Raynetta Stocks was born in Washington D.C. in August 1981. She excelled early at reading and writing, passions that endured and thrived into adulthood. She honed her skills entering literary contests and writing plays and prose for various extracurricular groups in both high school and college.
Having written since childhood, Raynetta has composed hundreds of works in a multitude of genres to include children’s books, adolescent fiction, short stories, and social essays. Her first work,Barely Breathing, a collection of prose and letters written under the pseudonym Micah Michele and comprised with fellow author J. Mahogany, was published in June 2005. While the work was a tentative first effort, Raynetta continued to persevere as a writer, strengthening her skills by working with talented and knowledgeable mentors.
Now on the brink of the release of her second published work, and first solo effort, she is optimistic and excited about the future prospects in her career. The Grim, a gritty and empowering novel about a young woman’s struggle with PTSD, is the spring board by which Raynetta continues reaching for the stars.
She now resides in Maryland with her family.
You can visit Raynetta’s website at www.raynettastocks.com
I spent hours trying to determine which writers I would share with you in this blog. I have been influenced by so many. When I sat back and really pondered the authors and books that helped develop my style and love for writing, I noticed some distinct works played a significant part in my career.
Khaled Hosseini [author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns] is a masterful writer, weaving horror stories about the plight of Afghan women that somehow blossom into a garden of strength and perseverance. His novels remind us that no obstacle is insurmountable; no mountain is without a plateau. You can’t help but be inspired reading his words. And as a woman, I knew when I finished reading that nothing could stop me.
Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man was assigned as a requirement for my senior year English class. I had to read it again in college, but man, was it worth it. How many times have we found ourselves buried in a hole, hiding from a world that hates us? Is that invisibility merely a perception of our own minds or have we truly been ostracized and our insecurities monuments to be felled in our hearts? I was changed by this book; I’ve purchased two other copies to replace the first after I had worn out the spine in the rereading.
Kate Chopin is an astounding short story writer; I have found myself more than once captivated by her work and have sought for many years to create the depth she portrays in Desiree’s Baby and The Storm in my own work. I started my career with short stories and prose. I still tend to treasure those outlets more than novel writing as many of my ideas tend not to parlay into 250 pages of manuscript. I have never read a short story author as profound as Chopin. Her stories leave her readers questioning the “why” and “how” of their final outcomes, only whispers of an answer found in her endings.
Finally, I have to talk about Maya Angelou—a woman for whom there is no acceptable introduction. Her prose and poetry have been the foundation to my early love for words and writing. It is from her I draw the majority of my inspiration about life, love and identity. [Her poem] Phenomenal Woman is still the root upon which the tree of my womanhood grows, and without the incredible beauty of her written word and resounding humanitarianism, I doubt I’d have found the footing along which I’m striding today.
Of course, there are a great many more authors I should discuss but can’t in the space provided. I suppose this is true for most authors. Given the opportunity though, I could probably go on for ages…
A gripping tale of both thrills and depth, The Grim follows Jaycee Baynes, single mother and convicted murderer, through her tumultuous stay at an in-patient psych ward. Unable to remember the horrendous events that incarcerated her, she is haunted daily by the presence of her bullet-riddled ex-lover, without whose help, she will undoubtedly never be freed. Having repressed all memory of what she’s done, Jaycee must find a way to manage her illness and confront her past–before it consumes her first.