A couple people have asked me how a bit of Greek mythology ended up in my first novel, Athena Creek. There was nothing magical, no major inspiration or epiphany. I was simply trying to think outside the box.
One of the things writing professionals tell you is to stay away from cliches, do something different. So when I set out to name the towns in Clayton County, I tried to think of something unusual, a name that didn’t fit the typical tough cowboy feel.
I started with the character who named the town. Charles McCrae is the suspected villain in the story. He’s a city boy who has a passion for the arts. I decided to give him a fascination for Greek mythology before sending him on a journey across the Oregon Trail.
Because of his personality, I wanted to go with a feminine name and yet something powerful. At first I thought of Aphrodite, but that was a bit too much of a mouthful. So I went with Athena instead, goddess of war. To make it fit better, I chose “Athena Creek”. And that’s all there was to it!