196 – Martin J. Smith

A live recording of our educational podcast The How The Why with Martin J. Smith. Martin J. Smith is a veteran journalist and magazine editor has won more than fifty newspaper and magazine writing awards, and his crime novels have been nominated for three of the publishing industry’s most prestigious honors, including the Edgar Award, the Anthony Award, and the Barry Award.

New York Times bestseller Michael Connelly calls Smith’s latest thriller, “Combustion,” a “page-turner with a kicker at the end — you can’t ask for anything better. Intricately plotted and full of character, this one is a great ride that burns with the intensity of a California wildfire.” Diversion Books released that novel on Sept. 27, 2016.

In November, Globe Piquot published “Mr. Las Vegas Has a Bad Knee,” a collection of Smith’s essays about the people, places, and peculiarities of the American Southwest, where he lived and worked between 1985 and 2016. Writes book critic and 2015 Guggenheim Fellow David L. Ulin in the book’s foreword: “If Smith’s book is about anything, it’s about place, the way it gets inside us. And the Southwest … there’s something about the space, the unformed landscape, that both terrifies and inspires, allowing us to see our limits and our possibilities. Thus, if on the one hand, Smith is tracking a lost world, it’s a lost world that’s also brave and new. Sound like a contradiction? That’s the whole idea behind Smith’s work in this collection, which traces (as it must) the middle ground between opposing, but not irreconcilable, perspectives: ‘Permanence is illusion’; ‘The best stories develop over time.’ ”

A former senior editor of the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Smith was editor-in-chief of Orange Coast magazine in Orange County, Calif., between 2007 and 2016, during which time the Western Publishing Association five times named Orange Coast the best city/metropolitan magazine in the western U.S., including four consecutive wins between 2013 and 2016. His 2012 nonfiction book, “The Wild Duck Chase,” about the Federal Duck Stamp Contest and the strange and wonderful world of competitive duck painting, inspired Brian Golden Davis’ documentary film “The Million Dollar Duck,” which won both the Jury and Audience awards at the 2016 Slamdance Film Festival. The film aired multiple times on Discovery Communications’ Animal Planet in September 2016.



The How, The Why is a half-hour podcast documenting the creative process and the creative purpose hosted by Jon-Barrett Ingels. This free weekly series is an educational resource provided to discuss the evolution of literary arts with industry innovators—authors, journalists, and publishers.