Howard Jay Smith



Howard Jay Smith


Santa Barbara, CA, USA


Fiction, Historical Fiction, Jewish Fiction, Literary Fiction, Non-fiction

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Howard Jay Smith is an award-winning writer from Santa Barbara, California. BEETHOVEN IN LOVE; OPUS 139 & MEETING MOZART: FROM THE SECRET DIARIES OF LORENZO DA PONTE are respectively his third and fourth books along with OPENING THE DOORS TO HOLLYWOOD (Random House) and JOHN GARDNER: AN INTERVIEW (New London Press). He was recently awarded a John E. Profant Foundation for the Arts, Literature Division Scholarship, The James Buckley Excellence in Writing Award. Smith is a former Bread Loaf Scholar & Washington, D.C. Commission for the Arts Fellow, who taught for many years in the UCLA Extension Writer’s Program and has lectured nationally. His articles and photographs have appeared in the Washington Post, the Beethoven Journal, Horizon, the Journal of the Writers Guild of America, the Ojai Quarterly, and numerous trade publications. While an executive at the ABC Television, Embassy TV, and Academy Home Entertainment he worked on numerous film television, radio and commercial projects. He serves on the board of directors of the Santa Barbara Symphony and is a member of the American Beethoven Society.

“Meeting Mozart: From the Secret Diaries of Lorenzo Da Ponte” is “The musical equivalent of The Da Vinci Code….with a deeply satisfying ending.”–Patricia Morrisroe, journalist and author.  It’s a deftly plotted and richly detailed historical novel that spans generations and involves Mozart, mysteries, masquerades, opera, and spies. It brings to light the incredible life story of Mozart’s librettist, Lorenzo Da Ponte, the Jewish-born priest who created The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cosi Fan Tutte. The novel opens in the shadows of a war-torn Jewish ghetto in Italy, with the discovery of Lorenzo Da Ponte’s secret diaries by his descendent, an opera-loving, Jewish/Italian-American G.I. stationed outside Venice. In the diaries, Da Ponte reveals how he had to live as a Converso in order to survive the anti-Semitism of his era. Over the course of a colorful lifetime, Da Ponte is a gambler, a poet, a womanizer, a murder suspect. He is a friend to Casanova, Mozart’s collaborator, and an insider at the Hapsburg Court of Vienna, and, eventually, an associate of such luminaries as James Fenimore Cooper and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who brings the first opera theater to NYC.

“Beethoven in Love; Opus 139″ is a tour de force, brilliantly conceived and executed. It is wildly inventive, yet steeped in historical accuracy, a Beethoven novel worthy of the genius himself. It’s a novel about the ways in which each of us must come to terms with the meaning of our own lives . . . a must-read for Beethoven aficionados and for all readers who love the bold and immensely creative power of language.” — Russell Martin, author of  Beethoven’s Hair, Picasso’s War, and Out of Silence    At the moment of his death on a snowy afternoon in March, 1827, Ludwig van Beethoven pleads with Providence to grant him a final wish—one day, just a single day of pure joy. But first he must confront the many failings in his life, so the great composer and exceedingly complex man begins an odyssey into the netherworld of his past life. As he struggles to confront its ugliness, we encounter the women who loved and inspired him. In their own voices, we discover their Beethoven—a lover with whom they savor the profound beauty and passion of his creations. And it’s in the arms of his beloved’s that he comes to terms with the meaning of his life and experiences the moment of true joy he has always sought.

Book Title 1

Meeting Mozart 

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Book Title 2

Beethoven in Love: Opus 139

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Book Title 3

Opening the Doors to Hollywood: How to Sell Your Idea, Story, Screenplay, Manuscript 

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