I'm not sure when the first gang of debut authors banded together (perhaps it was 2007?), but now these type of group blogs are going strong. The current incarnation is called The Lucky 13s and there are dozens of them!!
Remember back to 2007? Blogging was in its infancy--and was there even Facebook or Twitter? Those pioneers really hard worked to get their novels noticed, and it really is true that there is strength in numbers.
(A little detour into Twitter: I swing between loving and loathing Twitter. It works best when people are mass tweeting an event like the Presidential election results or the Oscars, but as a form of truly connecting I've found it lacking. And often overwhelming. However, I've just started to experiment with the "Lists" function and have found it an effective way to circumvent the ever-flowing stream filled with Twitter flotsam and jetsam.)
A number of interesting MG novelists are debuting in 2013, and I have to admit that I heard about most of them through Twitter--so that's one example of Twitter's efficacy. I'd like to spotlight three of them just now, and then ask for other recommendations of titles which catch your fancy.
One of the debuts I'm most excited about is Caroline Carlson's Magic Marks the Spot (The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1, HarperCollins). The story, from an abridged version of the plot on Goodreads:
Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate. However, the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates refuses to let any girl join their ranks of scourges and scallywags.
Girls belong at Miss Pimm’s Finishing School for Delicate Ladies, learning to waltz, faint, and curtsy. But Hilary and her dearest friend, the gargoyle, have no use for such frivolous lessons— they are pirates! (Or very nearly.)
To escape from a life of petticoats and politeness, Hilary answers a curious advertisement for a pirate crew and suddenly finds herself swept up in a seafaring adventure that may or may not involve a map without an “X,” a magical treasure that likely doesn’t exist, a rogue governess who insists on propriety, a crew of misfit scallywags, and the most treacherous—and unexpected—villain on the High Seas.
Twitter, and you can catch her here on her website. She is represented by one of the agents I most admire, Sarah Davies of the Greenhouse Agency.
Next, there's a debut by a fellow British expat, also a Twitter star, Kit Grindstaff. The Flame in the Mist (Dealacorte) is set in an imagined past, and is a dark fantasy-adventure for fans of Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass.
Fiery-headed Jemma Agromond is not who she thinks she is, and when the secrets and lies behind her life at mist-shrouded Agromond Castle begin to unravel, she finds herself in a chilling race for her life. Ghosts and misfits, a stone and crystals, a mysterious book, an ancient prophecy—all these reveal the truth about Jemma's past and a destiny far greater and more dangerous than she could have imagined in her wildest fantasies. With her telepathic golden rats, Noodle and Pie, and her trusted friend, Digby, Jemma navigates increasingly dark forces, as helpers both seen and unseen, gather. But in the end, it is her own powers that she must bring to light, for only she has the key to defeating the evil ones and fulfilling the prophecy that will bring back the sun and restore peace in Anglavia. (Goodreads)
My final spotlight is on Better Nate than Ever (Simon and Schuster) by Tim Federle. Tim is one heck of a funny guy and, according to an interview in the New York Times, was "born quipping." Here's the Goodreads' summary of his novel:
Nate Foster has big dreams. His whole life, he’s wanted to star in a Broadway show. (Heck, he'd settle for *seeing* a Broadway show.) But how is Nate supposed to make his dreams come true when he’s stuck in Jankburg, Pennsylvania, where no one (except his best pal Libby) appreciates a good show tune? With Libby’s help, Nate plans a daring overnight escape to New York. There's an open casting call for E.T.: The Musical, and Nate knows this could be the difference between small-town blues and big-time stardom.
I can't wait to get my hand on these three titles.
Are there any MG debuts in 2013 which you are salivating to read?