Meet the Writer: Andrew McCarthy

“When I first met Andrew McCarthy, he had never been published,” recounts National Geographic Traveler Editor-in-Chief Keith Bellows. “He convinced me to take a chance on him.”

The wager paid off. For the past several years, McCarthy has been raking in accolades and awards for his distinctive storytelling and delivering brilliant prose again and again for Traveler, where the actor-director is now an editor at large.

“Andrew proves that if you can tell stories in one medium, chances are you can do it another,” Bellows says. “He has a keen idea for detail, understands the importance of characters, strong narrative and lively dialogue, and brings the places he visits alive on the page.”

Here’s a brief peek at the life and times of Andrew McCarthy:

Q: Where do you call home?

A: I live in New York City, the capital of the world.

Q: Many people were introduced to you as an actor. What made you want to start a career as a travel writer?

A: I started to write about travel because I felt a lot of the travel articles I was reading were missing the deeply personal, transformative nature of my experiences on the road.

Q: How are the two worlds different?

A: Acting, directing, writing–it’s all the same. It’s all storytelling.

Q: What’s your idea of paradise?

A: Paradise is a funny concept. It implies no friction, whereas I think an element of struggle is imperative to any place that’s dynamic.

Q: Do you remember a film that made you want to see the world?

A: Strangely enough, Day of the Jackal [a 1973 film about an assassin’s pursuit of French President Charles de Gaulle] makes the foreign very appealing. Like good travel writing, it uses specific detail of place to help propel the story.

Q: Where do you want to go next, what do you want to explore?

A: I’d love to get to Burma before McDonald’s gets there. I want to explore Bhutan, the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Yosemite. I’d like to write a story about rodeo in the West–it’s quintessentially American, yet a very alien culture to most of us.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewTMcCarthy 

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  1. Sassy
    Snowy East Coast
    February 10, 2014, 6:44 pm

    A rodeo story would be awesome…it’d be just like Straight From The Heart. Now I need to watch that movie. Great interview!

  2. Marylyn
    February 8, 2014, 12:21 am

    Go to Rimrock Ranch in Wyoming….the real deal

  3. Nancy D. Brown
    San Francisco
    February 6, 2014, 7:14 pm

    Andrew, take me with you when you write about rodeo in the West. I’ll explain the difference between a hard and fast rope vs dally ropers – ask a cowboy – it matters – as does the shape of their cowboy hat.

    Better yet, I’ll take you to a dude ranch, complete with rodeo! Lets put this on the books for summer! I’m calling you out, cowboy!!

  4. Erin Smith
    February 6, 2014, 2:53 pm

    Loved his book. Glad to see others embracing him as a traveler too.