After spending years in professional music, theatre and education at the high school and college level and creating an entertainment management firm in Philadelphia, Robbins convinced him he should get back to writing, which he had started in college. In 1995 he moved to South Carolina where he wrote his first novel, Nothin' Left to Lose, which received excellent reviews in Publisher's Weekly and ForeWord magazine and was listed as one of the Top 10 Books by South Carolina Authors for that year.
Living on Fripp Island, where he received advice and encouragement from author Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides and Beach Music, Carl wrote the first Sam Larkin novel, Lowcountry Boil, which won an IPPY award for suspense, was nominated for the Southern Independent Bookseller's "Book of the Year" and The Southern Critic's Circle Award for "Book of the Year". Lowcountry Boil has been optioned for film four times.
Smith followed that success with the second Sam Larkin novel, Louisiana Burn, which also won IPPY and SIBA awards.
After leaving Fripp Island, Carl settled in Greenville, SC where he completed his third Larkin novel, Carolina Fire, which his publisher released an an eBook prior to its print release.
He has also completed an additional novel and is working on another.