A Superstitious Lover of Silver-Gray Metal

Journalist Tom Zoellner Takes Questions in the Green Room

Journalist Tom Zoellner has written five nonfiction books, including Uranium, which traces the story of a coveted and dangerous substance, and A Safeway In Arizona, which examines the shooting of the author’s longtime friend Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Before participating in a panel to discuss whether Arizona is on the front line of American politics, Zoellner took questions from Zócalo in the green room.

What’s your favorite element in the periodic table?

A. Cobalt, without question.

Q. Beatles or Rolling Stones?

A. Neither.

Q. What’s the most misunderstood thing about Arizona?

A. That is not going to be a one-word answer. The fact that politics is not what ails us. Deeper sociological pathologies are at work.

Q. How do you like your eggs?

A. Scrambled, with salsa. Preferably broken.

Q. You worked at Men’s Health. Did that make you healthier?

A. No, actually, I know nothing about workouts, and my abs are a disaster.

Q. What’s the worst part of writing a book?

Letting go of it.

Q. What’s your favorite animal?

A. Kangaroo rat.

Q. Do you have any superstitions?

Too many to count.

Q. What song are you most ashamed to love?

A. Well, on the drive over here, I did not turn off “Too Shy” by Kajagoogoo.

Q. You’ve written about blood diamonds. Does Leonardo DiCaprio do a good Rhodesian accent?

A. Flawless.

*Photo by Felipe Ruiz Acosta.