Margaret Meps Schulte


Margaret Meps Schulte, known as 1meps, is the US expert in how to talk to strangers. Her wanderlust lifestyle has included a 33-foot junk-rigged sailboat, Flutterby, and a 7,000 pound van called The Squid Wagon. Meps considers Seattle her home, but admits that she falls in love with every place where she spends at least two weeks.

She's not afraid of public speaking or public art, having painted large-scale murals and illustrated her own book. She's extremely capable with fiberglass and 2-part polyurethane paint, once built a 6-foot rowboat, and survived appendicitis at Burning Man. She has written hundreds of blogs, limericks, and grocery lists, and is currently working on a book of teddy bear philosophy with a soft, furry co-author named Frank Lloyd Bear.

A former business analyst, knowledge manager, and systems integrator, she departed the corporate world in 2003 by "jumping off the cliff." She loves helping others find their wings and is always delighted to hear from her readers.

Smashwords Interview

What do you mean by "Strangers Have the Best Candy?"
Every person I meet has something to offer. A stranger might offer me a smile, a kind greeting, or a flash of insight. We might strike up a conversation that turns into a fun adventure together or a lifelong friendship. This is what I mean by "candy."

Every story in the book is true, and every stranger in the book is a real person. I use the power of humor to illustrate the huge benefits of talking to strangers, something valuable to readers of all ages. "Stranger danger" makes sense when children are small, but it limits us as adults.

Any grownup can benefit from more encounters with strangers -- researchers have actually proven that talking to strangers is good for us. I'm delighted to hear that when my readers put the book down, they often find themselves going out and looking for strangers to talk to. You can call my philosophy "Proactive Encounterism" or "Mepsism," but either way, sharing candy with strangers can be a very good thing.
Why is the Diagram Prize a breakthrough for all Indie authors?
In 2014, Strangers Have the Best Candy was the first independently-published book ever nominated for the Bookseller/Diagram Prize for the Oddest Title of the Year. And it won! This international prize represents a huge breakthrough for self-published books.

Diagram Prize winners are not odd books, they are books with quirky titles. In order for a self-published book to even be considered, it had to appeal to a very wide demographic. The graphics, layout, and editing had to be professional-quality to go toe-to-toe with the traditional publishing establishment.

Every independent author has access to these tools now. It's just a matter of using them to create top-quality books that bypass the morass of traditional publishing.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Margaret Meps Schulte online

Where to buy in print


The Joyful Bear: A Furry Philosophy for Overcoming Adversity and Finding Happiness
You set the price! Words: 18,910. Language: English. Published: January 3, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Personal Growth / General, Nonfiction » Inspiration » Personal inspiration
A wise stuffed polar bear named Frank Lloyd Bear shares his charming teddy bear philosophy of mindfulness and self-compassion. He shows the reader ways to overcome adversity in their own lives, including depression and anxiety. Features 32 original teddy bear illustrations by Margaret Meps Schulte, author of Strangers Have the Best Candy.

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