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 […]






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 […]






Sk8 the St8s skateboarding road trip comes to an end

Posted by on Aug 12, 2011 in Books, skateboard, skateboarding, travel, Writing | No Comments

[Note: this is the final post from my Sk8 the St8s blog, co-sponsored by CBS, chronicling my fathers-and-sons, cross-country skateboarding summer road trip, which I hope will form the basis of a book about the history and culture of skateboarding.] I’m sitting in my backyard in Seattle, about to grill a chicken with my wife, […]






“A Day at the Office”: authors Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan & Peter Mountford

Posted by on Jun 14, 2011 in Authors, Books, Journalism, Newspapers, seattle, Writing | No Comments

Cheryl Tan and I worked together nearly fifteen years ago at the Baltimore Sun. She’s since worked as a fashion writer at the Wall Street Journal and recently published her first book, A Tiger in the Kitchen. During her recent visit to Seattle, I got together with Cheryl and local author Peter Mountford (author of […]






‘Light This Candle’ autographed book giveaway

Posted by on May 5, 2011 in Authors, Books, Light This Candle, space | 4 Comments

Today (as I’ve been reminding anyone on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, or Tumblr who’ll listen) is the 50th anniversary of the day Alan Shepard became America’s first spaceman. In commemoration of that event – which provided the title of my 2004 biography of Shepard – I’d like to offer two signed copies of Light This Candle. […]






50th anniversary of Alan Shepard, and America, in space

Posted by on May 1, 2011 in Books, Light This Candle, space | No Comments

In advance of the anniversary of the day Alan Shepard became America’s first spaceman (5/5/61), I’m posting Light This Candle excerpts this week, along with photos and links related to Shepard and the book. Here’s a sample from Chapter 9, “We made them heroes, the first day they were picked” One day in January of […]






Review: A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism

Posted by on Apr 5, 2011 in Authors, Books, seattle, Writing | No Comments

A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism by Peter Mountford My rating: 4 of 5 stars In one chapter of my forthcoming biography of Robert Ripley, I recount the eccentric, world-traveling “Believe It or Not” cartoonist’s months-long journey through South America in 1925, during which Ripley writes that Bolivia’s sky-high capital, La Paz, looked as […]






My interview with author Karen Abbott

Posted by on Mar 21, 2011 in Authors, Books, seattle, Writing | No Comments

I’d briefly met Karen a few years ago in Asheville, NC, during her tour for her first book, Sin in the Second City. She visited Seattle last month to talk at Elliott Bay Book Co. about her new book, American Rose, a biography of Seattle-born Gypsy Rose Lee. We talked about writing, her naughty parrots, Freedom, […]