Raye Mitchell Esq. is the author of the Rise – Up series. Her goal is to help women and girls of color strive for their best and achieve greatness. How Women Negotiate From a Position of Strength is a quick and handy primer and interactive journal that helps leverage and master your rise-up in leadership. It is a tool to help the reader beat the odds and negotiate from a position of strength and leverage.
We wanted to learn more about Mitchell’s reason for creating the Rise -Up series.
What made you want to become a writer? How long have you been writing?
I have considered myself a storyteller and writer all my life in one form or another. In spite of this, a different question is when did I decide to go public with this passion and persistent drive to be a writer of non-fiction and fiction works and why?
As a marketing and branding professional and litigation attorney in the entertainment industry, I was always involved in persuasive writing, storytelling and trying to get others to listen to the stories of my clients. But, several years ago, my inside voice that craved to be a writer succeeded in overtaking my outside voice that consistently focused on perfecting my skills as an entrepreneur, businesswoman, and an attorney. Upon reflection, it is now clear that I had been fully engaged as a creative writer all the time by merging my professional commitment to advocating, justice, and fairness by writing about my experiences with the civil justice system and persuading juries to return justice for my clients in situations of injustice.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
The most surprising thing I have learned in crafting my books is that one story leads to another story and so I have to find the discipline to keep each story contained and interesting without giving away the elements of the next story. It is entertaining to have this connected series of creative storylines.
How did you choose the genre you write in? Have you considered writing in another genre?
I rarely start out by thinking about which genre to in because I start with stories inspired by and or based on facts. I let the storyline decide the genre-nonfiction, creative nonfiction or traditional fiction. I tend to stay away from genres that I would not read myself or genres where I have no life experience, and I don’t know anyone who has life experience in that segment. Finally, there are those genres that just don’t move my interest to learn more about romance novels, war, true murder crime, or police dramas.
Tell us about your most recent work.
I write about women and girls beating the odds. I like to write about power and influence and who has it, how to get it and how to be fair when you have power and influence. 2018 is my most exciting year ever as a writer. I have spent the last two to three years working on a series of nonfiction and creative fiction books that will release in 2018.
All of my works focus on the experiences of women and girls, and how we claim and reclaim our power, influence, and visibility. While the books are nonfiction, I work to speak truth to power by importing personal stories and experiences.
Invisible No More. Empowering Young Black Women and Girls to Rise-Up as Leaders is not a call to action, but a plan of action on how to help strengthen the leadership training programs for our young women and girls. Everybody has a stake in the outcome. When Black girls do well, we all do well.
When They Go Low, We Go High. How Women of Color Master the Art of Persuasion to Win Big Battles. We are all familiar with Michelle Obama’s famous quote, “When They Go Low, We Go High.” In my book of the same name, I focus on how women of color get things done and navigate with grace under fire. Michelle Obama is a fellow Harvard Law School alumnae, as with Michelle, I focus our strengths and how we as Black women find the strength to excel in the face of adverse forces.
What projects are you working on at the present?
In addition to my power and influence series on leadership, I am working on my first novel series under the title of The Harvard Litigator (www.TheHarvardLitigator.com). The Harvard Litigator. Zola Penelope Robinson, a Harvard Law School-trained attorney, who is a fixer for the little guy, who leaves the practice of law to work on essential programs protecting women and girls. When something goes wrong, it takes the right woman to fix it. Somehow, she always finds herself back in the practice of law helping former clients, mostly women, and families, dead with some pretty sticky, difficult, dangerous and even deadly situations and cases. Zola’s experiences are all inspired by true events and litigation case experiences of the author. I am working on finishing, Homeless. The Fight to Protect the American Dream of Homeownership. The foreclosure game goes from ruthless to deadly when Zola goes on the run and finds herself homeless as she fights a cutthroat BigBank bent on foreclosing on her client at all costs, including trying to make Zola abandon her clients, give-up the case and disappear for good.
Do you want each book to stand on its own or do you prefer to write series?
All of my books are intended to stand alone, but if a reader engages all of them, they will discover a through line in the concepts of champion women and girls, faith, determination, and optimism.
How has writing impacted your life?
My writing has helped me be a better person. My quest to shift gears from being a full-time entertainment attorney with my law firm to being a full time humanitarian and writer has not been easy. I thus began translating these challenges, hurdles, setbacks and disappointments into my creative energy to tell the story. I then discovered the personal power of telling the story, no matter how difficult the journey. My writing has transformed my sense of well-being and wellness. My writing has also helped me find another way to merge my passion for helping others, especially women and girls with my technical skills as a writer, storyteller, and even a persuader.
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