Secret Library Podcast


Secret Library Podcast Episodes

#34 Scott Carney

Scott Carney |

Scott Carney |

Scott Carney knows how to write a pitch. Not only do his articles get published, he's now on his third book.

Scott has an impressive resume: he's given a Tedx talk, was a contributing editor at Wired, and has also written articles published in Mother Jones, Playboy, Men's Journal, Foreign Policy, Discover, Outside and Fast Company. He has a degree in Anthropology and loves digging deep into a subject. But even more than that, he fell in love with debunking things. His first two books were exposes on the underworld of organ trafficking and what happens when spiritual retreats go wrong. He had a solid history behind him when he decided to debunk Wim Hof, a Dutch health guru living in Poland. Scott pitched an article about his intense cold-weather conditioning method and set off to Poland to take it apart. Upon his arrival, he beat Hof at chess and then agreed to give his method a fair shot before tearing it apart. The only problem? The method worked. This episode, Scott and I talk about what happens when a skeptic gets converted, how you can turn an article into a book, and what it was like rolling around in the snow in Poland. For those who enjoyed the idea of Stunt Journalism back in episode 19, Scott's latest book definitely qualifies for that topic. I had a blast recording this, especially since Scott and I went to college together and hadn't talked since then. So fun to see what people have done out in the world since graduation.

Listen up on iTunes | Scott Carney's Website | Twitter | Facebook | What Doesn't Kill Us | Word Rates

Show notes for Episode 34 with Scott Carney:

  • What Doesn't Kill Us blowing up after release (3:45)

  • Health and pushing your limits as a book topic (4:45) Mentioned: Born to Run

  • How Scott started the path of debunking bullshit with writing (5:00)

  • Delving into the reality of organ trafficking (7:00) Mentioned: The Red Market

  • Writing an expose on a questionable meditation program (7:45) Mentioned: A Death on Diamond Mountain

  • Finding Wim Hof and deciding to debunk him (8:15)

  • Giving sources a fair shot and experiencing Hof's method directly (8:30)

  • What happens to the body when exposed to cold (10:15)

  • The point when he re-evaluated the debunking goal (11:20) Mentioned: Stripes and the push-ups

  • Climbing a mountain in shorts (14:00)

  • Publishing the article in Playboy and the timing of expanding it into a book (14:40)

  • Scott's personal practice after the Hof training (15:40)

  • Writing about science (16:30)

  • Looking at claims Wim Hof made and scientifically testing them (17:30)

  • Researching the book via case studies (20:00)

  • Making a living when working on long-term projects (20:40)

  • Starting with magazine writing and building a book (21:50)

  • The business of journalism the importance of contracts (22:45) Mentioned:

  • Where the money comes from for writers (24:00)

  • Getting articles optioned as movies as a business model (25:00)

  • Why we need Ransom Riggs and John Green on the show to talk about movies made from books (26:00) Mentioned: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

  • Contracts are everything- keep your rights! (27:45)

  • Re-negotiating a previous book after it wasn't set up to succeed (27:45)

  • Using an NPR appearance to negotiate the next book deal (29:30)

  • Getting rights back to a book based on contract awareness (30:45)

  • Dividing up your rights and how to make more money this way (31:15)

  • Recording the audiobook at home on a budget (32:20) Mentioned: Audible edition of What Doesn't Kill Us

  • Putting the practices from the book into practice at home (34:45) Mentioned: Wim Hof breathing method

  • Getting over the fear response (39:00) Mentioned: Tara Mohr on fear

  • Friendly tiger Korean spas (41:00)

  • The formula for writing a book (42:30) Mentioned: Scrivener

This episode sponsored by Pretty by Post

Pretty By Post | Dear Book Dr. |

Pretty By Post | Dear Book Dr. |