The Vinings resident’s range in subject matter — from Civil War allegories to an autobiographical account of his 50-year real estate career — is manifested in the project’s 42 articles of historical fiction and non-fiction.
Perhaps one should not expect anything less from a writer who termed his skillset as “individualistic.”
“My style changes with whatever I am writing,” said Blackwell, a Buckhead native. “For example, there is no resemblance in the style used in ‘White Sepulchres’ and that used in ‘Significant Transactions.’”
The latter chapter assesses Blackwell’s aforementioned prolific run as a Realtor. The former is a fictional narrative about religion and moonshiners in North Georgia back in the 1950s.
“I have a good knowledge of that area, the Baptist religion and of moonshining,” the author said.
“White Sepulchres” centers on Atlanta bartender-turned preacher Verlon Dixon and his former exotic dancer wife, Trixie. The couple’s new pious life is interrupted when murder is committed in the church basement. To further complicate matters, the Dixons are kidnapped by warring moonshine factions.
“I have always had a vivid imagination,” Blackwell said.
That trait is also present in the book’s titular story, one among several set during the Civil War. The “Blue Locusts” plot follows the travails of protagonist Liz Williamson, charged with running the family farm while her husband is away fighting for the Confederacy in Virginia. Unbeknownst to Williamson, she and her brood are on the cusp of experiencing the horrors of war firsthand.
“She has no clue as to what Sherman’s army is going to do to south Georgia, but she soon finds out as the war comes to the Williamson farm,” Blackwell said.
For the author — making the rounds at Rotary, Optimist and other local civic groups — his latest project is also something of a family affair, and the culmination of a four-year effort.
“My wife, Terry, is a professional editor and has been a tremendous help in putting the book together and getting it on the market,” he said.