Rgz SALON member Lyn Miller-Lachmann has been the Editor-in-Chief of MultiCultural Review; the author of the award-winning multicultural bibliography Our Family, Our Friends, Our World; the editor of Once Upon a Cuento, a collection of short stories by Latino authors; and the author of Gringolandia, a young adult novel about a refugee family living with the aftermath of the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. Her most recent novel, Rogue--a spring/summer Junior Library Guild selection for middle school--is out in May.
We're honored to have Lyn here as part of the rgz SALON, a feature where top kidlit experts clue us in to the best YA novels they've read recently. Today, she discusses Poison by Bridget Zinn (Disney-Hyperion), a debut author gone too soon:
"Even before selling her first novel, Bridget was an active participant in the community of librarians, teachers, book bloggers, and writers. She gave much to the community through her blog, which highlighted new books and gave advice and encouragement to other struggling writers. She realized her life’s dream when her Poison sold to Disney Hyperion late in 2009, with a tentative publication date of summer 2012. By that time, though, she had been diagnosed with cancer, and in 2011, at the age of 33, she lost her battle. She never had the chance to see her novel in print.
"Poison was eventually published on March 12, 2013, and Bridget’s family and friends put together a blog tour to make sure her work would be remembered and appreciated. Because authors these days have to handle so much of the marketing themselves, and Bridget is no longer here to do the work she would have done so well and with so much enthusiasm, many friends and admirers have volunteered to do it for her.
"I never knew Bridget personally, though I did read her blog sometimes. My decision to join the blog tour for Poison comes out of my own experience of having a disability and needing help to do things that would be difficult or impossible for me to do myself. Like the protagonist of my forthcoming novel Rogue, I have been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism, and have struggled all my life with social interactions and social cues. Without the efforts that other people have made for me, and the accommodation that I have received, I would not have been able to receive my MFA degree, find an appreciative audience for my small-press-published YA novel Gringolandia, or have the opportunity to publish a second novel based on my own experiences of growing up on the autism spectrum. Having been the recipient of so much kindness and generosity, I feel it is important to pay it forward in whatever way I can.” -Lyn Miller-Lachmann