Flash Question Session and Book Review---> Author Raynetta Stocks

Flash Question Session
Author Raynetta Stocks

1. What are your current and past projects that you have you done?
The first project I published was a prose collection with my best friend and fellow author J. Mahogany titled Barely Breathing. We did okay, but we didn't really know what to do as new authors. So I took my time with my latest project and first solo novel, The Grim. It took me a long time to write, almost exactly five years, but the journey was so worth it. I can't wait for others to read it!

2. Your work area: messy or neat?
Umm...well, it's organized chaos. Sort of lol.

3. What/who is your muse/muses?
Honestly, I don't know him/her. They float in and out of my consciousness. But I do usually write to the music of one of my favorite artists, Eric Benet, so...maybe it's him.

4. What kind of research or studies did you have to do to write The Grim?
I visited a few inpatient psych wards and took the guided tour. A lot of the facilities wouldn't allow me into resident quarters, but there were a couple, due to some insider hook-ups, that gave me the real 411 on what really goes on and what inpatient life really looks like. It was incredibly insightful and eye-opening.

5. Are you a pantser writer or an outline plotter?
I'm a little bit of both. With The Grim, I outlined the story from beginning to end, but my finished product doesn't at all reflect what I planned out. I think it works best as a combination: make a plan but let your characters, as they develop, shape the direction. It's worked pretty well for me so far :-)

6. Early bird or Night owl?
I'm definitely an early bird. Waking up at 8:30 is sleeping in to me lol! It kind of sucks though because all of my favorite shows come on at like 9 or 10 pm, and I'm always struggling to stay up! On Demand is definitely my friend.

7. What inspired you to write your books?
Most of the inspiration for The Grim was personal experience. I found that a quarter of the way through writing it, I was having Jaycee [my main character] face demons in her life that I hadn't faced in my own. So we faced them together, she and I. With any luck, we survived relatively unscathed.

8. What is your favorite piece of advice or quote from an author who inspires you?
My favorite quote is by Maya Angelou: "If the grass is starting to look greener on the other side, water your own grass." Don't go looking for new grass, just fix your own. I love that.

9. Is there a message you are trying to convey with your story?
Jaycee is running from painful memories and experiences, and I think The Grim conveys the error in and consequences of that reaction. We have to deal with those things that cause us pain; burying it only develops a festering sore in the heart.

10. Where can we stalk you online?
How deliciously gothic! You can find me at:
Website: http://www.raynettastocks.com (There's a Chapter 1 preview up!)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/raynettastocks @raynettastocks

My Review of The Grim by Raynetta Stocks

I was extremely happy to receive an advanced copy of The Grim and found it to be a gripping, insightful read about being institutionalized in a mental health facility and dealing with the makings of a fragile mind.
Jaycee Baynes has been institutionalized at the Grover Ridge Inpatient Medical center (The GRIM as inpatients call it) after she is convicted of killing her ex-husband Tony. But she remains haunted by him and this is the story of her journey to recovery ad excising some deeply embedded demons.
Ms. Jones gives us an inside look at Jaycee’s world as an inpatient in a psych facility as she struggles to remember important details from her past, deal with current troubles that inhibit her recovery and sinister plots abounding within the GRIM. The turmoil Jaycee faces is quite real and traumatic. I loved the characters Jac and Maddy who are Jaycee’s best friends. They are endearing yet face real fears and traumas that have landed them in the facility for treatment too. I could only imagine the insanity that lingers within them. Together they mesh well and seem to anchor each other with a fragile grip to the sane world effectively.
I did find myself growing frustrated with Jaycee, her stubbornness towards the man who loves her, Aaron, can be redundant and feels dragged out. I liked Aaron, but found it hard to fall in love with him too. His well to do upbringing and social status was definitely outside of my box and I can relate to Jaycee’s reluctance to let him in.
Overall a gripping read that leads you into the mind of a conflicted, traumatized woman. It keeps you cheering her on to find what she needs most and to defeat the monsters within herself. Highly recommended!

4.5 out of 5 stars!
Available May 1st 2012 on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and Raynetta Stocks website!http://www.raynettastocks.com

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