Intersection Column | Bogged Down by the Details
Updated: Oct 17, 2022
by Hallee Bridgeman
Writing the Love and Honor series was an absolute joy for me, because it gave me an opportunity to work very closely with my husband, Gregg, as we came up with characters, scenarios, plots and realistic military action.
He has always been my writing partner, but because he was in the 20th Special Forces Group and deployed with them to Afghanistan, this project was very personal to him. Instead of a more peripheral and editorial role, he was hands-on through the entire process of developing the books and writing them.
I write very quickly and don’t like things to interrupt my flow. Whenever I come across a point in a book that I don’t know what a character would actually do, or what specific tool someone might need to accomplish a task, or anything research related that would make me have to stop and look something up, I’ll put a bracket and say something like this: [what kind of car would a German Oberleutnant drive in occupied France?] (an actual note from one of my books). That way, I can look it up later and keep writing. The only time I make an exception to this is if I could not possibly go further with it, and thus the flow is stopped anyway.
When writing the first draft of Honor Bound, it was filled with brackets, because I didn’t know the answer or I wanted my husband to clarify a specific detail. I had entire scenes bracketed like: [this is a combat scene – snipers need to kill two of the bad guys].
After we plotted the books together and Gregg helped me name the characters in a way that would give them fun nicknames (e.g., Tim “Pot Pie” Swanson), I wrote the entire first draft. I didn’t stop to ask questions, because I knew I would get bogged down in the details. Instead, I just peppered it with brackets and let that story that I could see playing out like a movie in my head get onto the page.
Then I handed it off to Gregg. He fixed my “Hollywood influenced” mistakes, addressed each simple issue in the brackets and wrote the scenes I needed from him in great detail. Once he finished, I’d go back in and trim down much of the military detail, enhance the characterization and make sure the voice stayed mine without a bump in the reader’s road.
We LOVED working like this, and I loved getting insight into what combat situations were like for him, getting to experience the camaraderie that he has with the men he served with and really digging deep into the emotions of a person in the throes of combat.
When I started writing this series, my desire was to show my readers the love and respect I have for the people who serve our country—who selflessly enter into dangerous and sometimes impossible situations in that service. As the daughter of a U.S. Army Airborne Ranger as well as the wife of a Special Forces soldier, I realize I have a unique perspective about that service. Giving my readers a realistic military romance was important to me. Having the opportunity to make it a writing project with my husband was a blessing for me.
About the Author
Hallee Bridgeman is the USA Today bestselling author of several action-packed romantic suspense books and series. An Army brat turned Floridian, Hallee and her husband finally settled in central Kentucky, where they have raised their three children. When she's not writing, Hallee pursues her passion for cooking, coffee, campy action movies and regular date nights with her husband. An accomplished speaker and active member of several writing organizations, Hallee can be found online at www.halleebridgeman.com.
About the Book
For medical missionary Dr. Cynthia Myers, a war-torn African country provided a way to escape a shallow life of unearned wealth, a philandering fiancé and a father now square in the public eye as vice president of the United States. But all that is thrown into chaos when she fails to save the life of a local warlord's mortally wounded son. As part of the Army Special Forces "A-Team" on a mission to capture and subdue the warlord, Captain Rick Norton will have to draw upon all his strength and cunning to get Cynthia out alive.
Did You Know?
On average, it takes ten years from the initial discovery of a new drug until it is marketed. The average cost to research and develop each successful drug is estimated to be $2.6 billion.
The lengthy time to market a new medication is because drugs must go through a rigorous process to ensure they are effective and safe. The development of new medications is expensive and uncertain. Most drugs never make it to market, with only an estimated 12 percent of drugs entering clinical trials eventually approved by the FDA. This is why it costs so much to bring a new drug to market.
Most new drugs are created in a laboratory by scientists at pharmaceutical companies. Although plants are still a major source of potential new medications, most companies use synthetic plant extracts as the starting point to develop new drugs.
On average, drugs are in clinical trials for six to seven years. This is because long-term side effects may take a while to appear. The clinical trial phase is important to ensure safety and efficacy of the drug.
Sometimes it is frustrating to wait for promising new medications to be approved when there is an urgent need now. Nevertheless, the long process ensures our pharmaceuticals are as safe as possible. Big Pharma often gets a bad reputation for the high cost of new drugs, but considering the time, expense, research and the steps required to bring a new drug to market, as well as potential lawsuits with unintended side effects, I believe they earn their money.
-Ellen Fannon, Honor Thy Father
Why I LOVE My Local Christian Bookstore
“In the midst of today’s chaos, stepping into a bookstore is a breath of fresh air. Gazing at gift ideas and engaging books while listening to worship music is good for the soul.”
-Janet Perez Eckles, Simply Salsa