About Bridget Zinn
A couple of years ago, I blogged about a writer who'd died of cancer. Her name is Bridget, and her passing touched me very deeply. You can read that post HERE.
To be clear, I didn't know Bridget at all. I just read about her story on a blog I followed and was compelled to write about her. I think that's because Bridget was all of us--a writer yearning to share her stories with the world, a person with dreams and ambitions, and a hard worker in the way that successful writers must be hard workers.
Sadly, she never had the chance to see her efforts pay off or her dreams realized. And that crushed me--is still crushing me--because there was nothing I wanted so much as to be published, and I knew that desire had burned in her heart as well. It was a cosmic injustice of unimaginable proportion--which is exactly what cancer is to everyone who gets it: A random, cosmic F-U.
I have a special hatred for cancer, and a somewhat unique relationship with it. Like almost everyone, it has taken people dear to me--I'd lost two grandparents to the disease by the age of 10--but that's not really why I hate it.
I don't think I've shared this with most of my writing friends, but my wife is an oncologist. Treating patients with cancer is her business, and it's a horribly bustling one.
There's not a day that goes by in my life that I'm not aware of some travesty cancer has caused. I'm far too familiar with the struggles families face watching a loved one die in slow motion, the tragedy of a life cut short, and the hardships of treatments designed to kill cancer, but have the unfortunate side effect of killing the rest of the body, too.
Our lives are like that movie Groundhog Day--with cancer being the reoccurring main theme. I'm the equivalent of a front row spectator at the Roman Coliseum, my wife is the Gladiator I'm cheering for, and the battles are just as grim and gutwrenching as you could possibly imagine.
Sounds like a blast, right?
Here's the thing: I'll gladly take all of that awareness, plus all of the 100 hour work weeks my wife and best friend spends away from me, and all of the tears, frustrations, and burdens she places with me because she can't share them with her patients (as you can imagine, it's not really a job that ends when the 5 o'clock whistle sounds ... especially psychologically). I'll take it all because HAVING cancer is worse.
It is a brutal, bullshit disease that doesn't give a damn about your age, race, religion, tax bracket, or societal value. Cancer is the boss from hell. It isn't concerned about your upcoming honeymoon, your retirement plans, your first prom, or if your kids need you--if you get 'chosen' for the task, you'll put in your time first, and if you've anything left over, you can dole it out however you'd like. And there is no promise of more time.
And that isn't a unique relationship. No, in an odd bit of fairness from such an arbitrary and cruel affliction, cancer hates us all equally. That's why I hate cancer in return.
More About Bridget ... And Firsts
At the time of her death, Bridget's debut novel was still with her agent, and still trying to navigate through the various doors to publication. Fast forward a couple of years later, and her book, Poison, is finally finding it's way into the world.
To memorialize Bridget, her agent and publisher are asking for the writers of the world to help share her story (both the make believe and real one), because Bridget never got to revel in the joy of getting a story into the hands of readers.
They've asked author-bloggers to blog about their 'first time' being published, which seems fair and also like something Bridget would enjoy reading about. (See her video below...) However, I'd simply like to share Bridget's story. This is her day, after all. :)
I like to think that Bridget's legacy enduring, and her dream coming to reality, is our own F-U to cancer. It can strip away our health and number our days, but it cannot touch our spirit, nor can it dust away the fingerprints we leave behind on this life.
Poison by Bridget Zinn
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.
Where you can purchase Poison
Barnes & Noble
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.
More about Bridget
A remembrance of Bridget written by her agent (with a video of Bridget that shows how vibrant and funny she was)
Bridget's path to publication - in her own words.
A post in which Bridget shares her Sneaky Tips for writing (which also has an audio file of her reading this post)
If you'd like to help with sharing Bridget's story, follow the link below. You'll find lots of information about the release, and ways you can help.