How I multi-tasked my way to write a bestselling novel

Author and mum Megan Goldin on juggling work with three boys

July 16 2018

I often joke that boys are like race horses - they need to be exercised regularly. So I spend a lot of time making sure my three sons get plenty of exercise whether it's playing basketball, footy or soccer. It's the best way to keep them out of trouble!

Like many parents, that means hours every week behind the steering wheel driving my kids – Liam, 15, Eitan, 12 and Ari, six – to sports matches and training sessions around Melbourne. All that driving around could create havoc for my writing deadlines, but I try to fit writing around my kids' schedules.

I wrote portions of my new psychological thriller The Escape Room while waiting for my sons at basketball training and while sitting in the car down the block from their primary school before pick-up time. I usually keep my laptop with me so that I can write a few hundred words while I'm waiting to pick up or drop off.

My hectic, suburban Australian reality of piles of laundry, grocery shopping and overseeing homework is far removed from the setting of The Escape Room, a psychological thriller about Wall Street colleagues getting caught in a deadly game while stuck in a lift.

I will sometimes leave the house to write in my car in the driveway just to get away from my hectic household. I need complete quiet when I write and my rambunctious sons make an awful lot of noise when they're at home.

It's not all hard going. My kids' antics have helped me overcome writer's block on occasion. One time my sons had a pillow fight in the kitchen while I was out and they knocked over a sugar bowl. They then tried to clean up the sugar with soaking wet rags, creating puddles of syrup across my kitchen floor. It took me hours to clean up the mess but it made a great anecdote in my debut novel The Girl in Kellers Way.

The Escape Room was released in June by Penguin Random House. It's available at stores and online across Australia and it's also available as an ebook and audio book. Go here to buy Megan's book.

Megan Goldin is the author of The Escape Room and The Girl In Kellers Way. She was a journalist with the ABC, Reuters and Yahoo! news before becoming a novelist.