Know Your History – 3rd November – Martin Cruz Smith born

know your history - writingOn this day… 3rd November 1942, Martin Cruz Smith born.

Martin Cruz Smith (born November 3, 1942) is an American mystery novelist. He is best known for his eight-novel series on Russian investigator Arkady Renko, who was first introduced in 1981 with Gorky Park.

On Writing

Martin Cruz Smith’s parents were jazz musicians but as a student he realised that his own talent was for writing. He gave up sociology and travelled in Europe before taking a job as a tabloid reporter. In New York he edited a men’s magazine before publishing his ground-breaking Soviet thriller, Gorky Park.Martin_Cruz_Smith-happiness

On his Website – Smith gives the following advice on being published:

“I don’t reread a book of mine after it’s been published. All I see is shortcomings and errors. The gap between what I intended to accomplish and what I settled for is a yawning abyss. But I do enjoy the material because they still, for me, carry the excitement of discovery.”

Did You Know?..

 After college he earned the money for a journey to Europe not by writing but by selling ices.

 “It was a sweltering summer and people would be ordering half gallons of ice cream, not just popsicles. I got 25% of what I sold.” The trip was supposed to combine romance and art but he and his college girlfriend Emily Arnold split up in Rome and he made his way alone to Spain where he almost got a part as an extra in a Sergio Leone spaghetti western, and failed to sell second-hand cars to American airmen in Madrid.

“As a young man I never felt the world was black and white. And that trip confirmed it. It was wonderful.”


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