Owen Taylor holds on tightly to the secret of his fortune for fear it would be taken away; or worse, that someone would kill him for the knowledge of the location of his sunken Spanish Galleon. He was orphaned at five years old when his parents were shot attempting to rob a bank. Without parental guidance no one is left to instill in him the desire to search beyond basic physical needs for the path to an eternal existence. For that reason he is incapable of understanding the immense potential contained within his brief relationship with Julia. They met in Florence on his pilgrimage to find the final resting place of his great uncle; the man for whom he was named and the only real connection he has to a family. The couple’s association ends when he finds her with a handsome Italian named Gianni.
Content to live out his days in Key West, Owen spends his nights wandering the city’s raucous streets. Physical encounters begin to lose their luster when he meets Monica. Her dark Venezuelan features smolder so deeply within him that she inhabits a place far beneath his calloused psyche known by only one other woman. For the first time he understands when a man and a woman truly care for one another their flesh is merely a conduit to a truly ethereal experience.
FBI Agent Melendez, who is hell-bent on uncovering the source of Owen’s vast fortune, tempers his zest for life. Something about how the man conducts himself causes Owen to question his true identity. Is the supposed G-Man nothing more than a criminal after his stash of Spanish Pieces of Eight? Can Owen survive his own hubris long enough to find the one person he can love eternally, eliminating the fear that death represents finality?
Louis Berry was born on July 21st in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. His father was a football coach at the University of Southern Mississippi, and his mother a housewife. Vying for the attention of parents who were otherwise engaged helped Louis to develop his love of the English language. Many afternoons were spent in his room playing his older brother's Beatles records on a portable turntable they shared with their sister. Hearing the music was not what drove Louis. He was more interested in the lyrics and how they communicated the meaning of each song. At the age of seven, Louis moved with his family to Panama City Beach, FL. Most of his formative years were spent in the panhandle of Florida, and now provide the backdrop of his first novel, Erstwhile. Louis graduated from A. Crawford Mosley High School in 1983; after which he attended Florida State University where he played football for Bobby Bowden. As a four-year letterman at the position of Punter he accumulated several awards such as, Most Valuable Player - Special Teams in 1983, Associated Press All - American (Honorable Mention) 1984, 1985 and 1986, and was named the Captain of the Special Teams his Senior season (1986). Upon graduation from college with degrees in Accounting and Economics, Louis joined the workforce in the field of Public Accounting. There he began to hone his writing skills by drafting financial statements for clients whose books were being audited. Always eager to accept a new challenge Louis later entered Graduate School at Stetson University where he graduated with his M.B.A. in 2002. During that time Louis never lost sight of his goal of becoming a writer, and the desire grew with each passing year. In 2002 Louis was fortunate to make the acquaintance of Robert Taylor Scott, a retired Theology Professor at the University of Florida, who would soon be his wife's new Stepfather. Both men shared a passion for writing and talked endlessly of their art. In January of 2006 Taylor was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away in May of that same year. For all of the love that Robert Taylor Scott showed Louis, his greatest gift was the realization that dreams are for chasing. That was when Louis dusted off an old manuscript and became passionate once again for the written word. The product of his labor is known as Erstwhile. Louis and his wife were married in Paris, and have two children; one son, from a previous marriage, and an adopted daughter from Guatemala.