Albritton excited about 1st novel’s successPublished 11:59pm Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Atmore resident and local author Lloyd Albritton was the guest speaker of the Atmore Rotary Club on Tuesday, telling the club members about his recently published novel, Baby Blue.
Albritton said his book is a fictional story that is set in the Atmore area during the early 1900s. It tells the story of two boys, Buckshot and Pooty Barnhill, who discover a headless corpse in the Nokomis woods. When a sheriff’s deputy, J.B. Coon, is summoned to investigate, he discovers a connection that leads him to the Blue family, one of the wealthiest and most prominent families in the state of Alabama.
The paperback is 290 pages and is available online at www.amazon.com. It can also be purchased for the Kindle or similar electronic readers.
Albritton said that although the novel is a work of fiction, he did base some of the characters off people that he knew. For example, Buckshot is based on a boy that he knew while growing up in Nokomis.
“Practically everybody that I talk to thinks that they’re in the book,” Albritton said, with a laugh. “None of the characters are based entirely on real people, but they’re composites of a lot of different people that I’ve met in life.”
Albritton wrote the initial draft of the novel over a span of six to seven months, and then spent a year editing and tweaking the manuscript. He said that some of the story would come to him piece by piece in dreams, and he would have to write down those dreams as soon as he woke up or he would risk losing the inspiration.
“I always have a pencil and pad with me,” he said. “You never know when you might hear or see something you can use.”
The author discussed some of the controversy surrounding his book. For example, one of the characters uses a racial slur and several other characters use expletives. However, Albritton felt the occasional salty language was necessary to truly have the setting and characters come to life.
“A lady once dressed me down and asked why I didn’t use ‘good words’ like a ‘good Christian writer,’” he said. “I told her, I’m not a ‘Christian writer,’ even though I’m a Christian. I’m a storyteller. That is the way that people spoke and acted back in that time.
“If I’m going to tell you about a slaughterhouse, then I’m going to mention the hog getting hit in the head with a hammer … I’m not going to start right with the pork chop on the supermarket shelf.”
Albritton said he doesn’t mind whether the novel is a financial success, or not. He simply enjoyed the experience of writing and hopes he can share his gift with as many readers as possible.
Fellow author Lou Vickery commended Albritton’s talent and also noted that he agrees with the way the characters speak in the novel.
“I know the language might seem rough to some people, but that was just part of the vernacular back then,” Vickery said.
Albritton stated that it is much easier for writers to have their work published today, because of the ease of electronic readers like the Kindle. He encouraged any aspiring writer to try and publish something, even if it’s just a story about their family or their personal memoirs.
“Writing is a truly therapeutic thing for me,” he said. “I write because I enjoy it.”
Albritton is currently finishing up his second published book, which will be a collection of short stories. It will be available in the coming weeks.