Edwin is a free thinker and it makes for a fascinating interview. Welcome, Edwin …
Edwin Herbert is president of his local freethought society, has been a regular op-ed newspaper columnist on topics concerning science, skepticism and the mythical roots of various religions. He has a busy optometric practice in Wisconsin, where he lives with his wife in their empty nest. Mythos Christos is his debut novel.
Mythos Christos by Edwin Herbert may be purchased using the links below:
Why do you write?
Having spent years researching the mythicist theory (the idea that the Christ figure was mostly, if not completely, mythical in nature), I thought someone should really write a suspense/thriller about this topic to reach people who aren’t as apt to pry open the dusty tomes of nonfiction, hence never come across this fascinating material. I then asked myself, if I don’t write it, who will?
What are you currently working on?
I am now writing a sequel to Mythos Christos, this time featuring the powerful De Medici family of Renaissance Florence. It will entail another treasure hunt for Lex Thomasson, only now involving the myth of Moses and the Exodus.
From where did you draw your inspiration to write Mythos Christos? What writers most influenced you?
The works of historians Richard Carrier, Dennis MacDonald, Bart Ehrman, and Robert Price, the recondite and mysterious books by David Fideler and Kieren Barry, and various works by D.M. Murdock and Earl Doherty were my greatest inspirations and vital sources of information. They sparked my zeal to share this knowledge in my own book(s).
The fiction writers who most influenced me were Steven Pressfield and Michael Curtis Ford for their ability to create authentic historical settings that left me feeling as though I were there experiencing firsthand the events in those time periods.
What was the last book you read?
I recently finished In the Blink of an Eye — how vision sparked the big bang of evolution, by Oxford zoologist Andrew Parker. Wonderfully written and packed with new information about the Cambrian explosion. Yes, I’m a nerd who loves science!
Do you suffer from writer’s block?
Occasionally, but not often. Like a teacher who loves his job, I’m moved by an inner impulse to impart fascinating learning in creative ways — fact-based fiction.
What is your biggest frustration as a self-published author?
Personally, my greatest frustration was spending two years to acquire a literary agent, waiting as she pitched only the largest publishers (surprise! they were unwilling to take on a debut novel from a new author!) only to find she was unwilling to pitch any mid-level publishers, and after a year she gave up and I was once again on my own. But at least it gave me time to polish my prose to a fine sheen.
Do you like using social media?
I have become fond of Facebook and to some extent Goodreads, but I’ve attempted little else. Just recently got a Twitter account, learning as I go.
Who are your biggest fans?
My most ardent fans are friends from my freethought society and members of our local writers group, who were willing to read my manuscript in its roughest form and help me make it shine. I owe them much.
What is #1 on your bucket list?
I’d like to visit Italy and Greece, perhaps on a Mediterranean cruise. Soon, I hope.
Any special message for your readers?
To my readers who are lovers of historical fiction and those with open, yet skeptical minds who are interested in questioning everything. Stay tuned — we’ll be exposing more truth soon!
Edwin, thank you! A wonderful interview, fascinating … and yet another book on my TBR list.
About Mythos Christos
Alexandria, Egypt / AD 391 –
When the great temple of Serapis and its library annex are destroyed by the Christian mob, the Neoplatonist philosopher Hypatia becomes concerned the Great Library might suffer the same fate. She vows to save as much of the ancient knowledge as she can, especially certain telling documents concerning the origins of Christianity. But rather than merely hiding the heretical scrolls and codices in desert caves and hoping for the best, Hypatia contrives a far more ingenious plan. She sets up an elaborate sequence of burials, each of which is governed by actual ancient linguistic and geometrical riddles which must be solved to gain access. Only one steeped in Platonic mysticism would be capable of finding and unlocking the buried secrets.
Oxford, England / June, 2006 –
American Rhodes scholar Lex Thomasson is sent to Alexandria to aid a mysterious Vatican group known only as “The Commission.” They require a specialist in ancient languages to solve a sequence of Greek Mystery puzzles in what soon becomes evident is Hypatia’s ancient treasure hunt. The Oxford paleographer demonstrates his unique talents by unlocking the secrets along the trail. It does not take long, however, for him to become suspicious of the Commission’s true motives, and the trail becomes a trial fraught with danger.
The scene alternates between the two time periods. In both, assassins lurk and fanatics abound. And all along, religious Faith and historical Truth struggle for supremacy.
Top Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining blend of history, comparative mythology and edge of the chair fiction.
ByStephan C Schlotteron September 10, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Mythos Christos, the debut novel of Edwin Herbert, is a recent contribution to the sub-genre
of fictional works concerining the historicity of the story of Jesus of Nazareth and the
early Christian church. Unlike Dan Brown’s novels which posit a hidden/distorted history of
a real historical figure, Herbert’s novel and its plot rests upon the still more controversial
notion that the Jesus of the Bible is entirely fictional. Informed by the scholarship of Richard
Carrier, Robert M. Price, Earl Doherty, and the late D.M. Murdock (a.k.a. Acharya S.), the novel
is almost as much a primer on comparative mythology as it is a nicely paced and action packed
thriller. The story shares the cloak-and-dagger and conspiratorial elements of Brown’s work, but
with a different reality that the religious establishment is desperate to keep hidden.
The story features two parallel but intimately linked plot lines, with one taking place in the near
present and the other setting in the early fifth century C.E. The central character in the first
setting is a young aspiring philologist who unexpectedly finds himself providing expert assistance
to a Vatican archaeological team at a dig in Egypt. The second setting revolves around the Greek
philosoper Hypatia, who is desperately working to fend off an assault on ancient philosophical
and pagan traditions by the Roman church. Realizing that she is fighting a lost cause, Hypatia
and her sympathizers work to secretly store documents and other evidence that would be damaging
to the beliefs upon which Christian theology ultimately depends. Hypatia’s hope is that some seeker
of the future will discover her treasure trove and preserve it for posterity. Fast forward to the
present and we find our eager young scholar following a trail of evidence that will lead to
Hypatia’s storehouse of knowledge – unaware that the leader and the sponsors of the project are
hoping to destroy this very same evidence.
I note a delcious irony in the juxtaposition of Hypatia’s efforts to preserve centuries-old traditions
against the assault of the new (i.e. Christianity) and the modern day campaign by the Christian and
Muslim right to beat back today’s assault of the new (i.e. modern science and secularism). However, I
sincerely doubt that today’s defenders of the faith would have much sympathy with Hypatia. I also note
a second source of irony. Hypatia was first and foremost a philosopher, and thus she is a representative of
Greek rationalism that finds itself in opposition to the encroachment of a doctrine that is constitutionally
incapable of sharing space with other world views. Sounds similar to the situation in which we find
ourselves today – does it not? Hypatia understood the difference between mythic truths and literal
truths. This distinction seems to be lost on the modern world.
I strongly recommend Edwin Herbert’s novel, Mythos Christos.
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