Be a Part of Bridget's Team–Celebrate Poison!

Could you do something sweet for Poison?


In the summer of 2010, I met Bridget Zinn for the first time. We were at a gathering of local young adult authors. The group, which still meets, was small but warm, and I was welcomed immediately. People were sharing updates on their work and life. Bridget, despite the presence of a virtual stranger, was laughing about the way her cancer treatment had made her boobs bigger and how she needed to special order a new bra. She was beautiful, with a round, sweet face and eyes that laughed just as loudly as her voice. I discovered we shared a publisher, as well as the frustration of wanting desperately to see our book hit the shelf, only to have it pushed out and delayed.

I found it hard to believe such a young, vibrant woman had cancer.

I assumed Bridget’s cancer was one of those weird, treatable types that you looked back on with amazement when you were fifty. I didn’t appreciate how serious it was for a few months. But over the next year there were more treatments, and more stories. Bridget married her boyfriend Barrett, and he started to accompany her to our gatherings. Not to participate, just to get her there. He would wait in a booth across the restaurant, giving Bridget time to be with us. I loved him for that. Throughout it all, Bridget maintained the same air of sunny optimism that she had when I met her.

Bridget died in May, 2011.

Bridget’s first YA novel, Poison, is being released by Hyperion on March 12, 2013. Being published was Bridget’s dream. Now, nearly four years to the day from her diagnosis, her novel is at last reaching readers. On her behalf, her friends and family want to celebrate her accomplishment and help get her book into the hands of readers.

Poison’s first review just came in, a near-rave from Kirkus Reviews, who write, “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.” We’re sure this is the first of many happy reviews to come for Bridget’s debut.

Since Bridget isn’t here to share her novel, people are pulling together to help get the word out about this former librarian’s sweet, hilarious debut.

How you can help


If you’re a blogger
I’m helping coordinate a massive blog tour for Poison. During the week of March 11, we’re hoping to get everyone in the blogosphere to write about their own firsts. It could be the release of your first novel (if you’re an author), or first blog (if you’re a blogger), or any other momentous first (if you’re human).

If you’re interested in participating in the blog tour, follow the link and sign up. We will send you information about Poison to add to your blog. You’ll send a link to your blog to: Barrett Dowell, (Bridget’s husband) and he’ll put it on this web page. As well, her agent will post it and tweet it every day for a solid week.

If you have a Twitter account

During the week of March 11, tweet about #Poison.

Tweet a photo of you holding the book. You could also tweet a link to this web page, part of a review, or a link to your blog post. Just use the hashtag #Poison.

If you’re on Facebook

During the week of March 11, post a picture of you holding Poison, and/or a link to her web page.

If you knew Bridget, write about her. If you didn’t, write about how a librarian helped kindle your love of reading. Or how your favorite young fantasy lit a fire in you as a reader that opened up the full world of literature.

If you’re an author

Consider mentioning Poison during the week of March 11.

You’ll remember how exciting it was to have your first book published. If you’re doing an event, or talking to librarians, consider giving a piece of your time to the story of Bridget and Poison. If you use social media, anything you can do during that week to help get the word out would be welcome.

If you’re a librarian

During the week of March 11, help spread the word.

Bridget was a YA librarian, first in Wisconsin, then in Oregon. Spread the word about Poison on any listservs you’re on. Post a review on Goodreads or LibraryThing. Help raise awareness and get the book into the hands of readers.

If you’re a reader who loves Poison

Please post a review—if not during the week of March 11, then as soon as you can.

And consider reposting your review from Goodreads on,,, and wherever readers look for ideas about what books to read next.

If you’re the parent of a teen who might like Poison

Take them to the library to check it out/put it hold, or buy them a copy. On Facebook, share a photo of your teen holding the book or ask them to put in on their own Facebook page.

If you’d like to support the book and your local school or library

Purchase a copy and donate it to a library’s shelves.

We will be setting up a tumblr of donations and photos of readers with the book.

Thank you so much! We all loved Bridget and her novel, and since she cannot be here to promote it, we are trying to do that for her. We, her family and friends, are so grateful for the kindness of readers to help share her work with the world. She was a writer and a reader but above all a true friend of good books and readers everywhere.

If you’re interested in helping, please let us know so that we can add you to the reminder list. And thank you in advance.

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.

About Bridget Zinn

Bridget grew up in Wisconsin. She went to the county fair where she met the love of her life, Barrett Dowell. They got married right before she went in for exploratory surgery which revealed she had colon cancer. They christened that summer the “summer of love” and the two celebrated with several more weddings. Bridget continued to read and write until the day she died. Her last tweet was “Sunshine and a brand new book. Perfect.”

Bridget wanted to make people laugh and hoped readers would enjoy spending time with the characters she created. As a librarian/writer she loved books with strong young women with aspirations. She also felt teens needed more humorous reads. She really wanted to write a book with pockets of warmth and happiness and hoped that her readers’ copies would show the watermarks of many bath time reads.

Links about Bridget

(If you post something, don’t forget to post a link to this page:

Everything you need to know about helping spread the word (with lots of info and links)


  1. Natalie Wainwright says

    I didn’t know Bridget well. We met at the Madison children’s writers’ 5-day workshop, “Write By the Lake.” We lost track when it was over, but she found me online to catch up; a month later she had her diagnosis. She had great ideas, wrote so engagingly, and talking with her was a lot of fun. I’ll tweet, fb, lj, whatever I can. I’m so glad her book is coming out. I can’t wait to read it.

  2. Gae Polisner says

    What a wonderful way to honor her… so kind of you to coordinate. It breaks my heart to think of her missing the feeling of seeing that first book come out. Sweet lovely young woman. Life can be so cruel and heartbreaking. Count me in to tweet and facebook and otherwise.



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