Nokomis native Lloyd Albritton has always been a storyteller. It began with the simple pleasure of telling stories to friends, then continued to develop in letters to family until that talent eventually saw him sharing it with a wider audience in a …
Nokomis native Lloyd Albritton has always been a storyteller. It began with the simple pleasure of telling stories to friends, then continued to develop in letters to family until that talent eventually saw him sharing it with a wider audience in a bi-weekly newspaper column for the Atmore Advance.
His gift for creating interesting characters and compelling narrative is showcased in Albritton’s first novel Baby Blue. We will have the good fortune to meet and hear from Albritton on Tuesday, Sept. 24 when the Bay Minette Public Library hosts a book talk and signing with the author at 6 p.m. in the program room.
Albritton will be talking about his first novel, which is a murder mystery set in 1951 Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. The story features a variety of intriguing southern characters based on people Albritton has known throughout his life along with amalgamations of many others. “Characters are my forte,” he said. “Once you develop a character, they don’t do willy nilly what you want them to do,” he added. That is to say, they take on a life and even an agenda of their own, sometimes following, but mostly demanding the author follow them.
His ability to turn imagination into a rich narrative form was passed down from his father, another natural storyteller and it combined with his love of the written word, which was a gift from his mother. “Nothing gave my mother more pleasure than a clean piece of paper and a nice writing pen,” he said. So the son of a prolific letter writer and a consummate southern storyteller became an author. “The South is known for its storytelling,” he added. And for giving the world fine weavers of fiction steeped in its forests and swamps and small, southern towns.
Encouraged by his friends and family, along with readers of his column, Albritton has two books now under his belt – Baby Blue and The Albritton Letters, a collection of short stories based on his life experiences.
A Vietnam veteran, Albritton was a criminal investigator in the military, a job that further honed the technical side of his craft, writing many narrative reports. He then went on to a career in the telecommunications business prior to going back to school for a masters in counseling psychology. Graduating, he opted to teach and is now an adjunct professor at Jefferson Davis Community College. This background in psychology has been most beneficial to his writing in giving him an even clearer insight into the life and minds of his characters.
Albritton said that he is always being approached by people asking if they are a certain character in his book. People also ask him why he chose Blue as the family name of one of the main characters. Blue just happens to be his favorite color. Albritton never knows where he will find inspiration. He is a firm believer in the adage “write what you know.” He added that a good story evokes emotion. “If the writer doesn’t feel these emotions, then how can I expect the reader to,” he added.
Albriton has forged a novel that is as dear to his heart as it is true to the times and people who inhabit both. The people he has known throughout his life have shaped both the author and his narrative. Both are in fine form and on display in Baby Blue, a book you should read from an author you should meet. He wants to share that story with you. Come to the library on Sept. 24 and hear all about it.
In other news, the Friends of the Bay Minette Public Library will hold their annual Wine and Cheese fundraiser on Thursday, Sept. 19 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the home of Brad and Jill Santa Rosa located at 610 McMillan in Bay Minette. Tickets are $25 and available at the library or at the door the evening of the event. Jill Santa Rosa is a fabulous potter whose lovely pottery – cups, bowls, vases, etc. – will be available for purchase at the event. A portion of the proceeds from her sales will benefit the library.
Market Days in Blackburn Park presented by the Old Town Bay Minette Arts Council will be Saturday, Sept. 14 from 8 a.m. until noon featuring wonderful handmade, homemade and homegrown items.
Joanna Bailey is the director of the Bay Minette Public Library. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org