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. 

2015: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

This has been one crazy year in my life. As many of us do, I'm driven to reflect on events these past twelve months. I'm also of the mind that I prefer a life with high highs and low lows versus a predictable, monotonous one. Luckily this year is stacked on the "high" side.  I’m a listmaker so here goes: 

The Good: 

- Nation of Enemies is published. I’m a published author! This actually goes beyond the category of “Good” so I’ll just put it at the top. 

- My family is healthy. 

- I adore my children 98% of the time. 

- My husband and I are employed. This helps with some of the ugliness listed below. 

- I’m working on my next book and loving every minute. Not a thriller. Can’t say much at this point. 

- In general, on most days, I’m happy. I aim for balance. Achieve it fleetingly. But mostly I am happy. 

- It’s highly likely that the above (happy) comes from my family and friends. The lot of them are amazing.

- It’s 60 degrees at Christmastime! Had to give the weather a shout-out. 

- My car is still running. 100k + crumbs/spills/etc. but it still hums along. 

- We finally building an addition onto our tiny house! (see below, this is a redundant entry). 

My cockapoo is still sprightly at age 12. 

The Bad: 

- Never enough time. 

- Never enough wine.

- Migraines. 

- 2% of the time with my kids. 

- A family member just had major surgery (*technically this could be a redundant entry under “The Good” because she is recovering and will be fine). 

The Ugly: 

- Living in a house that is being renovated. 

- Politics. 

- Trump (also redundant, I know). 

As a gift to any of you who haven’t yet read Nation of Enemies, I want to end the year right by letting you know that the ebook is currently on sale during the holidays - @ $.99 on Kindle and via BookBub.

I'm wishing all of you a hearty, healthy, happy holidays! And a peaceful, more-good-than-not 2016!


My Heart Is In Paris

When I began writing Nation of Enemies (NOE), I asked myself, where do I like to go? What do I most like to do? And what would make me STOP going to those places? This was pure imagination. Creativity. These are not questions I want to contemplate in reality. And yet. 

I'm not psychic. But evidently I have an overactive (and frightening) imagination. In NOE. schools are used as weapons until the government moves them to an online system. Concert venues, restaurants and stadiums are attacked. People shut themselves away in fear. It's understandable, isn't it? We walk out the door and enjoy the fresh air, laugh and dance with friends. And shouldn't we be able to? Yes, we should. And yet. 

Have you read that ISIS used a game  within PlayStation 4 to communicate and plan their attacks? This made it difficult, if not impossible, for law enforcement to decode their messages and track their movements. In NOE, BASIA, the main terrorist group, uses an online game constructed just for that same purpose. I wrote that three to four years ago now. It gives me chills. Makes me nauseas to think about. Yet it is reality, and painfully so. 

My heart is in Paris and with everyone around the world affected by the recent attacks. It's unimaginable. And yet. May the men and women who fight for our right to dance and celebrate life in the light of day have more creativity and more imagination than our enemies. Peace to all. 




Breadcrumbs of Reality

"Land of the Free" was my original title for "Nation of Enemies." And the concept has been floating around my head for a long time. Last night I stumbled on the original document that I started as a screenplay back in early 2006. At the time, attacks on schools were growing in number...we've been dealing with this for a long time now. Check out the timing that I originally had plotted out (*it was always meant to be near future, a future easily imagined): 

2001 World Trade Center Attacks
2002 War on Terror
2003 The War Comes/At Home
2004 Nazism Rampant in America
2005 U.S. Terror Group Claims Responsibility for Cruiseline Bombing
2006 High School Blown Up By Students
2007 Online Schools Ensure Child Safety
2008 Vice President Killed by Suicide Bomber
2009 America Abandoned: Citizens Find Safety and New Lives Abroad - Footage of ships in Southhampton Port, England, hundreds of passengers make their way off the ship and into the immigration offices.
2010 England Reports American Immigrants Boosting Economy
School Buildings; A Relic From the Past

Of course when I watched Back to the Future with my kids the other day, they pointed out that there were no cell phones. But there were hover boards (though they didn't have wheels). Clearly our imaginations get ahead of ourselves. Thankfully. By no means do I think the scenario in Nation of Enemies will happen. And of course, the timeline I wrote in 2006 was a first stab at a rough draft and I hadn't thoroughly plotted out the course of the story. Even still, there are breadcrumbs of reality within each facet of the world I ultimately built in 2032. Biochips. School shootings. Increase of terror groups on U.S. soil. These are our reality today, in 2015. I was caught up in the story, too close to the subject matter, when writing it. But now, as readers tell me how frightening the scenarios are I understand why. Because not all of it is fiction. 

Release Party, Selfies & More

Happy Thursday! Today will mark a milestone for me. After years of writing - a seriously committed relationship with my laptop - I will step in front of a crowd of people in a public place and read from Nation of Enemies. I'm working hard to concentrate on being excited rather than nervous. Right now I'm blocking out the construction workers hammering and sawing around me in my house that's being renovated. Also ignoring how I threw out my back yesterday after sleeping on it wrong (yes, sleeping). So I'm smiling to myself (=endorphins) all day and I'm going to play that old song with Fergie in it "I got a feeling" that will pump me up before I take the stage. It's all good. Now if I only knew what to wear...

As Nation of Enemies hits the shelves (that was fun to write!) please send me selfies with the book! I LOVE to see them and I want to start a collection. Thinking a wall of selfies would make a great background for my site. :)

As always, thanks for reading! Remember to send me your selfies. And if you're anywhere near Newton tonight, please drop by Newtonville Books at 7pm (10 Langley Road, Newton Centre 02459). Happy reading people!!!