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  • Writer's pictureMicki Bare

Impromptu Editorial Meeting

Sometimes things are just meant to be. Meeting my editor fits perfectly in the meant-to-be category, even if it happened because my father-in-law became gravely ill.

Micki Bare and Shawn Reilly Simmons
Selfie with Shawn Reilly Simmons (right) at an independent book store.

Two days into a recent trip to Hubby's hometown to help with his dad who was sick—very sick, actually—I realized how close we were to my new publisher. The publisher that just months before signed me to write a 5-book middle grade series. While we were plopped on the couch one evening after having visited my father-in-law in hospital, I looked over at hubby and said, "Wouldn't it be great if we could swing by Maryland on the way home and meet my editor?"

He didn't even look up when he responded, "Maryland is not on the way home."

Not willing to let this opportunity pass, I did a little Googling and found that it would only add a couple of hours to our trip home. Since our plan was to leave on Friday, I convinced him that it wouldn't be so bad. We'd have the weekend to recover. He agreed that if my editor was available, we'd stop.

The next step was to reach out to my editor. I knew there was a slim chance that she'd be in town and available on such short notice. Slim chances never stopped me before, so I wrote an email and asked. I was over the moon excited when I found out she was indeed in town and would absolutely be available for lunch. She sent me the name and address of a restaurant where we could meet. She was looking forward to meeting both Hubby and me.

Micki Bare
Our beer flight at lunch! (We both like beer, too.)

Meanwhile my father-in-law wasn't doing so great. We had to extend our trip by a couple of days. By Thursday we knew that Hubby was also going to have to run errands for his dad. That's when I suggested rather than stay at the house by myself while Hubby ran here and there, why don't I just go to Maryland and have lunch with my editor on my own?

Hubby said, "Sure! Why not?"

I showed up at the restaurant a bit early. To be honest, I was 30 minutes early. The last thing I wanted was to run into traffic and be late. There was no traffic.

We'd never met in person but as soon as my editor walked up, I knew who she was and she knew who I was. We settled into the seats at our outdoor table after reassuring each other we were both vaccinated and hugging hello. Hello hugs are the best!

Then she asked why Hubby wasn't there. I caught her up on the situation. Then she answered a couple of texts and announced she was free for the afternoon. That's when we realized we could not only do lunch, but we had the whole afternoon to hang out.

And hang out we did! During lunch, we talked a little business and shared a little bit about ourselves. Then we went to a bookstore to check out the middle grade titles, book covers, and imprints. Next, we walked around downtown and then settled at a boutique wine shop.

We brainstormed ideas, got to know each other, and had a blast.

The distance between Maryland and North Carolina is a little much to do regular lunches. But we had a great time and I learned a lot. I learned I have an amazing editor editor and colleague to walk me through the publishing process. I learned my editor for the next five years and will head up the realization of my lifelong dream believes in the success of my writing. And I learned we both love red wine.

And I'm happy to report Hubby's dad is doing great. He fully recovered and is back home; back to his old, lovingly crotchety self!

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