About A.J.

I’ve had a life-long love affair with page-turning who-done-its and historical epics sealed-with-a-kiss. My parents were voracious readers. My father loved murder mysteries and thrillers, my mother, multi-generational sagas. I followed suit. I began reading what were called pocketbooks, mass-market paperbacks, at around thirteen.

Leon Uris’ Exodus, Boris Paternak’s Doctor Zhivago, and Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls made me want to become a writer. Clean, clear, and strong, with principled characters. These authors and their work still inform mine.

I discovered Frederick Forsyth on my father’s night table a couple years later. That sold me on thrillers.  Then, while cleaning out my parents’ attic one Sunday, I came upon an old, yellowed volume of Dashiell Hammett. Noir became my home base. As a writer, I try to combine aspects of all these influences in my work.

As an avid student of history, I focus on the personal experience of everyday people faced with extraordinary circumstances. What does one do when faced with events beyond their control? As a member of a family ravaged by the Holocaust, I am determined to tell the stories of refugees and survivors I’ve known.

Telling the stories of adversity isn’t limited to the Holocaust. I hope to bring to light the stories of those who have triumphed over oppression, from Hitler’s Germany to Soviet Russia, from Trujillo’s Dominican Republic to Castro’s Cuba, to the struggles of two peoples in the Holy Land and beyond.

I live in Washington Heights, in upper Manhattan with my wife, a political advertising consultant. I was born in the Bronx and remain a life-long Yankees fan. I travel to the Dominican Republic every winter, my second home, where I write and develop new ideas for both full length novels and short stories.


Crime Café Interview: