About Me

I was born in Paterson, New Jersey in 1964 to a family of Russian-Jewish artists. In 1973, my father took the unusual step of moving my family to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands where I spent my formative years. It is impossible to overestimate the influence the culture, history, geography, and the people of the West Indies had on my psyche.

Charlotte Amalie harbor, 1984

14th Birthday, December 1978

My writing journey began in 2006 when I started working on Transfer Day, a historical thriller set during the transfer of the Danish West Indies to the United States in 1917. The book was released in 2012 and was called "a page-turner with emotional resonance" by Publishers Weekly. You can read more about Transfer Day here.

I then turned my sights to a subject that had always fascinated me since childhood: Tibet. While writing Race to Tibet, a novel about the real-life exploits of a team of French explorers, including Prince Henri d'Orleans, who attempt to become the first living Westerners to reach Lhasa, I delved into the study of the Great Game, Central Asian history and geography, Tibetan history and geography, and the many explorers who tried to breach the walls of the Forbidden Kingdom. In doing so, I unlocked a lifelong fascination I'd always had with this mystical Buddhist kingdom on the Roof of the World. Race to Tibet was released in 2015 to wonderful reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus. You can hear more about Race to Tibet here.

My next project, Island on Fire, released in 2018, is a novel about the 1902 eruption of Mount Pelée in Martinique that caused the deaths of 30,000 people. For this historical thriller, I incorporated elements of voodoo and sorcery, cultural aspects which are still potent forces in the French West Indies. The book was described as "a memorable romantic thriller" by Publishers Weekly. You can hear more about Island on Fire here.

Exploring St. Pierre, Martinique in 2015

    In 2019 I released a collection of poetry inspired by the Caribbean called, On a Moonlit Night in the Antilles. These are poems I had been working on since 2011, whenever inspiration would strike. In the collection, you will find poems about the flora and fauna, and many historical figures and important events that occurred in the Danish West Indies, including the 1733 St. John uprising and the sinking of the Danish slave ship, Fredensborg. There is also a special poem dedicated to Alexander Hamilton, who grew up in Christiansted and spent his formative years working in a counting house.

My next novel, The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton, released in 2020, has been called "an engaging coming-of-age story of heartbreak, bravery, honor, and courage" by Kirkus Reviews. It tells the untold story of Alexander Hamilton's childhood in the Caribbean. The story traces his hardscrabble childhood in St. Eustatius and St. Croix, his growth into self-sufficiency and singular genius, and his strength of character in a tale set against the early years of the American Revolution, when tensions were rising in Britain's Caribbean colonies. You can hear more about it here.

Exploring Fort Christiansvaern, St. Croix, 2019

   My latest novel, The Unlikely Spy, due out in 2022, is a spy thriller set in the Caribbean during WWI and tells the tale of a young widow with a gambling problem who is recruited to infiltrate a German spy ring and finds herself at the center of a plot to blow up the Panama Canal.

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