Monday, May 27, 2013


Hi, P. J. Hoover here, and today I am beyond excited to be able to feature a book that I fell in love with and a true sweetheart that helped make it happen.

POISON by Bridget Zinn (March 12, 2013, Hyperion)

I participated in a launch event for POISON at BookPeople here in Austin, TX, hosted by Bridget's family, and had the wonderful idea that even though I couldn't feature Bridget here on the blog, I could feature someone very close to her, Barrett Dowell, her husband.

At the BookPeople launch event
L to R: Me, Barrett Dowell (Bridget's husband), Nikki Loftin, Cory Putman Oakes, and Mary Zuniga Johnson (Bridget's cousin)

Members of the Austin writing community signed the book.
A stamp with Bridget's signature was also used. 
You can have one of the signed copies from the event mailed to you.
Contact BookPeople for more information

Barrett, thank you so much for being her with us today! And now, let's get on with the questions!


PJHoover: The release of POISON has been such an amazing thing! What do you think would have made Bridget the happiest about the whole release?

BarrettD: There is a lot happing with POISON's release that would have thrilled Bridget and made her extremely happy. I think seeing how the international community of book lovers has rallied to support and promote POISON would have put Bridget over the moon. I know she would have been extremely grateful.

I also think the letters from readers about how POISON and Bridget's own story of battling cancer has impacted them would be quite touching for her. One letter mentioned how Bridget's words have "taken away the scary" from their own battle against cancer. It is so amazing how Bridget continues to put happiness in the world through her words.

PJHoover: When we talked, you mentioned there were some things in POISON that were "special" to Bridget. Can you share some of these with us?

BarrettD: The character Fred in POISON was named in honor of Fred Weasley from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels. Bridget was a huge fan of warm pockets of life in books. She loved those real moments when a characters connect and you see their real friendships. The Weasley twins brought humor to some of the darker parts of Rowling's novels and that is what Bridget loved in the books. She like many fans felt a loss after reading The Deathly Hallows and when Bridget was writing POISON she thought the name Fred was the perfect homage to a missed character.

Rosie, the katzenheim piglet that joins Kyra on her quest, is a character inspired from Bridget's own childhood. The name Rosie was borrowed from a lifelong friend who grew up just through the woods from Bridget's childhood home in northern Wisconsin. There are also nice moments between Kyra and Rosie in POISON that remind me of Bridget's relationship with our bengal cat, Harpo.

PJHoover: What has been your biggest surprise since the release of POISON?

BarrettD: My biggest surprise since the release has been the amount of help and support I have received from friends and people from around the country who have helped promote POISON to ensure it reaches readers. I am so thankful.

Another awesome surprise was Disney Publishing Worldwide's announcement of its donation of 1,000 brand new, hardcover copies of Poison to FirstBook in dedication of Bridget. This meant so much to me and to Bridget's father, Dick Zinn. We are both grateful to Disney Publishing Worldwide and so proud of Bridget.

PJHoover: Can you share with us some memories from the time POISON was being written?

BarrettD: Writing a book is a huge undertaking and Bridget had lots of support. She had a fantastic writers' group which she met with regularly. Their encouragement and critiques kept her on track and helped her craft POISON along with many other novels Bridget has written, but not yet published.

Bridget's agent, Michael Stearns of Upstart Crow Literary, had tremendous impact on our lives. He came in at the right moment and was the perfect addition to our team. It meant the world to Bridget to have someone she respected in the industry understand and believe in her work. Bridget signed with him about a month before her diagnosis of having fourth stage colon cancer.

PJHoover: If you could let the world know one special thing about Bridget, what would it be?

BarrettD: Bridget taught me to appreciate the moment. I think she said it best in her last tweet, "Sunshine and a brand new book. Perfect."

PJHoover: Thank you so much for being here!



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.
Praise for Poison:
"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."—Kirkus Reviews
Extraordinary." —Jennifer L. Holm, New York Times best-selling author

"Bridget Zinn's POISON is an absolute charmer of a book, full of adventure and romance and fun. I give it five stars—with an extra star for the cutest pig character you will ever meet." —Sarah Prineas, author of The Magic Thief series and the Winterling trilogy


If you know of someone who would make a great Featured Sweetheart, please let us know! The best part? If you nominate someone, we'll send you a $5 Starbucks gift card :)


  1. What a lovely interview. POISON's been on my wishlist for a while now and I can't wait to actually get my hands on it. The portion-making and the pig were incentives enough for me to want to read the book. Now there's a Fred Weasley incarnation. Dear lord. I MUST get to this.

  2. Thanks for reading, Bidisha! I adored the Fred Weasley connection! I found that so special!