Thanks for visiting my little slice of the web. I'm the author of Kickflip Boys: A Memoir of Freedom, Rebellion, and the Chaos of Fatherhood, which goes on sale May 15, 2018. I've written four other books -- biographies and narrative nonfiction -- and have blabbed about those on ESPN, the History Channel, PBS, C-Span, Fox, TNT, and NPR, plus a fun five minutes on The Daily Show.
As a journalist, I've written for Outside, Esquire, Backpacker, Men's Health, Sports Illustrated, Seattle Met, the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. I spent a dozen years as a reporter at the Baltimore Sun, St. Petersburg Times, Bergen Record, Roanoke Times, and Philadelphia Inquirer. I've taught creative non-fiction at the University of North Carolina’s Great Smokies Writing Program, and served on the board of Seattle Arts & Lectures. I'm a runner, reader, skier, stand-up paddleboarder, yogi, and a fan of brown liquor. I'm a naturalized Irish citizen, a mediocre guitar player. I'm from New Jersey.
As a journalist and author, I’ve mostly written about flawed and adventurous men – athletes and explorers, astronauts and bootleggers, warriors and risk-takers. And now: skateboarders. My goal has been to tell inspiring stories that capture the aspirations and the warts-and-all imperfections of those trying to live big, bold lives, especially those who overcome hurdles, hardships, and setbacks. I think "hero" is an overused word. I prefer the term striver.
"A gifted, straightforward storyteller" -The Washington Post
"The prose crackles." -The Kansas City Star
"Deliriously entertaining" -Megan Abbott
“Thompson has attitude, curiosity and affection..." -The Chicago Sun-Times
"Writes with eloquent grace." -The Indianapolis Star
"Neal Thompson has a nose for the strange and wonderful." -Stewart O'Nan
"He is a grand storyteller and does his homework.” -The Boston Herald
"Displays all the skill of a seasoned journalist in his pacing and savvy storytelling..." -Kirkus
"Thompson is the genuine article: smart and witty, empathetic and a pleasure to read." -Darin Strauss