On the Cover:
on his memoir, being in the spotlight,
his Angola trip, the Honnold Foundation and life in general.
Cover date: January 2nd, 2016
2015 was an incredibly successful year for Alex Honnold. And as 2016 has just begun, we recently got a chance to ask him a few questions about his best-selling memoir – Alone on the Wall, his book tour, his foundation and a little bit about his take on life.
As always, he kindly obliged.
Editor: We’re appreciate your time, Alex.
When time allows, you read a lot of interesting books. In a recent article, the co-author of your memoir, David Roberts mentioned that he first contacted you in 2010 about writing a book.
Now that it has become a reality, how does it feel?
Alex: Pretty satisfying overall. It’s always nice to see the final result after a long period of effort. It feels very adult.
Editor: You are known to be very direct and honest when asked even the toughest personal questions. The memoir takes the reader into the private side of your life.
What is it like to reveal and share your private life on such a large platform? Did part of you cringe at all?
Or was it liberating on any level?
Alex: I’ve always favored openness and directness so it wasn’t too hard for me to put everything out there in the memoirs. And to be honest, most of my life and history has already been written or talked about in various articles and films over the years.
So in some ways it was nice for me to put it all together in one place and tell the story the way I saw fit.
Editor: After reading some of the articles you had penned, David mentioned that he noticed that you had a flair for writing.
Which chapters or topics were most enjoyable for you when you think about it?
Alex: My favorite part of the book is chapter 3 about soloing the Rainbow Wall in Vegas. I wrote the essay that became the core of that chapter many years ago [when I first soloed the route] and then we expanded it for the book. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever written.
Editor: How did you find the experience of putting a memoir together?
Alex: David really made the whole thing possible, without him there would be no book. But that said, the process wasn’t really so hard. Lots of typing and editing, but it’s an easy story to tell.
And I certainly learned a ton about the book world and how it all works, which was pretty fun.
Editor: Many fans have connected with you through the book, how did you feel about the one-on-one response from them during the book tour?
Alex: I have to say I preferred doing book events to normal slide shows and poster signings, just because I always appreciate anyone actually buying the book. And it means a lot to me that people will actually spend the time to read it.
So it was nice to give talks and interact with everyone a bit; it’s the least I can do for their support.
Would describe yourself as an extrovert or introvert? A bit of both?
Alex: I’ve always been a major introvert, though the whole professional climbing thing has made me much more at ease with groups. But overall I still gain energy by being alone and feel drained when I have too much social time.
Editor: What is The Honnold Foundation working on lately that you’d like to share?
Alex: Well we recently supported a project in Angola [https://sports.vice.com/en_us/video/alex-honnold-climbs-angola] and we’re hoping to do something similar next year. The Angola trip was exciting because it was our first time really spearheading something in a new area. Hope fully we can take what we learned from that and use it in the future.
Editor: What kind of music have you been listening to these days?
Alex: Rock! Modern rock!
Editor: Which was the last movie you watched and enjoyed?
Alex: Star Wars! Though I didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected I guess. But it was still a fun journey.
Editor: Is it fair to say that even if you buy a home someday, the beloved van will always be nearby? It has been a trusty sidekick and fellow traveler for so long.
Alex: Funny enough, I’m sort of in the process of looking for new vans. After living in my van for 9 years I’m starting to think I want something I can stand up in. I might sell my current van to a friend just so it can keep getting use. But I’m thinking about upgrading. Maybe I’m getting old...
Editor: Thanks for your time, Alex.
Photo Credit: Samuel Crossley. All images supplied by Cedar Wright.
ClimbSkiBoulderMagazine.com's book review link for Alone on the Wall.
This magazine makes no profit from any interview.