Podcast Episode 90: Megan Abbott (Author of The Turnout)

Megan Abbott


In Episode 90, Megan Abbott (author of The Turnout) shares how she chooses the worlds she writes about, the expectations of women in sports, and how she researches the worlds she writes about.

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  • Where Megan got the inspiration for this story.
  • Whether Megan feels The Turnout is her darkest book yet.
  • How she turns off the “dark” part of her brain outside of writing.
  • Megan’s interest in family dynamics and family entanglements.
  • How Megan first started writing about female athletic worlds with a dark side.
  • The pressure on young women to be perfect without seeming to exert any effort (i.e. “effortless perfection”).
  • Whether she’d consider writing a book about figure skating.
  • Sarah starts suggesting different sports Megan should write about next.
  • The two old gymnastics memoirs that were big influences for Megan’s writing.
  • Unhealthy parent / child sports relationships.
  • How Megan researches the worlds she writes about.
  • Megan’s trajectory towards writing more and more about adults.
  • How Megan feels about writing for TV vs. writing books.
  • We discuss publishers giving away too much in blurbs (especially for thrillers).

Megan’s Book Recommendations [29:34]

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T LOVE

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Last 5 Star Book(s) Megan Read [44:15]

Other Books Mentioned

About Megan

InstagramMegan Abbott

Megan Abbott is the Edgar-winning author of the novels The Turnout, Give Me Your Hand, You Will Know Me, The Fever, Dare Me, The End of Everything, Bury Me Deep, Queenpin, The Song Is You and Die a Little.

Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, the Guardian, Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, and The Believer. Her stories have appeared in multiple collections, including the Best American Mystery Stories of 2014 and 2016.

Her work has won or been nominated for the CWA Steel Dagger, the International Thriller Writers Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and five Edgar awards. Formerly a staff writer on HBO’s David Simon show, The Deuce, she is now co-creator, executive producer and show-runner of Dare Me, based upon her novel, for the USA Network and, internationally, Netflix.

Born in the Detroit area, she graduated from the University of Michigan and received her Ph.D. in English and American literature from New York University. She has taught at NYU, the State University of New York and the New School University. In 2013-14, she served as the John Grisham Writer in Residence at Ole Miss.

She is also the author of a nonfiction book, The Street Was Mine: White Masculinity in Hardboiled Fiction and Film Noir, and the editor of A Hell of a Woman, an anthology of female crime fiction. She has been nominated for many awards, including three Edgar Awards, Hammett Prize, the Shirley Jackson Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Folio Prize.

Next Episode

In 2 weeks, Caitlin Wahrer, author of The Damage, is joining me (airing August 18).

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