Megan Goldin worked as a foreign correspondent for the ABC and Reuters in Asia and the Middle East where she covered war zones and wrote about war, peace and international terrorism.
After she had her third child, she returned to her hometown of Melbourne to raise her three sons and write fiction, often while waiting for her children at their sports training sessions. The Girl in Kellers Way is Megan Goldin’s debut novel. She joins us today to tell us about her daring adventures and writing her first novel.
What makes a daring woman?
A daring woman challenges the status quo and refuses to take "no" for an answer when it comes to demanding change. It's amazing to think that 100 years ago, women did not have the right to vote in most countries in the world. The only reason women were given the vote was because of the lobbying and protests by the suffragettes. I recently saw a photo of women in Chicago in 1922 getting thrown into a police van for wearing one piece bathing suits that today would be the equivalent of wearing long shorts and a tee-shirt. It's by challenging the status quo that we are able to change the world. That is daring.
What has been your most daring move?
Aside from taking a time-out from my career to write The Girl In Kellers Way, my most daring move was leaving home at 19 to backpack through the Soviet Union when it was still a Communist dictatorship. I travelled with a friend from university on the Trans-Siberian railway from Beijing to Moscow. It was a five day journey during which we shared our tiny cabin of four bunk beds with two Russian sailors. Thankfully, they were total gentleman. We drank tea from samovars and enjoyed champagne and Russian caviar that costs pennies in those days because the prices were in rubles and we had foreign currency. We saw Mongolian horsemen on the steppes of Mongolia and traveled through Siberia in the middle of winter. We had to disembark from the train at the Soviet border in the middle of the night to get our passports checked by Soviet soldiers. The temperature was -40 degrees. I'd always been fascinated by Russia. Experiencing the USSR before the fall of the Soviet Union was like watching history in the making.
Tell us about the daring women in your novel?
Mel Carter is a homicide detective who is a single mother trying to hold her family together after her husband was killed in the line of duty. She has to be a father and mother to her two sons while pursuing a demanding career. The other female character, Julie West, is troubled by past tragedies and haunted by the shadow her husband's first wife casts over their marriage. She feels trapped in her small town life. She often jogs along the forest road of Kellers Way to escape her regimented life. One morning, while running through the forest she gets caught in a web of intrigue that makes her question everything she ever believed about her marriage, her life and even her sanity.
Why did you choose female protagonists?
Women have it tough. We are supposed to be the carers, and play a nurturing role whether it’s in the home or the workplace. Mothers fiercely love their children and yet have to try to preserve their own needs and ambitions. By taking care of the needs of others we risk smothering our own ambitions and perhaps even our own sense of self. Even though there is greater flexibility around the roles that women and men play in society today, the expectations of women are much greater than of men. Women are expected to be thin, beautiful, happy, perfect mothers, perfect wives, and often to manage successful careers all at the same time. It's almost an impossible task. In fact, it is impossible. My female characters confront some of those complexities in The Girl In Kellers Way.
Tell us a bit more about your latest book …
The Girl In Kellers Way is a psychological thriller. Julie, the troubled wife of a university professor, believes her husband is having an affair with a graduate student who resembles his first wife Laura, who died mysteriously years earlier. When police open a homicide investigation into Laura's death, Julie's marriage is thrown into turmoil and she is forced to confront long-forgotten memories that make her question every aspect of her life. I like to think of the novel as a psychological thriller wrapped around a crime mystery wrapped around a domestic drama. It's a bit like an onion, as the peel comes off the reader finds out more and more about the marriage, the murder and the hidden secrets. There are plenty of twists and turns along the way. I wanted to write a page turner and I hope that I've achieved that with The Girl In Kellers Way.
The Girl in Kellers Way is out now. You can buy it here.
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