I’m hosting an interview today for the book tour for thriller / suspense “Nation of Enemies”. I hope you enjoy the interview!
Have you been writing for a long time?
Yes…though it depends what qualifies as “writing.” In fifth grade I had this amazing creative writing teacher who I remember vividly. Long hair, wire rim glasses, lanky. He had us call him Victor. Through him, my interest in writing was sparked. But it wasn’t until years later, after writing only journal entries, that I began to think of stories. When I was 28 I wrote a screenplay, which was a finalist in the Massachusetts Screenwriting Competition. That boosted my confidence and I started thinking of writing novels. I took a class at GrubStreet (a great writing organization here in Boston), and one thing lead to another. Before long I was writing a novel (my first, still on my hard drive!). Nation of Enemies is my first foray into publishing my work.
What inspired you to start a writing career?
Sanity is the short answer. The longer answer is that I have a great career in advertising but my role isn’t a creative one. After putting in long hours every week in my job, I found myself feeling dissatisfied and stressed out. I remember buying Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. I would wake up early every morning and do exercises from that book. And it wasn’t effort…it was release. I started thinking creatively and then experimenting with short stories in a workshop. And then it snowballed into a novel! That one is still buried deep on my hard drive. So, I write because I have to. Because I’m driven to. And because it quite simply makes me happy and sane.
Is Nation of Enemies your first book? If not, can you tell us about your first book?
No. I wrote a very different book several years ago. Once I was done, I felt done. No need to revise and rehash plot or character issues. When I’m writing a book it’s like a committed relationship. If I lose interest and passion well….I walk away. There are too many good ideas to play with. So the first novel was amazing, it gave me the confidence to keep writing, and in the end, it was practice for Nation of Enemies.
Why did you choose suspense/thriller as genre to write in?
I didn’t. I’m sort of an equal opportunity writer and reader. At the heart of any book I love, there’s a good story with good characters, people you root for. I started out writing about a young girl caught up in a war in the United States. I ended up with a thriller, the center of which is the girl and the war.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Make time. No one will give it to you. It should be a priority so be sure and schedule it on your calendar. Don’t answer your emails or phone calls or texts. Even if it’s just an hour or two once or twice a week. Be devoted to your craft during that time. Even if it’s research or playing around with an idea, it will open your imagination and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised what happens.
Do you have any works in progress you’d like to tell us about?
I do (always!). I’ve been working on this one from a nugget of an idea I had several years ago. 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.
About the Book
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.