Author Interview: Megan Goldin

Welcome back, nerds! This is my last post on the Blog Tour train for The Escape Room by Megan Goldin. All aboard, bitches!! Choo-fucking-choo!

If you haven’t already, click here to read my review. And click here to read an excerpt from the book provided by the publisher. The blog tour for this debut thriller is running until August 13th, so make sure you check out other blogger’s posts and reviews and opinions. But always remember, mine is the most important.

crushed new girl GIF

I really liked this book. Maybe you don’t believe me. Maybe you’re assuming that I’m just kissing ass because I was invited on this blog tour. There are only two things I can say to that. One, are you new around here? And two: check out my blog tour for The Ancient Nine, because that book was a snoozer and I was super honest about it, making it awkward for everyone involved.

Thankfully, St. Martin’s Press didn’t hold it against me, so obviously they’re cool and you should definitely buy all of their books if you want to support dope publishing houses.

(That was definitely ass kissing.)

Speaking of cool, MEGAN GOLDIN, y’all! This author can write. Again, check out my full review, but I just have to reiterate that The Escape Room is such a fun thriller with completely a satisfying revenge plot. I totally recommend it for your endless TBR pile!

So, just who is the author of this little gem of a DEBUT book? Well, hold on to your butts, because she might be my new hero.

Megan worked as a correspondent for Reuters and other media outlets where she covered war, peace, international terrorism and financial meltdowns in the Middle East and Asia. Um, hello?! Impressive much?

She is now based in Melbourne, Australia where she raises three sons and is a foster mum to Labrador puppies learning to be guide dogs. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Could she be any more perfect? After all those intense professional credentials she’s now fostering guide dogs?! This lady is amazing.

Where did the inspiration for the novel come from? Who’d she like to see play the parts in a movie adaptation? Read on to find out!

🔪HTFT: How did you become inspired to write The Escape Room?

MG: There were a number of inspirations that led to me writing The Escape Room. First of all, I’d had my third baby and for the first time since my working life began, I’d taken a year or so out of the workforce to be with him. When I started looking to go back to work, I interviewed for a job for which I should have been a serious candidate as my experience closely matched the job description and I’d done something similar before for a similar company. Instead, the interviewer ate snack food throughout the interview with, let’s just say, very bad table manners. He crunched particularly loudly every time that I spoke. I drew on this experience when I wrote about the job interview from hell that Sara Hall went through in The Escape Room. It made me feel powerless. I told friends about what happened and they shared with me their own horror stories in the workplace. It made me want to explore sexism in the workplace in my next novel. It also inspired the idea of a revenge theme. I liked the idea of someone who is beaten down by the system making a comeback.

Around that time I was also stuck in an elevator. I’d gone shopping with my kids. I had a cart full of food. The elevator stopped and the lights went off. It took a couple of minutes until we were able to get out but it was a dark, cold, and frightening couple of minutes in that elevator. I’d been thinking about a setting for this thriller revenge story that I had in mind. It struck me that the elevator was a perfect setting. I was fired up by the challenge of setting a novel in an elevator. It also served my purpose well. I wanted to put my characters in a pressure-cooker atmosphere where animosity would build as they learned each other’s secrets. An elevator was perfect.

🔪HTFT: It definitely was! What was your research process like when writing about the financial industry in the U.S? 

MG: When I research my books, I apply journalism skills acquired over the years. That means immersing myself in whatever information I can get ahold of. I read books, newspaper articles, elevator manuals, and even journal studies on human psychology. I also followed forums for investment bankers and others working in the financial industry and some of their social media feeds. I spoke with people who worked in the world of finance and also drew on material that I’d collected in the past. For example, there were big name investment banks in my previous office building and I’d often overhear bankers and brokers chatting in the elevator about their personal lives and work, or in my condominium building where many of them lived. I tend to write and research at the same time as I don’t plan my novels other than the story arc. As the story evolves on the pages while I write, I’ll stop writing for a few hours and branch out to research whatever might be relevant for the novel. In the case of The Escape Room, that included issues such as ‘game theory’ and things as mundane as technical manuals about elevator safety mechanisms and issues related to guns and ballistics. The research is one of the fun parts of writing a novel. I get to learn new things and it breaks up the intensity of writing. 

🔪HTFT: What authors do you look up to or find inspiration from?

MG: There is an endless list of authors, from crime and thriller writers, to literary fiction, classics, and non-fiction. Now that I am writing myself, I tend to analyze other books as I read. I look at plot, structure, character, voice, and various other writing techniques. Even as a journalist, I always saw writing as a constant process of learning and refining. I think it’s a lifelong endeavour. Among my favourites is John le Carre. I consider his novels master classes in suspense writing and I often reread them. Yuval Noah Harari’s series, starting with Sapiens, was another inspiration behind The Escape Room, as I’d been reading it and watching Yarari’s lectures on Youtube. It made me look at office culture through a prism of evolutionary biology. Offices are a modern-day human habit and the backbiting office politics is really a case of survival of the fittest.

🔪HTFT: If The Escape Room was to become a movie, and it definitely should, which actor or actress would you like to play some of the roles?

MG: Well, a close friend just suggested Bradley Cooper for Vincent! Or perhaps Colin Farrell, Ryan Gosling or Jesse Eisenberg for Sam and Jules. As for actresses, maybe Jennifer Lawrence for Sylvie, or Anne Hathaway or Margot Robbie for Sara Hall. Lucy could be Emily Blunt. 

🔪HTFT: Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like to talk about? 

MG: I am working on my next book. It’s also a thriller and it addresses contemporary themes but it’s quite different from The Escape Room. I’m a little hesitant about how much to divulge at this point until it’s done.

🔪HTFT: Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions! Is there anything else you’d like to add before we sign off?

MG: I’m extremely touched by all the support and feedback that I’ve been getting from so many bloggers and reviewers who are passionate about The Escape Room and who love the characters. Thank you all so much.


You can buy The Escape Room here.

And you can find Megan on Twitter.

Until next time, booknerds…

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