Tim Cahill

in conversation with Michael Shapiro

Recorded July 11th, 2020

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Tim Cahill in conversation with Michael Shapiro

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Tim Cahill is the author of nine books–one of which, Jaguars Ripped My Flesh, National Geographic named as one of the 100 best adventure/travel books ever written.

Tim is a pioneer of literary adventure writing. One of the founders of Outside, he is the author of its long-running “Out There” column, and an editor-at-large. His work also appears in National Geographic Adventure, the New York Times Book Review, and other national publications.

Tim’s travel books include, A Wolverine Is Eating My Leg, and Pass the Butterworms, Road Fever and Hold the Enlightenment. He also wrote the introduction for The Best Travel Writing, Volume 9: True Stories from Around the World. He is also the co-author of four IMAX documentary screenplays, two of which were nominated for Academy Awards.

He lives in Montana, in the shadow of the Crazy Mountains.

Michael Shapiro writes about travel, food, entertainment, art, and environmental issues for magazines and newspapersA former staff reporter and editor at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, he’s the author of The Creative Spark, a collection of interviews with many of the world’s most creative people, as well as A Sense of Place featuring conversations with leading travel writers.

Michael’s stories appear in National Geographic Traveler, The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle and many other publications.

The way I try to get my message across is not with argument or logic. For instance, when I write a story, I try to talk about the thrills the adventure and the pure goddamn enjoyment of being outdoors.

What I would prefer rather than contentiously arguing an issue, is to help people care about the wilderness and make them say, ‘I want to go there, I want to see it, I want to feel that myself.’

So my approach is more to enlist people in this kind of quiet conspiracy of caring than anything else.”

– Tim Cahill

Tim Cahill is the author of nine books–one of which, Jaguars Ripped My Flesh, National Geographic named as one of the 100 best adventure/travel books ever written.

Tim is a pioneer of literary adventure writing. One of the founders of Outside, he is the author of its long-running “Out There” column, and an editor-at-large. His work also appears in National Geographic Adventure, the New York Times Book Review, and other national publications.

Tim’s travel books include, A Wolverine Is Eating My Leg, and Pass the Butterworms, Road Fever and Hold the Enlightenment. He also wrote the introduction for The Best Travel Writing, Volume 9: True Stories from Around the World. He is also the co-author of four IMAX documentary screenplays, two of which were nominated for Academy Awards.

He lives in Montana, in the shadow of the Crazy Mountains.

Michael Shapiro writes about travel, food, entertainment, art, and environmental issues for magazines and newspapersA former staff reporter and editor at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, he’s the author of The Creative Spark, a collection of interviews with many of the world’s most creative people, as well as A Sense of Place featuring conversations with leading travel writers.

Michael’s stories appear in National Geographic Traveler, The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle and many other publications.

Visit the Book Passage website to have any of Tim’s books delivered right to your door.

You’re sure to enjoy these Book Passage favorites:

Jaguars Ripped My Flesh

Jaguars Ripped My Flesh

Lost in My Own Backyard

519D3JT7EKL

Hold the Enlightenment

Hold-the-Enlightenment

Get ready to join Tim in conversation, Saturday, July 11th.

In the meantime, pleaser take a moment now to help shape this upcoming conversation.

Check out the list of questions submitted by other registered attendees, and then vote to support any that match your interests.

Feel free to add your own question. Then spread the word to make sure others have the chance to help move your question to the top of the shared list.

  • 8

    votes

    As you are traveling, what is your process for note taking? Do you keep a journal? Do you ever struggle with wanting to be “in the moment” while also making sure you will be able to recreate the moment in your writing?

  • 7

    votes

    There’s no doubt that the pandemic is going to change travel. What changes do you expect…and how can travelers still find adventure?

  • 7

    votes

    What is your philosophy/stance on being an outsider in a culture when you travel? How do you navigate language and cultural barriers?

  • 6

    votes

    What’s on your still-to-do list?

  • 5

    votes

    You had a brush with death in the Grand Canyon, you also had another solo adventure off trail where you took a spill, and perhaps other adventures in remote places. How would you describe your philosophy, throughout the years, to approaching risk, and were these the trips you considered the most dangerous before you started out?

  • 5

    votes

    You’ve mentioned that you have been skeptical about writers who claim to have epiphanies on the spot—upon reaching the top of the mountain or at the culmination of an outdoor trek—when then do gather the insights for a story? How does a story arc typically develop for you?

  • 4

    votes

    How has it been adjusting to life in a pandemic as someone for whom travel and adventure is such a large part of your life?

  • 4

    votes

    Do you tend to travel alone or with company? Which do you prefer?

  • 3

    votes

    What are the first things you do once you reach your starting point? Do you have a checklist–written or remembered?

  • 2

    votes

    Thank you so much!! for putting on the site the titles of a couple of the books by the author!!!

  • 2

    votes

    When you think, “Uh-oh, there’s no story here,” how do you find the story?

  • 2

    votes

    What was the evolution of your writing career and what challenges did you face moving from writing about rock music and serial killers to outdoor travel?

  • 0

    votes

    You live in Montana, and I am wondering if you know David Quammen who also writes for National Geographic…from what I have read of his adventures, I wonder if it even safe to consider going to the “wilds” of Africa/Asia because of viruses.

  • 0

    votes

    Given the difficulty of making a living in the writing world, would you recommend the profession?

  • 0

    votes

    What is a nice boy like you from Waukesha doing in the wilds of MT. Your friends, David, Dan, John and Glenn.

  • 0

    votes

    Michael, ask Tim if he has ever been to Neptunes in Livingston – done any writing over a tall cool one?

  • 0

    votes

    My question is as comment I’m so sorry to be missing this highly-anticipated event but yet again the book Passage login has me logged in but fails completely to do the watching live so yet again I cannot join the conversation

  • 0

    votes

    What are your other creative outlets?