Saturday, March 16, 2013

POISON! A Debut Novel by Bridget Zinn

By now you have all heard (I truly hope) about the POISON blog tour for Bridget Zinn's debut novel. If you haven't, just know that Bridget was a young librarian and author who sold her book as she was battling cancer and did not live to see it come to fruition.

But it has, to the great credit of her family, friends and publisher, Hyperion. I never met Bridget. But I did hear about her while she was still alive, and many things about her story touched me in unexpected ways, maybe because I was at that time dealing with loss, maybe because it's tragic to lose anyone. But especially - just my personal opinion - because it's tragic to lose someone with talent, which Bridget clearly had in abundance.

So here's my story to commemorate Bridget's debut  - a story about "firsts".

My first publication happened when I was in third grade. Yes, that's where it began for me, and it made a difference. My teacher, Mrs. Weber, asked us all to write poems, and I wrote one called "October." I still remember loving the writing - just the writing - because fall is such a favorite time and I wanted to bring the coppery colors to life on the page. Well, Mrs. Weber must have liked my poem because she sent it into my town newspaper, and they published it.

I can still remember the smells and colors in the kitchen - all that black and white - when my mother called me in. She had the paper spread open on the counter and she was as surprised as I was.

"Look! You have a poem in the paper!" And she beamed, for once not hiding her gap-toothed smile behind her hand. "I'm so proud of you!"

My mother was a writer, never published. I found her children's stories - lovely stories - in her files after she died suddenly and before she could see my current success.

So this is a post about firsts and about loss and about success and about what it means to create something that lasts beyond. Mrs. Weber doesn't know she "birthed" a writer. My mother doesn't know she encouraged me to grow into an author. Bridget doesn't know what a wide span of love her creative spirit has inspired.

I can't wait to read POISON. For one thing, here's the Kirkus review that wins me over:

Don't let the title or cover fool you! No grimdark teen fantasy or angst-y heroines here; just a frothy confection of a fairy tale featuring poisoners, princesses, perfumers and pigs, none of whom are exactly what they appear (except maybe the pigs)...Good silly fun - a refreshing antidote to a genre overflowing with grit and gloom.

What do you think, my friends? Time we had some true spirited joy? I think so. And Bridget Zinn with POISON delivers us all.


Add Poison to your Goodreads pile:


Barrett said...

Your post was perfect! The fall was Bridget's favorite time of year and she would have loved to have read your childhood poem OCTOBER. Thank you so much for sharing Bridget's novel POISON with new readers. It means so much to me and her family.
Wishing you the very best,
Barrett Dowell
(Bridget's husband)

Janet Fox said...

Barrett - It's my honor, really. My thoughts are with you. Best - Janet