Sunday, July 5, 2015

Rafael H. Derchansky, Author of Corridor One

Today we are interviewing Rafael H. Derchansky about his novel, "Corridor One."

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in a small village in Siberia, 14 years after Stalin forcefully deported my parents from Lithuania. My family moved to Tomsk, one of the oldest towns in Siberia where I finished high school and enrolled in Tomsk Polytechnic University. When the former USSR temporarily lifted the Iron Curtain to allow some of its citizens to leave the country, my family and I used this opportunity to immigrate to Israel, where I completed my studies and met my future wife. Seeking new horizons, we immigrated to Canada, where I currently reside with my wife and two sons

Describe the plot of “Corridor One” in a few sentences.
An unsolved crime. A missing treasure. A family torn apart. The book is about Dina, an art forgery expert, who due to strange circumstances has to embark on an unexpected and mystifying adventure. Dina will have to rely on the help of an unlikely partner and an old, long-forgotten Siberian mental art to accomplish her goals. She must confront the shadows of her past and face the truth about her family.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
The book is a light read. I hope that somebody who likes adventure, mystery, exotic environments, surprises and unexpected plot twists may find the book interesting. 

What inspired you to write a story about an art forgery expert who must confront the ghosts of her family’s past?
For many years I was brooding with the idea of writing a book about a family that was torn apart. I imagined a scenario where a sister and brother would pass each other on the street and not recognize each other while at the same time actually searching for each other. The idea came from some personal experience in my early life in Siberia.
Rafael H. Derchansky
Author Rafael H. Derchansky.

Tell us a bit about the protagonist, Dina.
Dina is a self-made, successful business woman. Early in her life, she was separated from the people she loved most. Her character is strong, but at the same time she has a warm and affable personality. She is open-minded and she is not afraid to embark on an adventure or to learn and experience unusual lessons.  

Who was your favorite character to write?
While writing the book I learned to like all the characters. Each of them has their own charm and a unique personality. I love Dina, but I can't imagine her without Tamara. I adore Tamara but she could not live in my book without Gregory.  I can go on and on. They all are my favourites, I love them all. This past Father’s Day I received a greeting card from my sons. They signed the card with their names and then they added the names of the characters from my book. I feel privileged to have fathered so many children.     

When Dina receives an extraordinary package, containing personal information, at her apartment, Dina is torn between whether to believe the sender or to listen to her professional instincts telling her everything is not as it seems. Can you elaborate a bit on this conflict she experiences?
We all find ourselves in situations when we have to decide whether or not to trust somebody. When Dina receives the package, she finds herself in that situation. Dina is a talented and experienced art forgery investigator. She is trained to analyze and use logic rather than trust her emotions, but she gets into a situation where she wants to believe that the mystery of her family could be solved and she could bring long-lost people back into her life. It is the wrestling between her heart, trust and her reason.    
Rafael H. Derchansky
A self-portrait by Rafael.
The shadowy organization Corridor One is linked to Dina’s father. Without giving too much away, can you describe Corridor One for us?
No, sorry, that would be very difficult to do as I am bound by a Corridor One vow of secrecy.

You have a unique background, being born to parents who were forcefully deported by Stalin and having lived in a number of countries. Did this background play a role in how you wrote the story?

Of course. Living in three very different countries with different cultures definitely shaped and enriched my personality and it obviously spilled over into my book. I hope that it made my writing style deeper and more colorful. And I also hope that you will find the flavours of these countries and cultures in the characters and places in the book. 

Are there any authors who have influenced your writing style?
Although I appreciate many different genres and authors, I am trying to develop my own writing style rather than allowing a particular author or style to influence me.  

Tell us a bit about your creative process, from initial idea to finished manuscript.
I started to write the book with only a general idea and during the writing process, its details and plot started moving in many directions. Then I had to go back and trim off the unwanted branches. When I write I'm completely submerged in the life of my characters but for some reason, I may forget what happened in the previous chapters due to the richness of the details, so I find myself sometimes needing to go back and read what I have written.  

Is there any aspect of writing you don't like?
Sometimes the writing process feels like torture and can be physically and mentally exhausting.  That being said, I am reluctant to rewrite any parts of the book. Still, I think that writing is powerfully amazing.

Have you ever had writer's block? If yes, how'd you deal with it? If you have not had writer's block, why do you think you haven't?
This is my first book and I authored it at the age of 60. So technically, I’ve had writer’s block for the past 59 years. Hopefully it’s gone now.

What do you have in mind for your next project?
I have already started Corridor Two - apropos writer's block. Even though Dina and her friends don't know it yet, they still have many adventures ahead of them.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
I hope that my readers will find that you don't need to kill people or have lots of explosions to get the thrill of an adventure and the intrigue of mystery in a book. I also hope that the readers will adopt the characters of the book and accept them into the circle of their close friends.

More Information
Find "Corridor One" on Smashwords
Like "Corridor One" on Facebook
Visit the book's publishing site
Check out Rafael H. Derchansky's paintings


  1. A must read page-turner! Filled with excitement and suspense, I couldn't put this book down. I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes a good mystery. Mila.

  2. "Corridor One" by Rafael H. Derchansky is an exciting and fascinating page-turner that captured me on the first page.
    It's a very satisfying read for anyone who enjoys a good nonstop suspenseful story.


  3. just finished reading 'Corridor One'; thoroughly enjoyed the book; interesting characters, unusual plot; Tamara is my favorite! bookwrm

  4. Just started reading Corridor One a few days ago, and it is very mysterious!
    Seems like an innovative idea for a book.
    I wonder though, where I can get some of these amazing paintings that have been painted all over the book's cover...