I had the pleasure of interviewing the author, Raynetta Stocks. Here is her reply.
What is the name of your book, and what is it about?My debut novel is titled The Grim. It's the journey of a single mother convicted of murdering her ex-boyfriend, but she has repressed the memory of the event and has been committed to a psych ward. She has to remember what happened to her and deal with its consequences before she can return home to those she loves.
What genre do you write in?The Grim has been called contemporary fiction. I really love that term because it doesn't confine me to the traditional genres. I can write the story I want to write without having to meet a certain demand or fit into a particular mold.
When did you know you wanted to write?I think I've always known. I denied it for awhile in pursuit of other careers, but everything always came back to writing somehow. I can't imagine for the life of me right now why I would want to pursue anything else...writing is my deepest love.
Who and/or what are you writing influences?Believe it or not, my writing has largely been influenced by the silver screen. I love movies, and if you think about it, to really enjoy a movie, it has to be both well-written and well-acted. That takes skill. If I sit down to write, and I can't visualize my characters, their moods, the setting or the scene I'm trying to write, it's a wash. I get up and come back to it later. It have to be able to see it. That's essential.
How long did it take you to write your first book?Technically, my first book was a prose collection titled Barely Breathing that I co-penned with my best friend. Because the poetry had been written over the course of my life (at that point), it's hard to pinpoint a timeframe. From the time we decided to actually do it and the day it was officially published was about two years. The Grim, on the other hand, was five years in the writing and a year between editing and publishing.
What is your favorite book/author?That question is nearly impossible to answer; I have so many! I tend to love literature with strong black women so I gravitate toward Zora Neale Hurston, Terry McMillan, Alice Walker, and Maya Angelou. I do have a very eclectic taste, however. I read Khalid Hosseini, Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti, and the occasional nonfiction. Recently, I've been bulking up on my indie reads as I've met so many astounding indie authors out here.
What are you writing goals?I want to make a living at authorship. I don't have to be infamous and world-renowned, but I want a solid, constant fan base that will allow me to support my family on writing alone.
Any advice for current indies?Do your research and don't give up. No matter how many no's you hear, you can create the yes. After all, you're a writer; creating is what you do best!
Website: http://www.raynettastocks.comBlog: http://blog.raynettastocks.com
Goodreads: Raynetta Stocks
Novel available on my website, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.