A WTF! Q&A with Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Posted by on May 6, 2013 in Books, Ripley, Writing | No Comments

Well this was fun… chatting with the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! folks for their cool WTF! blog. (No, it actually stands for Weird True Facts.) Re-purposing the interview. Thanks for the great questions Suzanne!  Q: What sparked your interest in Robert Ripley?  Why write a biography on him? Neal: For starters, I was shocked and […]






My Q&A with Pulitzer Prize winner Jon Meacham

Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Writing | No Comments

Meacham is the author, most recently, of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, a #1 New York Times bestseller that was named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review, theWashington Post, Entertainment Weekly, the Seattle Times, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Meacham received the Pulitzer Prize for American Lion, his bestselling 2008 biography of Andrew […]






Jane Smiley and Ohio like Ripley

Posted by on Apr 30, 2013 in Writing | No Comments

Just a week until publication day, and already A CURIOUS MAN is getting some early buzz. It was the lead book review in Harpers, taking up nearly a page and a half and reviewed by Jane Smiley – Jane Smiley! Here’s a snippet (warts and all): “Thompson’s spirited but uneven biography charts Ripley’s rise as a popular phenomenon, a […]






A review of the heartbreaking WAVE, by Sonali Deraniyagala

Posted by on Mar 2, 2013 in Writing | No Comments

Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala My rating: 5 of 5 stars My Amazon Best Book of the Month review: In an unblinking act of storytelling, Sonali Deraniyagala ruthlessly chronicles the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami that horrifically snatched from her all that mattered. Throughout this fierce and furious book, I kept wondering how someone who lost […]






Adam Mansbach’s “Rage is Back”

Posted by on Feb 2, 2013 in Writing | No Comments

Rage Is Back by Adam Mansbach My rating: 4 of 5 stars My review from Amazon Best Books of the Month, January 2013: In a show of literary multidexterity, the author of the best-selling faux children’s book Go the F**k to Sleep has written a sassy, snarky homage to ’80s-era graffiti artists and the city […]






Author Ben Fountain’s Book Picks For 2013

Posted by on Jan 27, 2013 in Writing | No Comments

Finally getting around to repurposing this… Thanks Ben! Thanks NPR! December 30, 2012 5:42 PM Listen to the Story All Things Considered 7 min 59 sec Download Transcript Ben Fountain is the author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk and the short story collection Brief Encounters With Che Guevara. Last spring, weekends on All Things Considered spoke with author Ben Fountain […]






Ink, paper, tea, fizzy water, yard work… Ben Fountain talks about writing “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk”

Posted by on May 31, 2012 in Writing | No Comments

My thanks to Ben Fountain for spending time to chat about Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk for this Q&A at Amazon’s books blog, Omnivoracious.com. (Here) Ben’s debut novel – my favorite of the year so far – was an Amazon #1 Best Book of the Month for May. I had previously asked him about the book’s opening line (pictured below): “I wanted to […]






Getting schooled on suds by Garrett Oliver

Posted by on Dec 3, 2011 in amazon.com, author interviews, Authors, Books | No Comments

My Amazon colleagues and I interview the author of The Oxford Companion to Beer.






More interviews at Amazon.com’s Omnivoracious

Posted by on Sep 17, 2011 in amazon.com, Authors, Books, Writing | No Comments

Three more of my author interviews at Amazon’s books blog: –Chad Harbach, author of The Art of Fielding –Laura Lippman, whose later novel is The Most Dangerous Thing –George Pelecanos, whose latest is The Cut And here’s a video interview I did with George in 2009, when he visited Seattle for his previous book, The […]






Recent author interviews at Amazon.com

Posted by on Sep 5, 2011 in amazon.com, Authors, Books, skateboarding, Writing | No Comments

Links to a few of the posts I’ve recently begun contributing to Amazon.com’s books blog, Omnivoracious: Q&A with Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum, authors of That Used to be Us. video interview/reading with Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians and The Magician King  an interview with Seattle Seahawks coach, Pete Carroll, author of Win Forever […]