We had the good fortune of connecting with Margaret Spence and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Margaret , any pet peeves with networking events? Anything you feel works well in terms of relationship building?
A big smile always helps. Usually I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. But if someone tries to make a hard sell on anything, I’ll usually say thanks and move on, Gently, gently…is the motto.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m a writer to turned to writing fiction in the past few years. Trained as a journalist, it was liberating to feel I “had permission” to just make things up. Or course, when you create a story, you can tell the emotional truth as opposed to just the facts. Novels help us understand the human condition and allow us to get into the minds of others. Is an imaginary character really the mind of another? Or is it the author’s mind? I think the popularity of novels shows we are more alike than we sometimes like to think. By imagining what it would be like to be another person in a situation of some difficulty ( which is the thrust of all novels) we allow empathy to develop. That’s why it’s so important to encourage children to read, I got my start in wanting to be an author from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. I love that old-fashioned book even today.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
One of Phoenix’s unsung treasures is its downtown mural art. In the Coronado, Roosevelt and Grand Ave areas are hidden alleys whose concrete walls are ablaze with colorful scenes. One of the most amazing is Lucinda Yrene, known as La Morena. www.lamorenaart.com. She is a mural artist and activist, particularly for indigenous women. For a fantastic tour of this and other edgy art in Phoenix, contact www.AZingtours.com. I never knew anything about this amazing part of our city’s culture until I went on one Lori Ann Meacham’s trolley tours. Whether they’re from out of town or have lived here for years, guests will love these tours!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I write fiction, My themes are family ties stretched to the breaking point by past deceptions, (That covers a lot of territory and I have no idea where this theme came from, Not my own experience!) My first novel, Lipstick on the Strawberry, was a finalist in the 2019 Eric Hoffer Award and the 2019 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. I’ve just signed a contract with The Wild Rose Press to publish my next book, Joyous Lies. I owe a debt of gratitude to Marylee MacDonald, www.maryleemacdonaldauthor.com. Marylee, ,a multi-published, award-winning author, led the Tempe Writers’ Group. I joined her group as a non-fiction writer, and her mentoring gave me the confidence to tackle fiction.

Website: www.margaretannspence.com
Twitter: www.twitter@margannspence.com
Facebook: www.margaretannspence.com