Steven Pressfield is the author of Gates of Fire, Tides of War, Last of the Amazons, The Virtues of War, The Afghan Campaign, Killing Rommel, The Profession, The Lion's Gate, The War of Art, Turning Pro, The Authentic Swing, Do the Work, The Warrior Ethos, The Lion's Gate, An American Jew, Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t, and The Knowledge.
His debut novel, The Legend of Bagger Vance, was adapted for the screen by Jeremy Leven and released by Dreamworks in 2000, directed by Robert Redford and starring Matt Damon, Will Smith and Charlize Theron.
Pressfield's father was a Navy Seabee, and he was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad in 1943. Since graduating from Duke University in 1965, he has been a U.S. Marine, an advertising copywriter, schoolteacher, tractor-trailer driver, bartender, oilfield roustabout, attendant in a mental hospital, and screenwriter.
His struggles to earn a living as a writer (it took seventeen years to get the first paycheck) are detailed in The War of Art, Turning Pro and The Authentic Swing.
There's a recurring character in Pressfield's historical novels named Telamon, a mercenary of ancient days. Telamon doesn't say much. He rarely gets hurt or wounded. And he never seems to age. His view of the profession of arms is a lot like Pressfield's conception of art and the artist:
"It is one thing to study war, and another to live the warrior's life."