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

Hi Maggie, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
As sentimental as it my sound, I truly believe that art changes lives. For me, great literature has shaped me, encouraged me, challenged me, and inspired me since I was a child. My parents read aloud to me every night, everything from Little House on the Prairie to Les Miserables. My favorites were the books that opened my mind to a perspective I would have never known and those that reminded me that there is something larger that what my own imagination could conceive of. It took me a long time to realize that writing was something I could pursue vocationally. However, I’ll never forget a middle school English teacher named Mrs. Callahan who, after putting me through the terrifying experience of having to read one of my stories aloud to the class, asked me if I had ever considered writing stories for children. That seed she planted stayed with me ever since. And finally, with a firm push from a few good friends and my supportive spouse, I finally decided to make the leap back into the realm of writing professionally.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I want to write literature for children that sparks wonder, treats children of all ages with the respect they deserve, and has something to say to adults as well. That is why I’m particularly proud of my work on the Christmas book, God Is Coming. This book is an Advent journey intended for parents to read aloud to their children. The hope is that while the poetry is simple, the concepts are rich enough to challenge the hearts and minds of adults and children alike. And, as a family reads the book aloud each year, the text should, in a way, grow with them. Because I had such a specific vision for the way I wanted this book and future endeavors to be produced, I launched the brand Spark & Spirit, LLC. This is both a publishing house and a small business offering meaningful gifts. The hope is that the carefully curated books and products add value and meaning to families, helping them create rich experiences and traditions. I am so excited to slowly grow the brand over the years, becoming a trusted source for high-quality work of all kids.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am a native Fort Worthian, but I love all of the culture available in both Dallas and Fort Worth. My dearest friends are proud connoisseurs of good books, good food, and great art. We would certainly make plenty of time for the Kimbell Art Museum and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth while stopping for lunch at Cafe Modern. We’d enjoy a long night with wine at Winslow’s Wine Cafe or WineHaus. Of course, a visit to Fort Worth isn’t complete without a little bit of Cowtown and Tex-Mex. We would no doubt visit La Familia and maybe take a peak at the Stockyards. But we would likely spend much of our time wandering down Near Southside where we would sip tea and peruse books at Leaves Books and Tea and spend hours shopping at Winton & Waits. And I would not let anyone leave without a dinner at Nona Tata, the best Italian food in DFW. If we could we would certainly see a play or musical at Bass Hall or even catch some live music at any of the amazing local venues. But, also an admirer of Dallas, I’d love to take them to see a film at Angelika and dine al fresco in Uptown. But not unlike Near Southside in Fort Worth, we’d likely spend most of our time wandering through Oak Cliff, gorging ourselves on pie form Emporium pies and buying far too many books at the Wild Detectives bookstore. There are simply too many beautiful things to see and scrumptious food to each that we’d already be planning our next adventure.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My biggest encouragers in the somewhat terrifying journey of being a full-time creative writer have been my husband, my two kids, and my dear friends. I am also incredibly blessed to be a part of Art House Dallas, an organization dedicated to creating support and community for artists and creatives all over DFW. I have been a part of a writing group through Art House Dallas for approximately four years, and I can honestly say I would not be the writer I am without their support. I am also deeply grateful to the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, whose incredible summer programs deepened my love of literature more than I could have imagined possible. To the many who have inspired me, from writers who I have never met to my dad, a talented writer himself, I am deeply grateful. And to the many friends who have given their time and wisdom to help me make it thus far (the Livesay-Wrights, Rebecca, Kassie, and Jenna, to hame a few), I truly wouldn’t want to do this without you.

Website: https://www.sparkandspirit.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sparkandspiritpress/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/spark-of-spirit

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SparkSpirit1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sparkandspirit

Image Credits
Kassie Moore Photography

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