Profiles of five new authors making a splash this season:

Spring 2012 Flying Starts: Caroline Starr Rose

In 2009, with nearly a dozen unpublished manuscripts, stacks of rejections, and no leads, Caroline Starr Rose seized what she terms a “you only live once” conviction and quit her job teaching middle-school social studies to write full-time. Her husband, a Presbyterian minister, and two sons, now nine and 11, cheered her along, and four months later Rose completed the manuscript for May B. (Random/Schwartz & Wade), a historical novel in verse set in the 19th-century, about a 12-year-old girl left to fend for herself during a brutal Kansas winter. She quickly secured an agent, Michelle Humphrey at the Martha Kaplan Agency, and in another four months she had a book deal.

Spring 2012 Flying Starts: Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo’s path to publication took a few twists and turns before her first book, Shadow and Bone (Holt) finally hit the shelves. Born in Jerusalem and raised in Los Angeles, Bardugo graduated from Yale with a degree in English. From there, she worked in journalism and copywriting, including some time spent crafting movie trailers. However, writing was her dream. “I’d always wanted to be a writer. Come hell or high water, I’d finish a book.”

Spring 2012 Flying Starts: Christopher Healy

Like so many little girls, Christopher Healy’s daughter went through a “heavy princess phase” a few years back. Healy, then a freelance magazine writer, discussed what he termed parental “princess fatigue” in an essay for And while he would often commiserate with other parents who were troubled by archetypical images of passive princesses, he was also perturbed by the vacuous nature of Prince Charming in fairy tales like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, and Cinderella. “He’s so inconsequential,” Healy says. “He’s presented as the ideal man, but he has no personality.” If princesses are going to fall in love with princes, he continues, then “shouldn’t we care about who these men are?”

Spring 2012 Flying Starts: emily m. danforth

No, that’s not a typo: emily m. danforth does not capitalize her name. “But not for interesting theoretical or political reasons,” she says. “I just like the way that it looks, and I’ve done it ever since high school.” She’s happy to see her name any way people want to style it, though, most especially on the cover of her debut novel, The Miseducation of Cameron Post (HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray).

Spring 2012 Flying Starts: Marissa Meyer

When Marissa Meyer decided to remake the popular fairy tale Cinderella, little did she know that she would soon be living out her own fairy tale. Cinder (Feiwel and Friends), a dystopian, sci-fi young adult novel about an outcast cyborg who unwisely falls for a handsome prince and winds up at the center of an interplanetary war, was released in early January and soon found a place on bestseller lists.