Tuesday Evening, 85°F and hazy
Listening to The Zombies—This Will Be Our Year

Smokin’ & Cryin’ – a novel

The Rise and Fall of Smoky Topaz

August 27, 1972. Robin Chelsea, teenage lead singer of Smoky Topaz, disappears into the Atlantic Ocean mere weeks before the group’s double album, Smokin’ & Cryin’, is released. Recorded over one blistering Savannah summer in the dungeon of an antebellum mansion, it’s threaded with candid snippets of the band members’ dirty secrets, bitter arguments, and deepest fears.

In the wake of Robin’s disappearance, Smokin’ & Cryin’ flies off store shelves and dominates radio airwaves to become the obsession of a generation of music lovers. But what really happened to Robin Chelsea?

More than four decades later, the discovery of Robin’s candid writings—juxtaposed with news clippings, legal documents, reviews, letters, personal notes, and interviews—make it possible to finally piece together the tangled truth behind this mysterious rock and roll legend.

I couldn’t be more excited to finally bring you my second novel, Smokin’ & Cryin’. It has been a long time coming.

Set in the early 1970s, it’s the first-person narrative of teenage rock vocalist Robin Chelsea and is interspersed with epistolary elements. It was a blast to write, and I sure hope you’ll find it a  blast to read. Continue reading