Maggie Ginsberg’s love of books

The February issue of Madison Magazine is a love story for local authors from our own book-loving Associate Editor.
Photo by Andrea Behling

We were rounded up.

Usually that makes me angry, but in this case I’m thrilled.

A feature article about our own assistant editor Maggie Ginsberg appeared in the Mount Horeb Mail newspaper in December, in which editor Matt Geiger mentioned her upcoming debut novel, ‘Still True’. It’s a beautiful profile on an equally charming person. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Maggie better over the past year as she joined our team full-time after freelancing for the magazine since 2006.

After reading the first page or just talking to Maggie for a few minutes, you’ll understand that she’s an avid storyteller who enjoys the process immensely. And she loves books. Boy, does Maggie like books. It’s become a running joke in our office that she finds a way to weave a local author or book title into every story that crosses her desk. (And it was very successful. We now have a madisonmagazine.com/books URL, and it’s filled with questions and answers from its author.)

So you can imagine who might have been involved in the making of the February cover story. Maggie admitted that she had to keep calm so as not to scare us. She packed the section with as many headings as she could without running text boxes into the margins. This feature was close to her heart because she loves to read, but also because she knows how much work has gone into each of these books. She went through it herself – finishing a manuscript, finding an agent, getting rejected, then getting rejected again and again, until she finally found a “yes”. Which triggers a series of submissions, reviews, other edits and so on until you reach the finish line. “Now that I know what I know about the publishing process, I find it quite remarkable that so many books hit the shelves each year,” she says.

Then comes publicity for the book, which Maggie does very well… for other authors. “I will always do what I can to support them, because I know how complicated and difficult it is, whether authors work with a publisher or not,” she says. As for her own book, she says talking about it is trickier than writing it.

While it will take five years from first draft to publication date, Maggie wrote the first manuscript of “Still True” in just four months. The main character Lib Hanson is a 58-year-old woman who has been married to Jack for about 30 years, and the two live in separate houses on opposite sides of their small town of Anthem, Wisconsin. One summer evening, Lib is forced to grapple with the secrets of her past when the child she had with her first husband shows up on her doorstep 40 years after she abandoned him.

UW Press will publish “Still True” this fall. I’ll just be here perusing “The Big Book List” as I patiently await its release.

Order the February issue of Madison Magazine here.

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