|Ann Reit at Scholastic, early years|
But we quickly became friends. We had a blast brainstorming The Winter of Red Snow, and fifteen subsequent novels. She was not sentimental about killing off one of my precious characters.
“Get rid of him,” Ann said.
“How?” I asked.
“Have him fall off his horse.”
“But he doesn’t have a horse.”
“Kristi! Just give him a horse, make him go riding somewhere and have him fall off.”
|June 1999 with Ann & my sons, Twin Towers in background|
The last time I saw her was a few weeks before she passed away of cancer. We met at our favorite diner, Café 82 on New York's Upper West Side. The place was packed, but she forged through the crowd with her cane, to wait for the booth she wanted. Ann stood for thirty minutes, leaning on that cane until a gentleman finally finished his sandwich. As the table was being cleared, she said “Sit down Kristi, this one’s for us.”
I love this memory of Ann. She was feisty and protective. She took Flintstone vitamins and drank hot water without a teabag. I miss her terribly.
Meanwhile the sequel to Red Snow, Cannons at Dawn, will be published this May with her name on my dedication page. I had the good fortune of working with another wonderful editor on this project, Lisa Sandell.