Beethoven in Love Opus 139: the interview Part Three

Welcome back for the third and final interview with Howard Jay Smith, author of Beethoven in Love Opus 139. 

Beethoven, Beethoven in Love, Howard Jay Smith, Opus 139, classical music, composers
In  Part One, Howard talked about his background as a writer, his interest in music, and the triggering moment of his novel. In Part Two, he talked about Beethoven and what his life has to teach us--drawing the universal out of our stories.  Today, we talk about some of his other interests, and how multiple creative interests might play together.

You've also had some photography in multiple publications. What kind of photography do you do, and do you feel that working in multiple artistic fields helps each individual endeavor?

The common thread is creativity. You can tell stories with words or with images in different fashion. I used to pride myself on using my old film Cannon AE-1 with a bag full of different lens. Now I use my cell phone. My son, Zak Smith, who did the cover art for the book is an internationally renowned painter with works in 8 museums. He is also a writer of great ability and I often think he is a better writer than painter. The two mediums just seem to go well together.

I very much agree that images, too, tell stories.  It's one of the things my colleague and I are doing with our work at Emmanuel's Light, a photography collaborative.  Tell us about your other two books.

My first book was An Interview with John Gardner that came out a long, long time ago,and is equally long out of print though copies once in a while surface on Amazon. John was not only a brilliant writer, he was also the best teacher I have ever had for any subject ever, hands down, no comparison.

My own writing and short story classes at UCLA were based on his concepts, many of which also worked their way into the Beethoven book in the guise of one of the few fictional characters in the novel, ‘Johann Gardner.’

The second, Opening the Doors to Hollywood, is a non-fiction book published by Random House that is a guide for writers, producers and others who want to break into the entertainment industry. It is based on some of my classes at UCLA that focused on teaching students how to navigate the maze that is Hollywood.

And where can readers find you? Twitter, Facebook, blog, website, etc?

Beethoven, Zak Smith, Howard Jay Smith, classical composers, great composers
I have a website,, but do most of my posting on Facebook under “Beethoven In Love; Opus 139,” and my personal page, “Howard Jay Smith.” I am currently posting every day, something called,“The Music Behind Beethoven in Love; Opus 139.” Each day I put up a paragraph or page or two from the book along with a YouTube clip of the music that inspired that segment. Given the astonishing number of high quality performances available of the more than 600 pieces he wrote during his lifetime, I am thoroughly enjoying bringing many of these to my fans’ attention.

I have enjoyed those daily postings.  I think 'classical music' is intimidating to many--too much to wade into, and no idea where to start--and your daily postings give direction and insight.  What about the Beethoven portrait?

People can buy copies of Zak’s Beethoven portrait online.

Thank you, Howard!  It has been a pleasure hosting you and learning more about your work and about Beethoven!

Find Howard at:
His website

See related posts involving music:

Coming tomorrow: My further experiment in medieval cooking, Sorcha's Turnip Pottage

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