ADVENTURES BEYOND THE POND

I was born in London, but moved to the Isle of Wight at age 5. Later, Linda and I helped our mum run a guest house (bed, breakfast & evening meal) waiting tables and washing dishes. We and our brothers slept in bunk beds downstairs. My second novel, ARROWHEAD'S LOST HOARD, is based on these memories.

I went to Bognor Regis College of Education and taught in England for 6 years, followed by a one-year contract in Iran. My year at an American school in SW Iran inspired me to write SECRET OF THE SEVENTH GATE. While there, I met Mark, a GI from Texas, and we got married on the Isle of Wight. Our hometown from 1984-1992 and 1996-2010 was The Colony, Texas; we've also lived in Florida, Connecticut, and England.

After graduation from TWU, I taught 2nd & 3rd grades at Rosemeade Christian School for 5 years, took two years off for creative pursuits, then subbed for a year. When Mark made a career change in 2005, I went back to full-time teaching (elementary Art) for Lewisville ISD. In April 2017, the British club that my friend Stella and I started, will celebrate its 32nd anniversary! They meet in each other's homes monthly for a natter and a cuppa.

We retired in 2010 and moved to Chautauqua, SE Kansas. I still work with children, at the local church, school, and library. Hobbies include reading, piano, photography, walking, and crafts.



VISITING AUTHOR WORKSHOP TOPICS
3 Ways to Shape Your Memoir
British Games/​Holidays/​Dialects
Iran, Past and Present
Rocky Road to Fame (game about publishing pitfalls)
Magic Carpet Ride (papercraft & game)
How to Hatch a Plot (with plastic eggs)
Create a Cool Character
Treasure in My House (origami exercise)
Books as Bridges: Connecting Cultures
An Island of My Own
Twists and Turns (writing on a Mobius strip)
Where Do Poems Hide? (from Naomi Nye)
Eek, a Snake! (deepest fears)
Rant, Rave, Run for Office (opinion piece)
Poetic Forms, free or structured

FROM 2ND GRADERS AT COLLEGE STREET ELEMENTARY, LEWIVSILLE, TX:

Thank you for teaching us about Christmas in England. I enjoyed it. I learned what you do on Boxing Day. (Zachary)

Thank you for reading that book to us. I learned that kids in England call Santa Father Christmas. (Isabella)

It was very fun to listen to you. I learned where they go ice skating. Thank you Mrs Spire. (Brandon)

FROM CORSICANA, TX, AFTER OUTDOOR ADVENTURE CHALLENGE:

I had a fun time at Creative Writing because I like that paper that we got to do. It was fun when you read mine and all the other ones you read. (Amber)

Your station was one of my favorites. It really learned a lot of creative writing. (Nate)

Thank you Mrs. Spire. I enjoyed making a story map and character. (Kayla)

I had a great time writing. It was fun. I hope to write my book soon. I can't wait to read your book. I'm sure it will be fun. (David)

Dear Mrs. Spire, Thank you for signing my shirt. I had a great time. I like to make up stories. There is not a thing better than a story. (Breana)

FROM DALLAS, TEXAS AFTER FABULOUS FRIDAY:

Thank you for coming and talking to us about Iran. I learned a lot of fun things. All of the artifacts were really cool. (Alex)

Thanks for talking about Iran and your book...I didn't like the spices. Yuck! (Daniel)

I thoroughly enjoyed learning about your writing and teaching career in Iran, England and the U.S. I think being a writer sounds like a great job! (Maddie)

I liked the thinking and creativity games. I write lots of stories. And more writers I meet the more I want to be a writer. (Caitlin)

The part of the presentation I liked the most was your speech about Iran and how they read and write from left to right. (Colby)

I enjoyed your accent. It was very pretty. I was thinking of entering the poetry contest. Hopefully I will get a prize. (Corina)