Local author Maggie King pays a visit to local book club
One local book club, which has been meeting for over 20 years, hosted Menlo Park author Maggie King, who we profiled on InMenlo earlier this year.
Book club member Julie Brody forwarded some thoughts about the meeting written my Deborah Fitz, which are excerpted below.
“We had a very animated discussion of [Maggie’s novel] An Excess Male with lots of questions for Maggie about the development of characters and plot. She shared that she did not have a detailed outline of the plot, nor did she know how it would resolve, when she started writing. She described that she set out to tell the story of a marriage (under very unusual circumstances). There was broad agreement and praise for how well she ended the book.
“We were all curious about how Maggie did her research on various aspects of the book and characters. How did she get into the head of XX, who was on the autism spectrum, how did she craft the virtual reality game and the Strategic Games, and how did she gather all the information about the authoritarian Chinese regime? Her answer — Google! She said it’s amazing how much you can learn without leaving your desk!
“We asked Maggie how she found an agent and a publisher. Her answer —consulting a large database of agents, writing hundreds of letters and not getting any response from the vast majority until she got interest from an agent. Once she had one agent interested, she successfully parlayed that into a successful book deal.
“Maggie has the foundational idea for her next book, which will tell the story of the ghost daughters of China who are female babies born but not registered as citizens to avoid the consequences of violating China’s historic one child policy, only revoked in the recent past. These girls are denied education, medical care and the opportunity to pursue careers.
“We were lucky to have Maggie read the final several pages of the book to us. It was the evocative ending about how the main characters danced the merengue to recognize both the bonding experience of Wei-Guo with May Ling and her family as well as protest the 200 deaths of the unmarried men who played in the Strategic Games battle.”
Photo courtesy of the book club