Where Ideas Come From: The Olympian A Tale of Ancient Hellas

OlympianThe story behind The Olympian: A Tale of Ancient Hellas has been floating around my head since I was a kid and saw Rudolph Mate’s 1962 film “The 300 Spartans.”  Thirty-six years later, a friend tossed Steven Pressfield’s book Gates of Fire on my desk and said, I think you would enjoy this.”  My friend was correct.  A few years later, I was getting serious about writing a book.  I wanted to write about the real worth of a human being … what gives a person’s life value.  The Spartan stand at Thermopylae was how I envisioned telling the story.  Then I read an article about an ancient Olympic boxer, Theagenes of Thasos who won the boxing competition at the 75th Olympiad in 480 B.C.  By pulling the two events together — the Olympic Games and the Battle of Thermopylae — I developed the story I wanted to tell to present my core concept: the worth of a man is determined not by what he does for himself, rather by what he does for others.

In 2002, my son Brad and I had dinner with Steven Pressfield at a small Italian restaurant in Malibu.  I ran the idea by him.  He liked it and encouraged me to go for it.  Six years later, the book was in print and the film rights optioned.

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