LaFayette native publishes books about life in Chambers County

Published 10:00 am Thursday, July 6, 2023

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LaFayette native and author Sid Mickle has self-published two new books this year. The first is a tribute to Chambers Academy’s class of ‘73 aptly titled “The Class of ‘73,” and the second is his newest novel, “If I Could Turn Back Time.”

The local author has written five books since 2021, three nonfiction works, including “A Backwards Glance” and “Principles: How to Create a Principled Business Culture.” In 2021, he also wrote his first mystery novel, “Who Killed Glenna?” 

For the 50-year anniversary, Mickle delved into the history of the school, memorable stories and people from his graduating class at LaFayette’s Chambers Academy.

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“It’s just wonderful to me that a school that started in an excess motel room in 1969 is still around today,” Mickle said. “And I just wanted to do something for the school and for my classmates.”

His newest novel, “If I Could Turn Back Time,” is a reflective story that plays with science fiction conventions. However, all of his works reflect the people he has known over the years and the age-old questions about fate, faith, friends and hope.  

“The novels are about people who go through real struggles,” Mickle said. “I mean, they’re generally not bad people, but they do really dumb things. And they get themselves in really big trouble like I did most of my life.”

The story follows a high school athlete who makes a successful career but lives with regrets about his perceived failures that ultimately cause him to question his choices in life. Mickle said the structure of the novel utilizes time travel.

“You have to have to imagine time travel is possible if you’re going to really enjoy that book,” Mickle said. 

His debut work, “A Backwards Glance: Stories from My Southern Childhood,” was an autobiographical narrative filled with stories and remembrances from his time growing up in Chambers County. He went to LaFayette junior high and later he played football for Chambers Academy. After graduating, he went to Troy University to play football. 

“Didn’t work out real well. They said they sent me back in pretty soon,” Mickle said.

He got his degree in marketing from Troy University. He worked as a business development manager and consultant for several marketing companies throughout the years. After a successful career that involved a lot of traveling, Mickle retired, and he and his wife returned to Chambers County.

Mickle began writing soon after that and has completed five books, two of which are novels. He said one of the highlights of experiencing his writing is that many of his friends and family recognize themselves in his work. 

“All my books — the novels — are about people I knew,” Mickle said. “Every character in every one of my books is either a real person and I talk of them as a real person, or they’re characters that are developed from people I knew and grew up with.”

Mickle’s time in school plays an important role in his writing. His first book came from memories of his childhood but they bleed into all of his work. “The Class of ‘73: Chambers Academy” focuses on his small, close-knit graduating class and their history. 

“It’s the early days of our class, and our class is kind of unusual, because we are in our 60s now, and we are still very close,” Mickle said. “We’ve lost a lot of people. There were only 28 of us in our class helps to be close when there’s a small number.”

The heart of his new novel focuses on the truth behind experiences that he and others like him had in life.

“This is probably the most mature audience book I’ve written, but it’s just the truth. It’s what happens,” Mickle said. “And a lot of it is factual things that I went through things that I went through and really close personal friends went through.”

Mickle plans to continue his mystery series based on a character from his novel, “Who Killed Glenna?”