Welcome to Writers4Higher
This issue, Writers4Higher features
Rocky Porch Moore
Hi, Rocky. Welcome to the Writers4Higher family!
Tell me about yourself. Your book(s), your life, your inspiration.
I am a 46 year old English teacher who’s been married to the same fellow for almost 25 years, has 4 kids, a farm, and a passel of animals. On the surface, that sounds pretty mundane, like I’m in good need of ticking off a few items on the proverbial bucket list. Hardly! The way I see it, why worry about a one-shot list when you have the whole bucket?
I am a firm believer in looking ahead. I’ve always found inherent sadness in folks who talk of the best days of their lives as if they are delivering a history lecture. My best days are yet to come! Oh, I don’t have a problem with savoring the moment, and I definitely have an affinity for the past, but that’s not where my spirit dwells.
In Clemenceau’s Daughters, Little Debbie Ballard isn’t afforded such luxury. The story traces the intricate ways in which family ties can bind the past to the present. I wanted to take the beginning of a family line and tangle it with the end of the family line to show that blood, love, and greed can be passed along just as surely as a strong jawline. The primary setting of the story is my childhood home, which lends itself to some mighty flighty conclusion-jumping.
I read voraciously and not nearly enough. Right now, I’m splitting my reading time between the Dalai Lama’s The Universe in a Single Atom and a domestic terrorism military thriller. I’m just as likely to be reading Dickens as Didion. Contemporary writers who inspire me include John Irving, Sena Jeter Naslund, and Mark Childress. My literary soul, though, belongs to another century. In fact, I have children named for Jane Austen, Joseph Addison, and Mary Shelley. That sounds pretty high-falutin’ until I throw in the child named for a famous college football coach.
Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?
I see my writing taking me home, both in a literal and figurative sense. The two things that make me feel the most “me” are running and writing. I can be a wife, a mom, a teacher, a cook…and I’m pretty darn good at all of these, but it’s working plots that thrills my heart of hearts. When I run, I find clarity. When I write, I find home. It’s not a place, like an address, and it’s not an emotion, like love or nostalgia. It’s a state of being that can be quite uncomfortable at times. This is why I think I link running and writing so closely together. Both are painful; both are dependent on process; and both are utterly exhilarating.
With 4 children and a teaching career, I’ve squeezed in writing between ball practices, dryer cycles, and grading research papers for many a year. I built a little red writing cottage out back on our family farm with the proceeds from penning curriculum materials and a children’s book, all the while dreaming of turning myself loose on fiction. Well, I’ve gotten a mighty fine taste of it with Clemenceau’s Daughters and, at the risk of sounding hokey, I feel like I’ve come home.
So, where do I see my writing taking me in the future? Right out my back door and into a whole new world!
How do you use your talents/time to help others?
I married into a family of educators. My husband is currently a high school principal and I teach high school English. We strive to motivate young people to be their best and to invest in their community. Our civic involvement reaches well beyond the classroom. We regularly support youth athletics, arts, and academic endeavors as well as serve at various civic events. We are the kind of people who roll up our sleeves and subtly help get the job done.
I was recently elected by the membership of our church to serve on the vestry, an honor, and regularly serve in a variety of roles during worship services.
Really, as a teacher, I’m a professional helper. My goal is to be a positive influence on every student I encounter. I am a leader among my professional peers and constantly pursue excellence in myself and in those I teach.
Would you like to find Rocky?
Check out the links to this talented author:
Fiction with a Southern Twist