This week I’m doing something a little different. During my weekly perusal of the blogs I regularly follow, I stumbled on a story that really moved me– the story of a girl who finally realized her dreams but was never able to see it. Her story touched me so deeply that I decided I wanted to help commemorate her accomplishment by promoting the release of her debut novel: Poison.
A fellow Portlandite, Bridget Zinn was a librarian and writer who loved making people laugh with her creations. She believed the young adult genre needed more humor, and so, created a book that she hoped would inspire, entertain and be loved by her teen audience. In 2011, two years before the release of that creation, Bridget succumbed to her battle with cancer, passing away at the much-too-early age of 33. But her legacy lives on in the form of her novel.
About the novel
Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.
But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart…misses.
Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?
Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.
I pause today to honor Bridget’s accomplishment and to feel grateful for the small successes in my own life. I have yet to publish a novel, but I still remember when I received the acceptance letter for my first short story. I stared and stared at it, in the cliché fashion of someone gaining admittance to their top college, unable to comprehend the words that very clearly said, “we’d like to publish your work.” I had to get confirmation from someone else before it really sank in; I’d finally done it. After all the rejection letters, all the failed attempts, all the years of pretending I didn’t really want to be a writer, I’d made it. Yes, it was only a short story, but that magical moment of validation is what every writer dreams of. The first toe in the door to becoming an author.
I can only imagine that Bridget felt very much the same when she finally received notice that Hyperion wanted to publish her book. It’s unfortunate that she didn’t get to experience the second burst of joy that seeing Poison on shelves, in the hands of her readers, would have brought. Thankfully, we can still give her spirit that satisfaction by spreading the word and hopefully helping Poison become a bestseller.
Sharing so many similarities with Bridget, I am saddened that I will never get to meet her. Her story of optimism in the face of adversity is an inspiring one and reminds us that every day is a gift we should be grateful for and that no victory, no matter how big or small, should ever go uncelebrated. Here’s to you, Bridget; may your book find all the success you dreamed for it.
You can learn more about Bridget and Poison, including how you can help, at Bridget’s Official Website.