Why am I reading with a southern accent?

Tennessee Ernie Ford: "It was a dark and stormy night, y'all."

Tennessee Ernie Ford: “It was a dark and stormy night, y’all.”

If you’re familiar with Bad Way Out, you know that the grammar of the narrator, ER Percy, is horrible.  He’s a hillbilly with no use for fancy talk.  So it’s understandable that you read that book (internally or aloud) with a thick southern drawl (as the extremely talented narrator Mr. Nate Daniels did in the audiobook version).

The Closeout Kings is told using a third person omniscient narrator. All the characters are decidedly hillbilly, but the narration is a simple, straight read.  So why then am I reading it with a southern accent?  It doesn’t make sense to me, but every time I pick up a couple of pages and read it I become Tennessee Ernie Ford.

I may have to record a reading and post it to totally humiliate myself.  Maybe then I’ll drop the dang twang and start reading it like a normal person.