Herodotus, inventor of the Author Event

The Marathon Conspiracy releases today!  It's the fourth in the continuing adventures of Nico and Diotima, as they struggle to keep ancient Athens safe from enemies both domestic and foreign.

Their story continues apace.  The fifth book is written and going into production.  I begin work on the sixth after I return from a fan con and a trip to NY.

I thought this would be a good moment to stop and reflect on the world's first author event.

There was a lad named Herodotus, who lived at the same time as Nico and Diotima.  In fact, he was almost exactly the same age as our heroes.  Herodotus wrote a book that we call The Histories, because it was the world's first book about...you guessed it...history.  While he was at it, he also pretty much invented the field of anthropology.

Then, when he was finished writing, he invented the Author Event.

Herodotus needed to promote his work, you see.  This is an ancient problem.

At the following Olympics, in 440BC, Herodotus walked into the Temple of Zeus, and started reading.  He started on page 1 (scroll 1) and kept reading right through to the end.  Which probably took days.

The Greeks were amazed.  They forgot about the Olympics and crowded into the temple to hear Herodotus read his book.  Authors would kill for that sort of attention these days.

And that was how Herodotus became the famous author that he is.  His book was an instant best seller.  (Alright, it was the only book on the shelves.)  But still, Herodotus had invented the Author Event.


Colin Smith said...

I have Herodotus' HISTORIES on my shelf, and referred to it often during my studies many years ago. I didn't know this about him, though, so thanks for that fascinating detail. :)

I should be receiving my copy of THE MARATHON CONSPIRACY today, and I'm looking forward to it. I'm also really pleased to hear that you've written book five and you're getting ready to work on book six.

I wish you continued inspiration and success, Gary!! :)

Gary Corby said...

Thanks Colin! Yes, Herodotus was an interesting guy in his own right.

Hope you like the book!