A.J. Sidransky is my Crime Cafe guest blogger today. He’s a crime fiction author who’s written a post about the inspiration for his books. He’ll be giving away five copies of Forgiving Mariela Camacho to five lucky readers. Simply send an email to A.J. Sidransky at ajsidransky@berwickcourt.com to enter the giveaway, and he’ll pick the winners.

So … without further ado, here’s A.J.! 🙂

What Inspired me to Write Forgiving Mariela Camacho

First and foremost my readers. After the publication of my debut novel, Forgiving Maximo Rothman, I began speaking to groups about its many themes. Much to my delight, my readers enthusiastically asked me if there would be more books featuring the same characters, in particular the detectives, Anatoly Kurchenko and Pete Gonzalvez, and tying up some loose ends I left in Maximo. “Of course,” I said. What writer doesn’t dream of their readers asking for more!

In the early stages of writing Forgiving Maximo Rothman, I work-shopped the manuscript in my writers group. A couple of my fellow writers suggested at that time that the characters “had legs.” I appreciated their kind suggestion but at the time wasn’t thinking about my next book. I was too overwhelmed trying to finish my first and get it published. When readers starting clamoring for more I began thinking about a series. So was born Forgiving Mariela Camacho, and it won’t be the last.

Forgiving Mariela Camacho began on what one might call the cutting room floor. The original manuscript of Forgiving Maximo Rothman was considerably longer than the final version. Two large sections were removed as a result of the publisher’s insistence that the book was too long. One section dealt with the back-story of Carlos Pabon and through him the Dominican immigrant experience. That led to the plotline for Forgiving Mariela Camacho, though the experience of Dominican immigration is told through Pete Gonzalvez instead of Carlos.

The second section cut was the story of the refugees, Max and Helen, when they arrived in the United States in 1950 and into the 1960’s. Readers seem to really miss that and sometimes I’m sorry I gave in so easily on removing it. But, that gives me the chance to tell the story more thoroughly in the third book in the series, tentatively titled, Forgiving Henrique Eisen. Hopefully the remaining unanswered questions in Forgiving Maximo Rothman will be answered in the next book. I promise. Give me two years.


AJ SIDRANSKY is a dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker. Born in the Bronx, he resides in Washington Heights with his AJSidranskywife. He has a college age son who attends the University of Miami. He is a life long Yankees fan.

The National Jewish Book Awards selected his first novel Forgiving Maximo Rothman as a finalist in Outstanding Debut Fiction for 2013. Next Generation Indie Book Awards selected his next book, Stealing a Summer’s Afternoon as a finalist for Best Second Novel for 2015. Forgiving Mariela Comacho, a thriller and continuation of Forgiving Maximo Rothman will be released in September 2015.

His short story, La Libreta was honored by the Institute for Caribbean Studies as part of their celebration of Caribbean-American Heritage Month 1n 2014 and was published by Small Axe Salon, an on-line Literary Magazine. His short story, Mother Knows Best appeared in an invitation only anthology entitled Noir Nation 5, published in October 2014.

Mr. Sidansky is also a staff writer for #News, a daily news satire that appears on YouTube and a frequent contributor to UptownCollective.com a blog about life in upper Manhattan. Learn more about him www.ajsidransky.com


PS: A.J. Sidransky‘s Crime Cafe interview will be on my YouTube channel in a couple of weeks. However, for now here’s Bill Crider, whose interview will be coming to iTunes and Google Play soon!

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