I’m parent to two kids and a cockapoo. I’ve had a long career as a producer in advertising. Learned to swim at the age of 32. Played spin-the-bottle with Nicolas Cage. And have jumped out of a plane. Writing is much more my speed than the latter two. I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. For me, it’s equal parts fun and sanity. In the busy world we live in, both fun and sanity can be hard to hold onto. But no matter what, I know they’re mine for about 8 hours every week.
Q: Tell us about your book.
It was a three-year love affair with that manuscript. I never got bored, I loved my characters and both lead and followed them on the journey. Living in the U.S., we watch war on TV, on the internet, read about it on different formats. But we’re all so far-removed. We truly can’t relate. When an act of terror does hit our soil we feel so shocked, so violated. But imagine if this were normal. Imagine we lived in countless other countries where they wake up and simply live amidst the death and destruction because they must. I imagined this for us, made the setting my hometown of Boston. It scared me. And I thought of the situation from all sides. How would the government react to war on our soil? A regular family? A teenager? The questions kept coming, and I didn’t stop answering until Nation of Enemies was complete.
Q: What inspired you to write Nation of Enemies?
My inspiration was a five foot tall, white haired eighty year-old named Beatrice. About ten years ago we were talking and she was recounting the story of her family fleeing Poland during WWII. Everything and everyone she knew was suddenly gone. The houses and streets were empty. Regardless of their hopes and fears they had to escape. In what must’ve been a whirlwind, they emigrated to the United States. Now, I’ve heard stories about WWII, seen the movies, as we all have. But something about her story resonated with me. She looked directly into my eyes that day and asked, “Imagine that? Everything you know, just gone one day?” And I did. I brought the war home to the United States. Imagined people emigrating en masse from this powerful, “safe” country of ours. And Nation of Enemies was born.
Q: How much time per week do you spend writing/editing your work?
Since I work part-time and have young kids, I have to set aside time for myself to write. And I have to be very regimented about it. I write on Fridays while the kids are at school, plus two hours on both Saturday and Sunday every weekend. During that time, I don’t answer the phone or emails. I always hope that wifi goes down to ensure no distractions!
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
I can’t say too much about it at this point but I can give you some details. It’s told in multiple points of view. Takes place in New York City. And it revolves around the lives in an apartment building. It’s different from Nation of Enemies but still has an air of mystery with a thriller component.
Title: Nation of Enemies
Author: H.A. Raynes
It’s all about the genetics. DNA. Black & white.
A decade ago the U.S. government mandated that all citizens be issued biochips containing all of their medical information and an ID number indicating a person’s health. Then they made the information public—the implications of which are wide-spread and devastating.
Now on the eve of the 2032 presidential election, the country is deeply divided and on the brink of civil war. But as the two major political parties face off, innocent Americans are dying at the hands of masked terrorists. When the Liberty Party’s presidential nominee is assassinated in a highly-coordinated, masterful attack, it sets off a chain of events that will change the course of history and leave America’s inalienable rights—life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—dangling on the precipice of extinction.
H.A. Raynes was inspired to write NATION OF ENEMIES by a family member who was a Titanic survivor and another who escaped Poland in World War II. Combining lessons from the past with a healthy fear of the modern landscape, this novel was born. A longtime member of Boston’s writing community, H.A. Raynes has a history of trying anything once (acting, diving out of a plane, white water rafting, and parenting). Writing and raising children seem to have stuck.
Twitter: @HARaynes & @hollyiswriting