Episode 135: The Only Way Forward Is Back – Interview with Brian Meehl

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Hey there word nerds!

Today’s interview features Brian Meehl, author of four novels that have garnered several awards and starred book reviews: Out of Patience, Suck It Up, Suck It Up and Die, and You Don’t Know About Me. His latest genre-bending novel, Blowback ‘07, transports readers back to 1907, a time when legendary coach Pop Warner, future Olympian Jim Thorpe, and the Carlisle Indian Industrial School’s team the “Redmen” revolutionized America’s most popular sport—football.

In a former incarnation, Brian was a puppeteer on “Sesame Street” and in Jim Henson films, including The Dark Crystal and he also wrote for television shows like “The Magic School Bus” and “Between the Lions,” for which he won three Emmys. He lives in Connecticut and is currently working on Blowback ’63 and Blowback ’94, the second and third installments of the Blowback trilogy.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Using history to inspire and inform your writing, and the wealth of ideas that come from true events.
  • The importance of research in capturing details that help your story’s world feel real.
  • Using your research, your area of interest, and the specific idiosyncrasies of your particular topic to fuel your blog and author platform.
  • The benefits and challenges of balancing close points of view with an omniscient narrator.
  • Keeping your own growth and process in mind when you write. You’re not going to publish everything that you write.

Plus, Brian’s #1 tip for writers.

About the Author

Brian Meehl has published four novels with Random House: Out of Patience, Suck It Up, Suck It Up and Die, and You Don’t Know About Me. His books have garnered a Junior Library Guild Selection, a Blue Ribbon from the Bulletin for the Center for Children’s Books and starred reviews in Publishers Weekly. In a former incarnation, Brian was a puppeteer on “Sesame Street” and in Jim Henson films, including “The Dark Crystal.” His transition from puppets to pen included writing for television shows such as “The Magic School Bus” and “Between the Lions,” for which he won three Emmys. He lives in Connecticut and is writing Blowback ’63 and Blowback ’94. For more information about Brian Meehl and his books, please visit www.brianmeehl.com and www.blowbacktrilogy.com.

Blowback ‘07

It has become infamous for stripping children of their language and culture, but most people forget that the Carlisle Indian Industrial School also gave birth to America’s most popular sport as we now know it—football.

In Brian Meehl’s genre-bending novel Blowback ’07; readers are transported back to 1907 where legendary coach Pop Warner, future Olympian Jim Thorpe, and the Carlisle “Redmen” change the game. Their plays and formations like the modern “spread” and “shotgun,” have since become mainstays in high school, college, and professional football.

Clashing twins have one thing in common: an ancient musical instrument left to them by their mother.  When Iris plays the strangely curved woodwind, the trouble begins: the school’s star quarterback, disappears.

Transported to 1907 and the Carlisle Indian School, Matt, one of the protagonists, is forced to play football for Coach Pop Warner as the Carlisle “Redmen” revolutionize Ivy League football. His struggle to “play his way home” is complicated when he falls in love with an Indian girl. Meanwhile, there are a cache of secrets that might help bring back someone very dear trapped in the past.

Blowback ’07 launches a century-spanning trilogy to be continued in Blowback ’63 and Blowback ’94.  Books two and three propel the characters to another illuminating past, and transform them in ways they never imagined.

Link to Episode 135

(Right-click to download.)

If you liked this episode…

Head over to iTunes, leave a review, and subscribe so you’ll be first to know when new episodes are available. Also, if you know anyone who might enjoy this podcast, please share!

Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome!

Enjoyed this article?

Spread the word: