Over the course of the last few months, I have been spending my days with a woman named Rebecca Boone Hildebrandt. Not to worry, friends and family; technically she does not exist—except in roughly four hundred and fifty pages of fiction that so far only I have seen.
Boone is the heroine (yes, I still use gender-specific terms) of a trilogy a bit over halfway to completion. Jon Anthony now has three titles of his own (two published, the third coming this winter), and everyone’s favorite Air Force officer has received his own back-story. Another vision now has residence in the private work space of my mind, and is at present flowing into some of the best prose that I have ever written.
Jon Anthony, my quiet, soft-spoken academic and man of unshakable faith, is one of those people whom one meets only now and again in life, a soul in which God’s enemy has never found a foothold. Mademoiselle Hildebrandt is someone quite different.
Boone lives in a world of deep, dark secrets. She works for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. This top executive level of the United States Intelligence Community is the consolidating entity of intelligence organs in the U.S. government and is headquartered in McLean, Virginia. Her intellect and physical abilities have aided her ascension to the position of Level One Case Officer, and her job description in its most terse form is to solve problems that most will never know existed.
Boone’s exceptional ability to retain information had her leaving high school early, to study physiology in Europe, where she also navigated academe at an accelerated pace. Her doctorate secured, two years of training in the martial arts followed in Vietnam, studying the techniques of practitioners similarly small in stature, yet very dangerous.
For all her wondrous abilities, Boone is a flawed character. Her faith at the onset of her debut, Absinthe and Chocolate, is practically nonexistent. She has a problem with alcohol. She takes the stresses of her work, the loneliness of her existence, and the weight of the lives she has extinguished and channels them into intoxication and sexual outlet.
Boone’s story, as all of ours shall be, is a tale of change. She is part hero (yes, sometimes I also use gender-neutral terms), part victim, and composed of both steel and velvet. She is, as one of her revelations in The Bonus Pool relays, “… all light, darkness, death, life, joy and grief, wrapped in a package that most people simply called Boone.”
The woman is a work in progress, in the pages of her fiction and in the part she plays in what God is doing, as are we all. Her purpose is unapparent, as it is for many of us, and will take patience to comprehend fully. Knowing her has nevertheless blessed me, and I am glad to be the woman’s chronicler.
There are many roads to the same destination. Boone and I are on one less traveled. I hope that my readers will understand.
Choose to Love, -DA