Raymond L. Atkins’s fourth novel, Sweetwater Blues, has just been released by Mercer University Press. Set in fictional Sweetwater, Georgia, the story chronicles ten years in the life of Palmer Cray, a young man who in the aftermath of his one great mistake confronts regret at his own fallibility, endures punishment for his actions, finds unexpected redemption, and is given a second chance to try to make it all right.
Atkins resides in Rome, Georgia, where he is an instructor of English at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. He lives in an old house with a patient wife and a fat dog. His hobbies include people-watching, reading, and watching movies that have no hope of ever achieving credibility.
His first novel, The Front Porch Prophet, was published by Medallion Press in 2008 and was awarded the Georgia Author of the Year Award for First Novel. Midwest Book Review called it “an intriguing and clever tale, highly recommended for community library fiction collections.”
His second novel, Sorrow Wood, was published by Medallion Press in 2009. As noted in Publisher’s Weekly, “Subtle humor and mostly pitch-perfect prose distinguish Atkins’s compelling mix of mystery and romance, set in 1985 with flashbacks to the 1930s and ’40s. Atkins smoothly weaves past into present as the action builds to a final poignant twist.”
His third novel, Camp Redemption, was published by Mercer University Press in 2013. It was awarded the Ferrol Sams Award for Fiction and won the 2014 Georgia Author of the Year Award for Fiction. “Camp Redemption showcases the best of Raymond Atkins’s talents in Southern fiction: characters who move in with us, for better or worse; a plot that keeps the pages turning; and the stately, elegant prose of a born storyteller. Alternately hilarious, sad, and downright scary, this is Atkin’s best novel yet.” Melanie Sumner, The Ghost of Milagro Creek