Six authors and illustrators with notable spring debuts.

Spring 2013 Flying Starts: Tim Federle

Tim Federle’s parents took him to see Cats when he was nine years old. From the moment he realized that one could “dress in a Halloween costume, sing, and get paid,” he wondered why anyone would want any other job.

Spring 2013 Flying Starts: Adina Rishe Gewirtz

When Adina Rishe Gewirtz was 12, she had what she calls a “life-changing” experience: she read Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. “I was so taken with the voice and how she just wrapped me up in that experience,” Gewirtz said.

Spring 2013 Flying Starts: Aaron Meshon

Aaron Meshon met his wife, Ayako, 10 years ago at a softball game in Chinatown under the Manhattan Bridge. She’s Japanese, and they’ve traveled back and forth to Japan together more than a dozen times..

Spring 2013 Flying Starts: Nicole Griffin

If you ask Nicole Griffin whether she always wanted to write YA books, she doesn’t hesitate. “I always planned that was what I was going to do,” she says, “from the time I was a tiny kid.”

Spring 2013 Flying Starts: Maris Wicks

After Maris Wicks graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2003 with a B.F.A. in illustration, she didn’t exactly leap into her chosen field.

Spring 2013 Flying Starts: Leila Howland

The road to publication for Leila Howland’s YA debut, Nantucket Blue (Disney-Hyperion, May)—about a girl who, while working as a chambermaid one summer, falls in love with her best friend’s younger brother—was almost 15 years in the making.