Interviewed by Leslie Criss | Photographed by Joe Worthem
Earlier this summer, it was announced that an HBO series will be developed based on Oxford author Ace Atkins’ Quinn Colson book series. Atkins’ latest novel “The
Revelators,” the 10th in the series, came out in July, and he is currently finishing a new novel that will be out in November.
Q: What can you tell us about the HBO series based on the Quinn Colson books?
A: I’ve known about the deal for sometime, but it was exciting to finally share it with readers. HBO bought the rights to all the Quinn Colson novels with a focus on creating a series. I can’t tell you much, but the first season has already been written.
Q: For those who might not be aware, what can you say about Quinn Colson and the book series?
A: I created Quinn as a guy who returns home from war and wants to make a difference in his own community … The first book had him confront a racist militia group that had infested his home county. I like to think of Quinn as the classic American hero who stands up for what’s right. I think he exemplifies the best of the South … I’ve signed on to write at least two more (Quinn Colson books). I think (he) will be around for a long time to come.
Q: Will you be involved in this television project? Do you have any idea when it might be completed and aired for us to see?
A: As a consulting producer, I can promise the show will stay true to the books and north Mississippi and Memphis. We had certainly hoped to be further along in the process by now. But all film/TV production has been shut down during the pandemic. We’re in a holding pattern on that front until we see some improvement.
Q: The books in this series are all set in Mississippi. Has there been any talk yet regarding where the television series might be filmed?
A: I know the producer wants the show to look and feel authentic. Whether that means shooting in a Mississippi county that looks like Tibbehah County or in rural Georgia, I don’t know. I will certainly lobby for filming here, but ultimately those decisions are made higher up the food chain.
Q: What is it about Oxford that makes it seem like a mecca for writers?
A: Square Books and William Faulkner. When I first moved to Oxford, Larry Brown and Barry Hannah were here, and they became great pals. I was lucky to have known them. I think their spirit and Faulkner’s continues to inspire the many writers who make their homes here now. And having the best bookstore in the country doesn’t hurt either.