Athens – Chameleon
My husband Harry and I made a quick trip to Athens, the location for my novel Chameleon. And no, I don’t mean Athens, Greece, (oh, how I wish it were), I mean Athens, Texas. Yes, it was named after the Greece one.
The bluebonnets, our state flower, were almost in full bloom, giving off a sea of blue along the stretch of Hwy. 75 between Dallas and Athens. The reason for our quick trip, I needed to do some research, take some pictures, and eat at The Jalapeño Tree, since I have a scene in Chameleon that takes place at the restaurant.
The food was good, atmosphere—loud with a Mexican flair, bright paint outside and rustic Mexican inside. The service was excellent and the wait staff, an eclectic group of young adults, pleasant and friendly. One in particular proudly wore the badge he used as a guard while working for the prison system, modified and turned into a key fob, hanging from his pant pocket (quite unusual). I even met one of the managers. We talked about the town and my book Chameleon.
While in Athens, I found the building that was perfect for one of the last scenes in the book. Not sure what the building was used for originally, but it suits my purpose to a ‘T’, especially after dark. Also I found the perfect building for the law office of J.R. Thornton, my attorney (not a real one, of course). The building belongs to a real attorney in Athens, and I thought he and/or his landlord did an outstanding job of restoration on the front to give off the bygone era of the early 1900s. What do you think?
I also took a picture of the County Courthouse in Athens, which is the county seat of Henderson County, Texas. I do have a scene out front of the courthouse in Chameleon, and also a short mention of Roni Reeves, my heroine, on her way to the old ramshackle building above going past the courthouse. The courthouse is rather imposing sitting in the center of the town square. (The picture will give you a feel for the town.) I’ve seen prettier Texas County Courthouses, but Henderson County has nothing to be ashamed of either.
One day soon, I will make another run to Athens, Texas, and take some more pictures of the area where I envisioned the Triple Cross Ranch in my book, but of course, it doesn’t exist either. We might even eat at the Marina Restaurant that I also mention in Chameleon, and give you a rundown of the place in another post.
I love trips to the towns that I use as the settings for my books where I get a feel for the countryside, to experience what some of the actual town look like. And it’s a joy to post them so that when you read Chameleon, you too can visualize what Athens is like also. Or maybe you are similar to me, you like to make up your own buildings, restaurants, ranches, and towns when you read books. If so, I hope I haven’t spoiled it for you as you read Chameleon.
I’d love to hear from you.
Do you enjoy seeing some of the places in my books, or would you rather form your own pictures as you read?
But for now, pick up a good book, get lost in the world of make believe, it can only sharpen your mind and take you where you’ve never been before.