Brandon Presser: Author of The Far Land and Writer of Emerging Destinations

 

Angela Tuell  00:05

Welcome to Media in Minutes. This is your host Angela Tuell. This podcast features in-depth interviews with those reports on the world around us. They share everything from their favorite stories to what happened behind the lens and give us a glimpse into their world. From our studio here at Communications Redefined, this is Media in Minutes. Today we’re talking with Brandon Presser called a rough and tough adventurer by Entertainment Weekly, Brandon has visited more than 130 countries. He was a star of Bravo TV’s travel series Tour Group and is the author of The Far Land, a nonfiction adventure thriller. He currently writes for a variety of influential publications, including Bloomberg, Business Week, and Travel + Leisure. Hi, Brandon, Thanks for joining us today.

 

Brandon Presser  00:55

Hey, how’s it goin’?

 

Angela Tuell  00:57

Great. I have to say, how are you doing? You just got back from a long trip?

 

Brandon Presser  01:01

I did. Yeah, I was just in Bhutan, doing a story for Vogue magazine. And the journey there and the journey back is a full two days in a steel tube in the sky.

 

Angela Tuell  01:16

Oh my goodness, do you have any tips on how to make it through that two-day traveling?

 

Brandon Presser  01:22

I like to get really tired before. So the night before I fly really far, I’ll only get you know, three or four hours of sleep so that you can like really conk out on the flights. And I also like to bring a project. So you know, I have, you know, five or six, like really important emails that I need to do something that can keep you busy for at least like three or four hours on any part of the journey.

 

Angela Tuell  01:47

I like those tips. I have to tell you, I’m so excited to talk with you. And I’m really not sure where to even begin. You’ve been to 130 countries, written more than 50 guidebooks as well, and recently published your first nonfiction book. You’ve hosted a television show on Bravo and graduated from Harvard. And I could go on. So why don’t you tell our listeners, you know, how it all began, which I read was as a professional nomad in Paris. Sounds like a book – all of it.

 

Brandon Presser  02:21

No, no. So I was not a nomad in Paris. So I have a very, very real desk job. Okay. But I was always the kid when I was little, my parents would be like, you know, what do you want for Christmas? What do you want for your birthday? I’d be like, Ah, how about a trip to Japan? And they’d be like, Haha, that’s really cute. Like, here’s, you know, a Lego set of an airplane, or like a book about Japan. And I just I was really into atlases, and I was really into maps. And I was really into memorizing capitals, you know, I’d like my grandparents would come and visit I’d be like, asked me what the capital of you know, Bolivia is. Okay, do you think this is fun? Sure, whatever. And that kind of evolved into just like, What can I do to travel? What are the opportunities I can give to myself to go out and see the world? So I studied the history of art and architecture at Harvard, with a focus on Asian art. And this idea that I was gonna become an architect who designed hotels, I wanted to create hotels that felt native to the landscape, you know, opportunities for social interaction, I was just like, really interested in the social element of architecture. And then I kind of got to a point where I was like, I think I actually just like staying in hotels. And I don’t think that I need to, like, get this master’s degree in order to nurture this love of hotels. And then the Paris thing was, I worked at the Louvre after college, because I was an art history major, and they give you so much time off when you work for the government in France, that I was backpacking around Australia. And then kind of found my way into travel writing in that in that capacity.

 

Angela Tuell  04:16

Wow. And so your way was into Lonely Planet.

 

Brandon Presser  04:21

Yeah, so I had written some magazine articles, just for fun about traveling through Europe and living in Paris. I grew up speaking both French and English. So it was easy for me to move between the two worlds. I grew up in Canada and then saw an opportunity to apply for a travel writing position at Lonely Planet. And I just kind of threw my hat into the ring or whatever people say. And I think because they were looking for a very particular skill set where you are really good at the macro and you’re really good at the micro. So like, you can take the destination, digest it, and give it to a reader in 300 words, but you’re also like so detail-oriented that you know that, you know, the bus from, you know, Bangkok to jump on is going to be at 10 o’clock, 10:15, 11:45. Like, you need to have both of those skill sets, which I think is a bit tricky. And that’s what they were looking for in the interview process.

 

Angela Tuell  05:30

So you did some pretty amazing work there and tell us a little bit about your experience.

 

Brandon Presser  05:36

Sure, yeah. So basically, you kind of join this guidebook writing army in a sense, and roughly every quarter, they have a shortlist of books that need research. You are in this author pool where you can pitch to the different editors to join different writing teams. So my work kind of fluctuated between Southeast Asia and Northern Europe and you research them at very different times. So I found myself in Thailand, basically every year for about seven years. From September until Christmas. And so every year, I’d be going back to Thailand and updating the information, or looking for new things. And I was fortunate enough to do all sorts of other countries as well. So I spent a lot of time in Japan, spent a lot of time in Malaysia, up to Canada, and the Caribbean. I did Turkey and Mauritius, and then one of my big ones was Iceland. After the financial crash, they sent me to Iceland to reboot the entire book from zero because so many hotels and restaurants had gone bankrupt. There were so many new businesses that were taking new loans that the old guide was essentially obsolete. And we started from square one. And that was a passion project of mine for about five, or six years. And then I decided guidebooks didn’t really feel like the way that people were consuming travel anymore or travel advice. So I kind of moved on from that to start another phase of my career.

 

Angela Tuell  07:13

Yes. And today you focus your attention on emerging destinations at the intersection of luxury and adventure travel. Can you talk about some of your recent examples of work?

 

Brandon Presser  07:23

Yeah, absolutely. I sort of pivoted to more American publications when I moved away from doing guidebooks. And I find that a lot of American publications are very aspirational or very luxury leaning. And I wanted to find a way to not just kind of luxuriate in the Michelin-starred food and the massages, you know, for me, like travel has always been about connectivity, like understanding how other people live, how other people can see the world and, you know, creating these points of contact, and impact. So for me, it’s always really fun to be the first person on the ground to be boots on the ground in a destination like Senegal, that has direct flights to the United States, but not a lot of people are going, you know, a place like Kyrgyzstan, where we hear a lot about Mongolia. Why aren’t we kind of hearing the same narrative about a country that is very similar in its nomadism and also in its landscape, so places that are ascended, which was really fun and really ramping up before the pandemic. And then I think the pandemic kind of brought everything back to sort of a travel 101, suddenly, everyone wanted to go back to France, England, and Italy. So this year especially has been sort of recasting that. So Portugal is really popular, but I just did a big feature for Bloomberg on Madeira, a Portuguese island off the coast of Morocco, you know, so Portugal is adjacent. And, I just did a very big story for Bloomberg as well on Wales, one of the longest stories I’ve done for them, it was over 3000 words, again, sort of like the UK adjacent, right, like, so finding these moments of adjacency that are places that seem obvious, but unvisited.

 

Angela Tuell  09:16

Yeah. So how do you pick your next destination?

 

Brandon Presser  09:19

It’s a lot of sifting through pitches. I think since you know, we’ve really come out of the pandemic. I’ve The amount of pitches that I get is even more than it was before the pandemic. That’s even if that’s even possible.

 

Angela Tuell  09:37

How’s that possible, right?

 

Brandon Presser  09:38

No, I didn’t know it was possible.

 

Angela Tuell  09:41

There are even more PR people now. Even more, journalists have gone over to be PR people.

 

Brandon Presser  09:46

It’s yeah, it’s unreal. I mean, the amount of emails that I get every day the volume is it’s really next level. I think for me, though, I have just been doing this for such a long time that I see kind of the rolling thunder in the distance. Like I know what country we’re all going to be talking about in 2025. Because I know of the hotel investment that’s happening in the place that will not bear fruit until 2025. So like, I have a good sense of what is interesting, I see governments changing, I see, you know, developments happening. And it’s not just like a very reactive, oh, this place is having a hotel opening in six months from now, like I’m looking really far down the line, like I already have a pretty good sense of the things that I want to do next year, already. Yeah.

 

Angela Tuell  10:46

And a lot of your stories are print. Right? So you do have to plan very far out.

 

Brandon Presser  10:52

Yeah, I do a lot of print stories for Bloomberg especially. And a lot of what we’re doing is we’re having a conversation about where we want to go next year, and then we plant that seed maybe in you know, the where to go in 2023 roundup that the magazine does at the end of the year at the beginning of you know, any sort of end beginning of the year. And then we usually take those destinations and then kind of germinate them and like grow them out into a bigger future. That’s exactly what happened, for example, with Madeira, and with Wales, they were part of our package. And then they both have features in their own right. And then I have another story like that, that I’m writing. Yeah, just looking at some places, even for 2024 already.

 

Angela Tuell  11:41

Wow, I love some of your current work that includes going undercover, such as the one where you worked with the top multimillion-dollar wedding planners with some of the top ones. What was that like?

 

Brandon Presser  11:54

That., so that column, that series has been alive and well for about five years now. And we do it, we do it quarterly. And a lot of people like you should do it monthly, you should do it all the time. Like it’s sort of like, it’s like a big piece of like very sweet candy. Like if you have it every day, you won’t crave it. So like we try to not do it super often. Four times a year seems to be a really good rhythm for the column. And it’s really fun because it happened totally organically, there was no board meeting where we were like we should do this, we should, you know have me go under cover. It started it with like a lunch with a friend of mine who’s a publicist who used to be a publicist for an airline. And he was like what would be a really fun and unique way to cover an airline because airlines have such a hard time getting the press that they deserve? And, it’s interesting because I actually think that people have airline allegiances more than ever, like, I will pay an extra $100 to fly on Delta to avoid another airline. And I think a lot of people are feeling the same way lately, especially with so many delays. And this was a time when really airlines just swipe weren’t getting any exposure. So we were like, well, what if I was a flight attendant, like, what if I actually worked for the airline for a day? Like what would that feel like? And the story, you know, it took a while to get certain clearances and do this, that and the other and the story did really well. And we kind of looked at it like phenomenally well. And we sort of looked at it and was like, well, what’s the what’s what happened here? What nerve did we do we hit on so we decided that I would be a butler at the Plaza Hotel to see if it was this sort of service element that had gotten people hooked and it turned out it was because that story did even better. And then the machine sort of started where I worked on a cruise ship and I’ve worked on a super yacht and I’ve worked on a private jet and I worked at Nobu, as a maître d, I worked at Disney, all sorts of everything. And all in between. I’m doing one in January, that I’ll run probably in February. So we have a few in the pipeline. But they’re great. I think it just like examines sort of the fatal flaws. A lot of travelers like analysis paralysis, people who are spoilt for choice, they just don’t know what to do. And then on the opposite hand, there are people who live in absolute certainty where they’re like, you know, I want my chicken paillard like cut into cubes, and I want like 50% Kale and 50% spinach and like God, you know, so it’s really funny to dip into both of those personality types where people are just like, well, I’m infinitely wealthy. I could order a pizza from Domino’s or I could take the private jet to Milan for pizza for dinner.

 

Angela Tuell  14:52

Right? My kids were talking about that last night at dinner about if you’re the Powerball being so high right now, and, and if asking my husband if you won or something like that. And he’s like, if we won do you think we’d be having a meal out of the crock pot right now? We’d be going out somewhere. So I’m sure it’s very hard to pick and I don’t want to ask you what’s your favorite destination but what have been some of your travel adventures that stick out the most?

 

Brandon Presser  15:23

Sure. I mean, I still get that question a lot like what is your favorite destination? For people who you know who don’t work in the industry? It’s a cocktail party question. And my answer is always favorite for what or favorite for whom I think that you know, a lot of destinations bring have a lot of different attributes. And I think purely for nature for staring out into some VISTA and just being like, wow, there are two destinations that come to mind immediately. One is Norway, Northern Norway is just there’s nowhere on the planet like it in the Lofoten islands. And even north from there, just the mix of mountains see is incredible. As someone who wrote many iterations of the Iceland guide for Lonely Planet and have a lot of Icelandic friends and absolutely loves Iceland, I’ve been to Iceland 40 times I think I am betraying Iceland by saying that I think Norway is actually more captivating and more beautiful. But it genuinely is. The other location is Tahiti, which for the exact same reason gives this really stunning mix of mountain and sea.

 

Angela Tuell  16:33

And Norway, is it through hiking, or what’s the way that you experience it in the northern area?

 

Brandon Presser  16:40

Yeah, a lot of hiking, I think there are a lot of really well-marked trails, especially in the north, it’s a great place to have your own adventure. They know that it’s quite expensive. Labor is very expensive. In Norway, the exchange rate is not particularly favorable to the dollar, but it’s a really good place. To do it yourself. A lot of information is, you know, data pointed out on Google Maps. There’s a variety of really high-quality places to stay, even if you’re booking your own thing. And then Tahiti is sort of the opposite. I think, luckily, because I speak French, you know, Tahiti’s a very easy destination for me. But it’s kept its Polynesian flavor intact, much more so than Hawaii. And I think I’ve read a statistic once that more people visit Hawaii in 10 days than visit Tahiti in an entire year. Yeah, and when I say Tahiti, I don’t just mean the island of Tahiti, French Polynesia. Right, right. Tahiti is sort of a byword for French Polynesia and French Polynesia has five archipelagos of islands, all with like very distinct personalities and typography. You have the Society Islands which are the most famous. So that’s Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, many, many Huahini, and many more islands, Raiatea, Taha’a. And then you have the Tuamotus, which are coral atolls, which are very low. Stan Banks, incredible diving. You have the Marquesas, which is a little bit more far-flung. And those are the individuals who are really the custodians of Polynesian culture on the Neovi straws and the Gambiers.

 

Angela Tuell  18:32

Wow, do you have an article that talks about Tahiti?

 

Brandon Presser  18:35

I do. So the book that you mentioned is a nonfiction book that I wrote, A lot of the book is actually based on Tahiti. So there’s a lot of information, a lot of information there about sailing through Tahiti over to the Gambiers and then beyond French Polynesia, to an even more remote island called Pitcairn Island.

 

Angela Tuell  18:57

Oh wow. Okay, we’re gonna talk about that a little bit at the end, because it’s really important that I want to hear more definitely. I wanted to ask, you know, you’ve said this in other places, but why is travel so important?

 

Brandon Presser  19:11

That’s such a tough question. I think one of the things that I’m most interested in right now is, you know, just with the world, being such a polarizing place, with so many things going on politically, that have been exacerbated by the pandemic, that travel bestows the power to change your mind. And I think, you know, one of the most powerful things that we can do as a person is develop an opinion on something and then have a radical change. And I just, love the idea that you go to different places and you get different ideas. And I think it’s only through cultural exchange that we can kind of make better sense of our lives. And there are so many decisions that are being made around the world that feel extremely myopic when you look at the world on a greater scale. And there’s a lot of talk about sustainability right now and you know, a lot of worries about greenwashing, because oh my god, do I get pitches about hotels that are just like, Oh, we’re a zero carbon, whatever. I made it for five minutes, and I realized like just how much greenwashing is going into staying at the Hotel is sustainable, but not isn’t actually sustainable. My bigger concern is social sustainability. You know, we have social media, I was just in Bhutan, and all these kids are on TikTok. And it’s just sort of unreal how much, you know, social media can link all of us together. But it can also have us all wanting the same things in sort of a bad way. And while I think, you know, climate change is an issue and you know, that travel can be a driver for good, I think we really have to remember that it’s important to be socially sustainable as well, like, what are we doing to keep communities cultural identities intact, and not just becoming sort of bland, but now world’s single world of, you know, big box stores and Tik Tok?

 

Angela Tuell  21:15

That is so important. If you could live anywhere? Where would it be?

 

Brandon Presser  21:19

That’s kind of another question of like, live there, for what? So if I won…

 

Angela Tuell  21:26

At this time in your life, maybe.

 

Brandon Presser  21:28

Yeah, if I won the Powerball and had the opportunity, I’d be like, very greedy with my answer. And I would have an apartment in Paris, I would have an apartment in Tokyo. And then, you know, some cottage lined with Windows on some Icelandic fjord, to get away and get some writing done. There’s this thing in Iceland, like krauma, like simmering. And it’s the simmering of the earth, you know, there’s always a volcano going off, or there’s like a small earthquake or something like that. But it also has this dual simmering of creativity. And I find that my mind simmers when I’m in Iceland. And I come up with really good ideas for stories while I’m there, so I would love to have a cottage in Iceland that I can escape to and write.

 

Angela Tuell  22:30

Oh, that sounds perfect.  I hope you win the lottery.

 

Brandon Presser  22:34

Thanks.

 

Angela Tuell  22:36

I do have to ask about PR professionals, of course. How did they help you do your job? Or do you have any pet peeves besides the 1000s or how many emails are in your inbox?

 

Brandon Presser  22:47

Yeah, I mean, okay, so, you know, whenever we all have this in our life, we have that friend or that quasi-friend that disappears into thin air. And when you hear from them, you know, they want something. Do you know what I mean? Like, we all have that person in their life, where we’re like, Oh, yeah. Now we just sent me a text saying, like, Hey, how are you? What is she gonna want from me, and I, that is a pet peeve in PR, like, I think you’re supposed to nurture relationships, and it doesn’t mean that you need to be checking in with me, you know, once a month like that, that would be overkill.

 

Angela Tuell  23:34

You wouldn’t want to ask for more emails or calls, right?

 

Brandon Presser  23:37

But don’t be, don’t be the person that is only creeping out of the woodwork to pitch me something that they know that I’m not going to be interested in. The best relationships that I have in the PR world are people who come to me knowing that it’s something that I’m actually going to want to do based on the articles I’ve written before. I’m diligent in updating my personal website. And that website is really only for publicists. So that, you know, they have a sense of who I am I say right in my bio, the things that I’m interested in the things that I stand for. And then you can see my archive of articles that I update. I update it once a quarter of like, some of the articles that are most you know, pertinent or at least germane to my interests. And yeah, I just don’t like when a public when I don’t hear from a publicist at all. And suddenly they emerge. And they’re like, hey, Brand, here’s like the things I want you to do for me and do for me.

 

Angela Tuell  24:37

Will you do this traveling family story in the Midwest, or -?

 

Brandon Presser  24:42

Yeah, like it just doesn’t it rubs me the wrong way. I find that I think I fully appreciate rules. And I say this from my heart, I fully appreciate that PR is very two-sided in the sense that a publicist’s job is not only to broker a relationship between a product and a journalist, but they’re also there is also so much babysitting and hand-holding that goes on the client side, I’m fully aware that half the job is being like, It’s okay client, will I got you. Don’t worry, we’re like I know how it goes. However, sometimes I get so much of the babying of the client that I can’t get my job done. And there are publicists and PR firms that I am that are in my orbit that I audibly groan when I have to deal with them. Because I know that I know that they’re a hindrance to getting my job done. There was a project that I was working on recently that I had to put in three times the amount of time because the publicist who was the go-between was not answering emails fast enough. And I don’t and I’m not saying answering emails in 24 hours, I’m saying answering emails in like four days.

 

Angela Tuell  26:04

Oh my goodness.

 

Brandon Presser  26:05

Like wasn’t even answering them within a week. And it’s just like, I don’t expect an unrealistic amount. I tried, I tried it with publicists –

 

Angela Tuell  26:15

I thought a few hours was what we were supposed to do.

 

Brandon Presser  26:18

No, like, like, I want to hear from you within the week that I’m emailing you. And there are there are some publicists that work with that are just so against the grain that I find every which way to avoid them. And then it’s such bad news for their client. And then there are publicists that I love and adore. And whatever client that they’re going to bring to me is just, it’s going to be in the back of my mind when I’m in a pitch meeting with all of my editors, and they’re like, what else is on your desk? I’m like, like, you’re all like the things and you know, a client’s you know, from favorite PR people wind up in my stories all the time, because, you know, we’ve built the relationship.

 

Angela Tuell  26:59

Yeah, that’s what I mean, that’s what public relations is relationships. So, yeah, that’s good advice. I want to talk a little bit about the series that you’re a host of on Bravo Tour Group, in which you led a group of adventure seekers around the world. Was that challenging going from, you know, print journalist, and I know you’ve done some other on air, but to on-air and entertainment host?

 

Brandon Presser  27:23

I think for me, the mission has always been like, let’s get people to travel. And so this was sort of another opportunity with an even bigger platform. So I was really excited about the opportunity. Because I just want people to travel to get to know the world better, and not treat travel as a commodity. I ever, you know, everyone said, saying, like, I collect experiences, and that’s nice and, and, you know, a little buzzy, and I’m glad that people are collecting experiences and not collecting things. But in a way, I don’t want it to be just an experience to be a commodity either. It doesn’t have to be performative. It doesn’t have to be on social media, it doesn’t have to be a thing that you come home and brag about like I just want. I just want people to meet each other from different backgrounds and learn things. And I think that that was sort of the premise of the show that really enticed me because it was on Bravo, it had the Bravo polish, which sort of ended up being like Real Housewives meets National Geographic. And so there were certainly touching and poignant moments peppered throughout. But there was definitely also like, a girl who like slapped another girl. So it was tricky. It was stressful. But it was fascinating to see how you know, like a big-budget TV show is made behind the scenes like I certainly learned a lot. I certainly learned a lot about that. And so that was sort of a fun learning experience for me.

 

Angela Tuell  29:00

Yeah, we’ll, we’ll link to all these things in our show notes for listeners. So there’s going to be a lot there for them to follow up on. Um, what are your favorite secrets and tips to plan the perfect vacation? Maybe for somebody that doesn’t do it often, but they really want to experience other cultures and you know, around the world.

 

Brandon Presser  29:20

I like to use some math when I’m planning a trip, which is if you have seven days, don’t let your flight be more than seven hours. So six days, six hours, 10 days, 10 hours. Obviously, it’s not like a total rule. But it’s sort of I think it’s some good advice to follow. You know, if you have a week off from work, yeah, you can get to Europe. It’s a seven-hour flight. You know that it’ll get you there and back and that’s like a respectable trip. If you have a week off from work, don’t go to Australia. Like you don’t, you don’t have the time. I mean, this is I’m saying this for an American listener, of course. But just think critically about how far you can realistically go. Because if you’re going to spend all of your time in the plane, and all of your time getting over the jetlag, that’s not a holiday, and you’re not even really going to delight in all of the things that are on your itinerary, because you’re just so overtired. I think there’s a lot to be said, for considering places that are closer to home, and much more diverse and surprisingly different than you would think. I think a lot of people, for example, avoid Canada, or, you know, they don’t even consider a place like Quebec City, which is some of the architecture in Quebec City is older than a lot of the architecture of Paris, you’re gonna get that Beauty and the Beast or valley vibe, it’s a one hour flight from the northeast.

 

Angela Tuell  30:57

Right.

 

Brandon Presser  30:58

So it’s things like that, to think a little bit more out of the box. You know, if you have four days, don’t go to Paris, you don’t have the time, you don’t have time. So that rule of hours versus days, I think is really good to apply to the trips that you’re planning. Another thing that you should remember is to end the trip with a reward, and like, think about your trip, like a meal. So you have a three-course meal, like an appetizer, a main dish, and a dessert, like to plan your trip exactly like that. So you land, you’ve just traveled a distance, you’re tired. Do a little something at the beginning of the trip that’s an appetizer for the trip, right? Like, you were going to Thailand. You know, start with a couple of days in Bangkok, you’re where you’re like, okay, like, I’m going to luxuriate in my hotel. But I’m also going to like pop out to do a little street food, I’m going to pop out to do a little shopping. Then you have your main dish, which would be like Chiang Mai, you know, you’re going to this northern Thailand, like this incredible city that sort of has these urban elements, but also these Buddhist elements. And then you’re visiting these farms where elephants are being rehabilitated, or you’re going on hikes with local indigenous people, and you’re really in the meat of the trip. And then your dessert is the reward where you know, you’re gonna get a custom movie, and you’re gonna sit on the beach at your beautiful Thai resort, and you’re gonna have, you know, make sure you end, end with dessert, end with dessert, it doesn’t matter what else you’re doing in the trip, but like, don’t get on the plane at the end of your trip. Put your most expensive hotel at the end of the trip. And don’t get on the plane at the end of the tripping like oh my god, I’m totally exhausted. Wow.

 

Angela Tuell  32:49

I love that. Such great advice. So before we go as promised, I really want to talk about your new book, The Far Land. It won the SATW Lowell Thomas Prize for Best Book of the Year. The New York Times Book Review gave it a lovely review. And Tom Hanks called it more addictive than crack cocaine on his Instagram. I want to know how you got Tom Hanks to read it. Tell us more about the book.

 

Brandon Presser  33:16

The book is essentially in short, 200 years ago, a British vessel disappeared off the coast of Tahiti and everyone thought that the sailors had drowned, it turned out that they had found an uncharted island. And they all moved on to the island and one by one started killing each other in a very Lord of the Flies kind of way. Fast forward to today. And there are still descendants of those people that live on the island. And they live completely disconnected from the rest of the world because no airplane can land there, the island’s simply too small, and too vertiginous. And so only a cargo freighter connects to the island four times a year. I had the opportunity to go to work. And I usually come away from an assignment for a magazine kind of I write it. I’m done. And I’m on to the next but I got totally obsessed with this story. So I ended up writing a book that operates in both timelines. That seesaws back and forth, telling this very kind of real-life survivor TV show element from 200 years ago. And then I go into the mechanics of how a society off the grid works today. And it sort of comes together. And each timeline really amplifies the other and Tom Hanks actually got a hold of a rough draft of it early on and reached out to me and was just like, This is the craziest thing I’ve ever read and I would be happy to endorse it and so I was thrilled that that happened.

 

Angela Tuell  34:49

That is amazing. So can we expect a movie coming? with Tom Hanks?

 

Brandon Presser  34:54

I would I would love that movie or a TV show. It is some complicated stuff. So I think like a little mini-series, it would work wonderfully. So everyone cross your fingers and hopefully there’ll be something in the future.

 

Angela Tuell  35:08

We will. Do you have any more books in the works?

 

Brandon Presser  35:11

Um, I have a few things that I’m thinking about that I’m kind of quietly working on, but we’ll see. Time will tell.

 

Angela Tuell  35:21

Awesome. We cannot wait to keep watching all the wonderful – watching and reading – all the wonderful work you do. Thank you so much for your time today.

 

Brandon Presser  35:29

Yeah, no problem. Thanks so much.

 

Angela Tuell  35:30

Yeah. And how can listeners connect with you online?

 

Brandon Presser  35:33

Um, I use my Instagram a bit @Brandpress. The first five letters are my first name and last name. That’s probably the easiest. Or you can visit my website Brandon presser.com for contact info.

 

Angela Tuell  35:47

Thank you. And we can order your book on Amazon or anywhere books are sold.

 

Brandon Presser  35:52

Anywhere books are sold.

 

Angela Tuell  35:54

Wonderful. Thank you.

 

Brandon Presser  35:56

Thanks.

 

Angela Tuell  35:58

That’s all for this episode of Media in Minutes, a podcast by Communications Redefined. Please take a moment to rate review and subscribe to our show. We’d love to hear what you think. You can find more at CommunicationsRedefined.com/podcast. I’m your host, Angela Tuell. Talk to you next time.

Listen as rough and tough adventurer, Brandon Presser, shares his start in travel writing, why travel matters, how the Bloomberg quarterly undercover series began, and where he’d live if money were no object.

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