Nation of Enemies

By H.A. Raynes

Author H.A. Raynes published NATION OF ENEMIES, A THRILLER with HarperCollins & Witness Impulse. A timely political thriller in the current election year as the United States ushers a polarizing figure into the White House. 

H.A. in the Big City

I stepped out from the entrance of Penn Station, into bright, white light. It felt as though I was swimming but alas, no, it was just the humidity. My nerves had settled, though passersby might have thought my beads of sweat were evidence of the opposite. Before long (no, seriously, way too long, after a cab ride and getting lost trying to find the *right* Starbucks - do you know how many Starbucks there are in NYC?), I met up with my agent. Together we trekked to the lobby of HarperCollins and waited in a sea of marble for my editor to join us. 

And finally, there she was! It was great to finally put a face to a name. My editor, Emily, is this amazing mix of energy and intelligence with a passion for books and I'm undoubtedly fortunate to have her in my corner. Also, she's a hugger, which won me over immediately.

After a lovely lunch where we talked about everything from Donald Trump's gaffes to children and, of course, books, the three of us set off for the new HarperCollins HQ, just a few blocks from the new World Trade Center. 

It was like a fantasy for me, touring around the different floors, drinking in the sheer number of books and authors they've ushered into the world. Famous literary quotes adorned the walls and I stopped to admire the old typeset boxes in which books were housed on the walls. My kids would have gotten lost in the Children's Section, with everything from Shel Silverstein to Laura Ingalls Wilder and Fancy Nancy. I'm pretty sure I smiled the whole way. 

Meeting time. In a glass walled conference room I met with the head of the Imprint, Dan Mallory, a handsome, well-spoken man who made me swoon when he compared me to Michael Crichton and James Rollins. My agent, Laura, championed me throughout the process, introducing unique marketing ideas while winning us over with her British accent and self-effacing humor. Emily lead the meeting and my PR team member, Anwesha, walked me through everything I need to know to get my book off the ground in the coming weeks. I feel so fortunate to have these people not only supporting me but believing in me. And if I was excited before...well. I'm off the charts now. 

The train ride home was glorious. A quiet high savored on the Acela. I thought I might get some writing done but I was exhausted, and frankly the sun setting over the water was stunning and productivity was the last thing on my mind. There won't always be days like this, so when they happen, might as well stop and let it soak in.