Q&A With Megan Goldin

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Q&A With Megan Goldin

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas or Hanukah these last few days. As a Catholic the Christmas season goes on till after January 6th hehe. Today’s Q&A is with bestselling author Megan Goldin. Megan is the author of “Stay Awake,” “Dark Corners,” “Night Swim,” and “The Escape Room”. According to her bio on her website, Megan was a journalist for the ABC (Australia’s ABC not American ABC) and reported in the Middle East for the Associated Press, Reuters and other outlets.

Q: What made you want to go from being a journalist to being an author? Both are very impressive.

A: I loved working in journalism. I especially thrived when working on international breaking news stories that were essentially history in the making. I loved the camaraderie and the pressure and the combination of writing under tight deadlines and analyzing events as they happened. I often worked around the clock with little break for days in a row. One can’t do that forever! Eventually I had kids and I’d always wanted to write novels so I decided to give it a go. 

Q: How do you come up with all the ideas for your novels?

A: Each novel has been a different process for me so it’s hard to answer that question. Sometimes the ideas come to me in the middle of the night. Other times, something happens and an idea germinates in my mind over time. With The Escape Room, I was stuck in an elevator at a mall. It was a frightening few minutes. It made me wonder what would happen if a bunch of colleagues who were rivals were stuck in an elevator together for a long period of time and slowly secrets came out that pitted them against each other. I started to write the story without really knowing what would happen next. Luckily it all worked out. It’s a risky way of writing but I tend to go with my gut. 

Q: What advice do you give to anyone wanting to be a journalist?

A: Probably not to do it! It’s a wonderful profession but there are so many challenges right now. Newspapers closing down is just one of them. The industry is struggling to find a sustainable business model. It’s a tough line of work. You really have to love it to pursue it because it also doesn’t pay very well.  Having said that, journalism is a very important profession. It is a key pillar for a healthy democracy. It’s very important to have a media that is impartial, journalists and editors who ask tough questions and constantly hold the government of the day to account. When that starts failing, democracy starts failing. Unfortunately, many local newspapers have closed down and there is less scrutiny on governments, certainly on local governments which is often where grass-roots corruption grows. 

Q: Are you writing a new novel now? Can you reveal any details?

A: My next novel comes out in August. It’s called Dark Corners and it is with Rachel Krall, the true crime podcaster of The Night Swim. It doesn’t matter much whether someone has read The Night Swim or not before reading Dark Corners as the two are separate novels. As for what I’m currently writing: I’ve just started a standalone psychological thriller but it’s too early for me to give details. 

Q: What advice do you give to new authors on how to deal with negativity whether it’s bad reviews, family and friends who aren’t supportive and trolls who have a sick thrill in tearing people down?

A: On the one hand, I like to hear what people say – the good and the bad so I can take note for my next books. On the other hand it can be very demoralizing to the point where I’ve seen comments that have damaged my confidence as a writer! Ideally, it would be best to get someone else such as a family member to filter everything online so that you’re not exposed to comments from trolls. 

Q: Does Hollywood have the rights to any of your novels?

A: Yes but I can’t say much about it as it’s all still confidential. 

Q: If you were to write in another genre which genre would it be and why?

A: I’d love to write espionage thrillers and perhaps literary fiction as well. As a journalist, I also like long-form journalism and I’d love to work on a narrative nonfiction novel in the future. 

Q: When you reported overseas, when you had to report in dangerous
areas were you ever frightened? Reporting in another country sounds thrilling but can be dangerous.

A: I worked in conflict zones for many years. I went through training run by British commandos designed for journalists operating in conflict zones. I’ve been in some pretty hairy situations but I haven’t worked in situations where there is all out war such as in Ukraine. The journalists covering that terrible war are putting their lives at risk every day. I have great respect for them. Without those brave enough to tell the world what is happening on the frontlines, there’s no way for the world to really know what’s happening beyond government propaganda.