that doesn’t waste the reader’s time with elements which don’t add to the story in any significant way.

There are many, many, many works out there that I’ve tried to read but have stopped simply because the author does indeed go off on tangents, perhaps over-describing what characters wear or getting a little too detailed about silly stuff like what they eat (This, interestingly enough, is something I see far too often: Detailed descriptions of what a character is eating and/or orders at a restaurant).

Anyway, for me getting a good first or second draft of a book is inevitably only the first major step in getting it ready to be released. I wind up spending many hours going over the work, revising it and adding -at first anyway- elements that I feel might be needed or, conversely, removing things that are either repetitious or don’t really add much to the story proper.

The repetitious thing is a real head-scratcher for me. I don’t know why but sometimes I repeat story elements and its not until I get to the editing phase that I realize there are these repeated beats/concepts. No major literary crime, mind you, but an annoying thing I do without meaning to. Often I’ll consider these repeated beats and compress them together into one and choose where best they belong.

But even when you’re completely done with your work, it pays to have someone read it after the fact.

My wife did this with The Ebb of Time and she found, much to my shame, at least a half dozen minor errors I made which somehow made it through my editing process.

Most were silly things. I would call a character a different name. On one specific page, the main character was called -twice!- by a different name and for the life of me I don’t know how a) I made that error and b) didn’t discover it before giving my wife the book to read.

There was one paragraph, a small one thankfully, that was almost incomprehensible as written. Another oddity that it made it through so many drafts without me noticing it! My best guess as to how it made it there was that maybe I did some revision on that paragraph at the very end and simply got distracted and didn’t add in all the words I needed to.

Again, though, we’re talking about very minor stuff. The name changing truly was the biggest issue but it was limited to problems here and there. The one paragraph was a relatively small one halfway through the novel and easily fixable, and I believe there were also something like two very minor edits of improper works/tenses.

Regardless, I’m thankful to those out there who are checking the novel out.

As is often the case with me, I’ve taken a few days to relax… and focus on some rather serious things I’m about to deal with regarding the loss of my parents in Champlain Towers… but am already thinking about my next work.

As is always the case, it’s something I’ve wanted to work on for a while, a general premise that should allow for expansion into a hopefully suspenseful action/adventure/horror book.

We’ll see!

This n’ that…

Been a very, very busy couple of weeks. Not only have I just finished off and released The Ebb of Time, my latest novel and that’s just the first of a seemingly endless amount of things I’ve been up to.

First, though, and I know I already posted it before, the paperback cover/backcover of The Ebb of Time.

I like it a lot!

What else has happened?

Welp, I traveled to my daughter’s new home again and spent a week getting stuff fixed up there. Getting a new home and fixing it up is serious business and my wife just spent 2 weeks -longer than she intended- dealing with the various handymen/plumbers/what-have-you.

I told my daughter before we embarked on this that she would grow to hate pretty much all the people we hire to fix things and, for the most part, that seems to have happened.

Not to everyone, though, and that was a relief.

But you get people who promise to be at the house on certain days and they don’t show… multiple times. We had one person whose company was supposed to specialize in renovating stairs and it’s safe to say the guy didn’t seem to know the first thing about his so-called business.

Thankfully, the incompetents proved the exception rather than the rule and -even more thankfully- we spotted them quick and let them go.

After returning home, I was met with another wave of stuff to do. As I’ve mentioned before, my parents perished in the collapse of Champlain Towers South. The wrongful death lawsuits are coming to their end and it was time for me to go over the paperwork needed to send in regarding this. Included in the wrongful death form was a narrative I and my sisters wrote regarding the loss of our parents and…

It’s not an easy thing to do.

Emotions run high and, soon enough, we’re going to go before the judge overseeing this case and talk about our loss. I anticipate yet another very emotional series of hours.

Anyway, for those who have picked up and read The Ebb of Time or any of the novels I’ve released, my thanks. I hope they proved entertaining and thought provoking.

The Ebb Of Time, part deux

Yesterday I received what I’m hoping is the final cover material for the paperback version of The Ebb of Time, my latest novel, and it’s been sent in and, if all checks out, I should order a proof, receive it soon after, and either accept the material -after which time it will become available to be bought- or need to make some (probably very minor) modifications.

Anyway, the full cover image:

Frankly, I love this. Easily my favorite cover/back cover combo so far!

Again, if all is good on the printer’s end I’ll order a proof copy and once I see it in my hands and it does indeed look good, then off we go!

If you can’t wait, the book is available now digitally via Amazon Kindle. If you have Kindle Unlimited, you may “borrow” the book and read it as well!

Here’s the link: The Ebb of Time eBook : Torre, E. R.: Kindle Store

The Ebb of Time (2022)

While the cover for print still requires a couple of small tweaks, the digital cover to my new novel is for the most part good and I went ahead and uploaded all the information onto Amazon for the Kindle digital publication.

Within 72 hours, hopefully less, my latest novel will be available for purchase or, if you have Kindle Unlimited, borrowing.

As soon as that information is available, I will present it here and it will also appear at my author page, which is here: E. R. Torre: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

In the meantime, here’s the cover to The Ebb of Time.

Hope you guys like it!

The novel’s description:

They called it the Frenzy and in a matter of days it caused the fall of Civilization.

Ten years later, inhabitants of a small settlement receive an eerie signal originating from a distant military base.

Who sent it and why?

To investigate, they need to journey outside the safety of the settlement walls and face a savage world that hides many dark secrets.

Secrets which could not only destroy what’s left of humanity but destroy the world itself.

The New 2021/2022 Novel Update #20

Last time I posted I noted how quickly I was getting the revisions into the new novel (Draft #8) and was hoping by this week to be done.

Welp, not only did I put all those revisions into the book, but I went back and found a few pages in particular where I had some more lengthy revisions to do (there were some pages that required very minimal revisions and some were a little heavier), printed them out, and went over them in a quasi-9th draft and…

…I’m done.

Sure, I could go over the entire book one more time but at this point whatever changes are done will likely be incredibly minor and I’ve come to realize after so many years of writing that there does come a point where you gotta let the book go.

So as of today, Tuesday the 14th of June, the novel is effectively finished up and all I’m waiting for now is the commissioned cover to show up. If its good (I really hope it is!) and doesn’t require any major fine tuning, I can see this book becoming available perhaps next week digitally via Kindle and, hopefully, in the next couple of weeks as a paperback.

The book took a lot of effort to get done, perhaps more than most of my others because of the things I went through the past year, but I’m proud of the work and feel it fits beautifully with my other works.

Now to keep checking my emails to see when the cover comes in…!

The New 2021/2022 Novel Update #19 

Quick and thrilling update to offer:

I finished reading through my latest novel and adding all the red notes/revisions and yesterday was the first day of putting those revisions into the computer.

In one day’s time, I managed to revise a little over 1/3rd of the book!

Now, this was the earlier sections of the novel and I’m keenly aware there is at least one section near the midpoint where I felt it needed a little more work but that amounts to no more than a few pages and, at least in the section I just finished, there may be only 1 page I wish to give a quick other look before declaring those pages done.

This is my 8th draft of the novel so plenty of hard work has been done on it but it is such a pleasure to see things finally sorting themselves out and looking like we’re near the end.

I have already commissioned the cover so I’m looking forward to seeing that soon as well.

I strongly suspect by sometime next week this novel will be completed and then I’ll post it to Amazon’s Kindle for purchase. The actual paperback will take a little longer as I have to see the proof and approve of it (provided there are no glaring problems) but the reality is that this book will be available in all formats no later than the later parts of this month or very early parts of next month.


THE NEW 2021/2022 NOVEL UPDATE #18

So on 5/31 I finished putting in the revisions into my Word file to my latest novel and, as of today, June 5th, I’m reading through it and writing down notes/corrections in red ink. I’m not quite halfway through reading this latest draft (it will be #8) but at least so far I’m confident this will be the last revision needed and, further, I am confident I’ll have the book available, at least via Kindle, by later this very month.

Fingers crossed!

The book has taken quite a bit more out of me than some of the other books I’ve written and that’s in part to the tragedies I’ve faced this past year. It’s been an incredibly rough year and, at this moment, I’m very busy with other stuff so finding the time to finish this book up has been a little harder than usual.

But I will get it done, dammit!

Soon, dear readers, very soon…!

The New 2021/2022 Novel Update #17

So last week Saturday I posted that I had finished reading through and putting down the red ink revisions for Draft #6 of my latest novel.

I wrote I felt the novel was nearly done and, as if to prove that fact, today and six days later I can announce that I’ve put all those red ink notes into the Word file and the book is ready to be printed out one more time and given a -perhaps last!- red ink-revision before putting those edits into the Word file.

If you’ve been around here you’ll know that as my novels get closer to be finished up, I tend to need less time to do these revisions. The earlier drafts require quite a bit of reworking and revisions and it is not unheard of that a draft can take me several months to finish up. The fact that I was able to put all these revisions into the Word file in less than a week speaks to how close I feel the book is to being finalized.

So perhaps tomorrow (its getting a little late today) I will print this puppy out and give it a read through.

If all goes well, my next announcement should confirm whether we’ve reached the last draft or not!

Fingers crossed!

THE NEW 2021/2022 NOVEL UPDATE #16

It’s Saturday the 14th of May and its not quite lunch time and I’ve just finished the read-through and red ink revisions of Draft #6 of my latest novel…

…and I’m freaking ecstatic.

One of the very best feelings in the world for an author is reaching a point where you feel like your novel is just about done. With regard to this book, that’s exactly where I’m at at this point in time.

The revisions happened pretty quick considering I did spend one weekend flying out -and therefore was unable to do any work on the book- so in reality I’ve taken maybe a little over two weeks to go over this books and write my revisions down.

Even better is the fact that, in looking over the revisions, I suspect it won’t take me much more than a week to transfer those revisions into my Word file and print the whole thing out once again.

When I do that, I intend to give the book one more read through but I feel confident in saying this will be the final one.

So, if all goes well and I’m not delayed by anything, maybe another week or so to add those revisions to the Word file, maybe another couple of weeks at the most to read it one final time, then maybe less than a week or so to add whatever final revisions are necessary.

The book will be ready by June, there is no question about this.

Let’s see when exactly I’ll have it available for purchase!

Stay tuned, it won’t be long now!