The Joyful Bear in Seattle

Last week, I presented The Joyful Bear and “Ten Things I Learned from my Teddy Bear” at University Bookstore in Seattle. The audience got to meet Frank LLoyd Bear, and we took some charming photos of him with his fans.

If you would like a photo with Frank Lloyd Bear, stop by Gasworks Park this Sunday, July 24 between 4 and 6 pm. We’ll have cookies, teddy bear philosophy, photos, and most importantly, hugs!

The Joyful Bear: A Furry Philosophy for Overcoming Adversity and Finding Happiness


Get a book to make you happy!

Today marks the official launch day for The Joyful Bear!

This is a landmark moment in teddy bear literacy. If a 10-inch tall teddy bear can publish a thought-provoking book of inspiration for adults, what kind of dreams and goals can you achieve?

I have a dream for this little illustrated book about happiness. I dream that it will make people smile and appreciate their lives a little bit more. I dream that Frank Lloyd Bear will become a 10-inch tall celebrity. I dream that the message of The Joyful Bear will spread far and wide, and will make the world a happier place.

You can order a copy of Frank Lloyd Bear’s book from Amazon or directly from the two of us, autographed. It’s available in both paperback and Kindle formats.



Florida Keys Book Tour

Here I go! Tomorrow morning, I leave for the Keys, via Miami!

The drive of six hours is a breeze,
Then I’ll be in the wonderful Keys,
Where I’ll whip out my pen,
Signing books once again,
For the readers who say “pretty-please.”

Here are the dates of this week’s appearances:

  • December 29, 5 pm: Key West Island Books
  • December 30, 3 pm: Key West Library
  • December 31, 11 am: Hooked on Books, Islamorada

Key West book tour poster

Don’t fear this stranger’s candy

Now that I’m back in Vero Beach, Florida for the winter, I’m reading the Indian River Press-Journal again. Earlier this year, Larry Reisman wrote an article about me, and they ran it right on the front page (admittedly, it was below the fold). It’s a fun read — so in case you missed it, here’s the link:
Laurence Reisman: Don’t fear this stranger’s candy (from

I love the photo he published with me and Philip’s “Strangers Have the Best Candy” t-shirt.

Meps with Strangers Have the Best Candy shirt (photo by Laurence Reisman)

Illustrating The Joyful Bear

I’ve rented an office and art studio in Vero Beach, Florida, and I’m making progress on the illustrations for The Joyful Bear. Surprisingly, I’m having to work from photographs.

“It’s not that I can’t sit still for my portrait,” Frankie says, “but I don’t want that messy charcoal stuff on my fur.”

Frankie the Bear

Hugs! From the Joyful Bear.

KCBS and Talking to Strangers

Friday, July 31 is “National Talk in an Elevator Day.” For Margaret Meps Schulte, that means “San Francisco Talk on the Radio Day!”

Tune into KCBS (740 AM/106.9 FM) at 9:30 AM PST to hear Meps’ interview with morning anchors Stan Bunger and Susan Leigh Taylor about the benefits of talking to strangers. If you’re not in the Bay Area, no problem — it’s just as easy to listen on the internet.

Meps has even penned a limerick in honor of the occasion:

When you get on the dull workday lift,
Where you always give strangers short shrift,
Just this once, say hello,
And then see how things go,
It’s the day to give strangers that gift.


The Autographed E-Book

For readers who must save a tree,
There’s now an e-Book, and it’s free,
It’s a little bit newer,
And the drawings are fewer,
But you’ll find that it still sounds like me.

The Kindle Edition of Strangers Have the Best Candy is now available! The download is free today, June 28. Since I cannot autograph your Kindle without damaging it, I’m offering an autographed Happy Spot to anyone who downloads the eBook before July 10! Put your request in a comment on this post, and I’ll contact you for the mailing address.

If you have a different type of e-reader, the ePub edition will be available on Smashwords on July 1. If you have a choice, get the Amazon Kindle Edition — it has more illustrations!

Although this edition doesn’t have the full quota of illustrations, the best ones are included. Frank Lloyd Bear and I have also included a teaser for our next book, The Joyful Bear.


Candy Crushes Competition

I am glad to have worldwide acclaim,
In the self-published, dog-eat-dog game,
It’s my title, thank god,
That is prize-winning odd,
Not my writing, my looks, or my name.

Strangers Have the Best Candy in the BBC

Candy Crushes Competition, from the BBC Entertainment News

I am proud to announce that Strangers Have the Best Candy has just received the Diagram Award for the Oddest Book Title of the Year. There is no cash award, just a “passable bottle of claret” awaiting me in London. The Bookseller hinted that agents and publishers “are tipping it to be the ‘hot book’ at the forthcoming London Book Fair.” I don’t know whether to be excited (if it’s true) or offended that they are making fun of me. The real benefit is seeing my name and title in the news as far away as India and New Zealand.

My favorite headline so far is “Candy crushes competition,” from the BBC Entertainment Live page.


Strangers Have the Best Candy shortlisted for the Diagram Prize

On Saturday morning, I found a Google alert in my inbox. A Google alert is an email indicating that someone has used the phrase, “Strangers Have the Best Candy,” along with my name, on the internet. Yawning, I clicked on it, thinking it was a mistake.

It was not a mistake. The 7-book shortlist for the Diagram Prize for the Oddest Title of 2015 had been released, and Strangers Have the Best Candy was on it. I learned this from The Guardian, which published a photo gallery of all seven book-covers:

According to Horace Bent of Bookseller Magazine, which issues the prize, “Ultimately, it is a stunning collection of books. Let other awards cheer the contents within, the Diagram will always continually judge the book by its cover (title).”

Strangers Have the Best Candy is the first self-published book nominated in the 37-year history of the prize. That is a great honor, because while the Diagram Prize is lighthearted, it is no farce. These are not odd books, just odd titles.

In the past few days, I’ve enjoyed my 15 seconds of fame, seeing my book mentioned by the Huffington Post, BBC News, the Booklist Reader, the Irish Republic, and a host of sites and blogs, some of which were not even in English. There have been no calls to appear on TV yet, but sales to bookstores have begun to pick up.

Please cast your vote for Strangers Have the Best Candy before March 20, 2015. Click on this link to vote — you don’t have to provide personal information, and it will take less than a minute:


I’ve also published a limerick about the Diagram Prize on Meps’n’