Elliot Ackerman has spent a lot of time in the thick of complicated conflicts.
He served five tours as a Marine in Iraq and Afghanistan and now works as a journalist and novelist in Turkey.
Based on his background and the setting of his books, you might assume that his fictional works are all about war, but that's too simplistic.
• Earlier: Elliot Ackerman on 'Green on Blue'
"I think that people can project onto wars, in many respects, kind of whatever they want whether it's that darkness or it's all of their ideals. It really can become a Rorschach test for how someone is viewing the world."
Instead of focusing his gaze on the battlefield, Ackerman zeros in on the internal conflicts, deception and emotional ambivalence that permeates the lives of those surrounded by violence.
His latest novel, "Dark at the Crossing," is set on the border of Syria and Turkey.
"The complexities of the politics over there can seem completely impenetrable," Ackerman said.
His writing cuts through the tangled web of politics with something that crosses all political and religious lines: emotion.
Ackerman uses the prism of a failed marriage to also look at the failed revolution in Syria.
"When two people come together and get married, it's an adventure of the heart. It's two people having to share a vision of what they can become, and completely upending their worlds to invest themselves in it to create a new world," Ackerman said. He also noted that when things start to fall apart, like the revolution, "You can no longer believe in that world you were trying to create."
A version of this discussion was condensed for time on the air. You can hear the full version in the player above.