Ace Atkins's novels include the Army Ranger Quinn Colson series, The Ranger and The Lost Ones.
From the author's Q & A with Allen Mendenhall at Southern Literary Review:
SLR: You seem to have located The Ranger in regions of the South that you know well. Would you call this book “Southern literature”?--Marshal Zeringue
AA: Absolutely. I don’t get into working in a certain genre — that’s up to readers and critics — and can hurt the writer and reader. My new series of novels could not be set anywhere else but the South and certainly centers on many Southern themes. I gain a lot of inspiration from the gritty world of Faulkner’s crime stories and turn my attention to the descendants of those people.
SLR: I noticed that country music and country musicians appear throughout The Ranger. Can you tell us about the significance of this to the novel?
AA: My first four novels were stylistically and thematically about blues. I always wanted to work on a novel that felt like an old Johnny Cash ballad — a solider returning home to town, unrequited love, guns and violence. I listened to a lot of Johnny Cash and also tons of Outlaw Country — Waylon, Merle, etc. — when coming up with the background of Quinn Colson.
SLR: Who is Colonel George Reynolds? I noticed his name in the Acknowledgments.
George is the guy who saved my ass. I had...[read on]