Monday, February 6, 2012

A Very Warm Welcome!

I'm Carl T. Smith, an author (published) and pursuer of other wildly "secure" careers. I am now blogging. We'll see how that works out. I must be off to a good start if you're reading this. Don't stop! See it to the end; it won't take much time out of your life. I promise to keep this blog site active, with true stories (The Night I Met Joe Namath, Pat Conroy Hosts a Book Signing), photos, and thoughts that may be bizarre at times, reviews I receive and those I write about others, work and name-dropping. Of course you may have already figured that one out by the story headings.

I was born in Chicago - do I really need to add the state? - but left the Midwest when I was two - not on my own - to move south to Virginia. I am a southerner, although I am on my birth state list as an "Illinois Author". That may have been because of a long layover at O'Hare. I have heard some authors from far adn wide have made the state list for that very reason. I matriculated (I love that word) with a BFA degree from what was then The Richmond Professional Institute of The College of William and Mary (Now VCU). It was the arts division. It was a great creative school in a downtown area as energetic as "The Village" of the thirties and "The Left Bank" in Paris in the twenties.

After years in music as a singer (believe me, in all genres: combos, big bands, progressive jazz vocal quartets, doo-wop, rock and roll and country), at the behest of my best college bud, Tom Robbins (Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, etc.), I turned to writing. He suggested it was a good thing to do if one had run out of options, didn't want to work, were lazy and could fail and still maintain some measure of respect. "I'm a writer," you say. "Oh," the receiver says with raised eyebrows.

Strangely, I got a book published (not my first, they were still in the desk drawer) Nothin' Left to Lose. Since the publisher went bankrupt the day the book released (that's another story), despite excellent reviews in "Publisher's Weekly" and "Foreword", the writing career had suffered a definite setback. However, without options, not wanting to work, lazy and though I hadn't yet begun to consider myself a failure (I was getting respect), I decided to marshal on. I made up my mind to write a suspense novel, and, since my neighbor on Fripp Island in South Carolina had been to prison, I was gifted with the most difficult task in writing: an idea.

I wrote Lowcountry Boil, a suspense novel that introduced the iconic character Sam Larkin, luckily iconic to both men and women. After 46 rejections (another story) it was published. It was a writer's dream; it sold. It was optioned for film four times. I was on my way, or so I thought. (another story) Then came the sequels: Louisiana Burn and Carolina Fire. A new one, A Season for Killing, is on the way (1st of March). It introduces two new characters - will they become iconic? - Detectives Cole Sturtevant and Carsyn Thoreau. Yes, I spelled her name correctly. Got it off a vanity place on a Corvette. Her hair was auburn...

This opening blog post is an introduction to me, what I write, mr irreverence, and a life that has been a gift in so many ways. By medical community standards, I should have been (like Dennis Hopper said) dead a hundred times, but, hey, what about Mick Jagger, Mickey Rourke, George Jones and Willie Nelson? Maybe we all drank from the same fountain somewhere along the way!

I hope I'll see you next time (if I don't I'll hate you) and, above all, thanks for humoring me. I'll be devastated if you don't show up again.

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