Saturday, September 21, 2013

Dreaming of Tuscany

I had plans to head off to Tuscany in October but unfortunately I’ve had to push out the trip to 2014. That doesn't stop me from dreaming about one of my favorite places. Florence is such an amazing city and I think I’ve only scratched the surface of all the amazing churches and palaces it has to offer. I long to return to the over-the-top rooms of Palazzo Pitti. I wasn't able to tour the royal apartments or see the costume exhibit on my last visit. I want to hop in a tiny Fiat and hit the road and explore the wonderful hill towns. One of my favorite things to do is focus in on the little details that make each town unique. In Assisi the churches and cathedrals like the Basilica di San Francesco take center stage. But as I wandered the streets I became fascinated by all the intricate wrought iron lamps and posts that jutted out of the stonewalls. 

 They were held up by the most spectacular gargoyles.

I found myself looking up to make sure I caught all the wonderful creatures that loomed above me.  

In Poppi, the town is centered around the huge medieval castle that sits high on a hill. When you enter the castle a massive stone staircase commands your attention. The shear scale of the castle is impressive enough, but what really caught my eye was the immense ballroom. The walls and the massive vaulted ceiling were covered in faux painted marble panels and wonderful stenciled designs. A decorative painters dream. Having faux painted quite a few walls myself; I could appreciate the amazing skill the painters used to complete such an enormous space.    

I continue to dream of Tuscany. Next year can’t get here fast enough.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Big News!

I'm sure some of you have noticed I've been MIA for a couple of months. Life has been a bit crazy and unfortunately the blog had to be set on the back burner. But I'm back with good news. I sold my Young Adult novel Toyko Dare! For those who have been following my blog you know how much I love Japan. I wrote Tokyo Dare so that teens could read and learn about Japan through a fun adventure driven novel. I'm so happy to announce that an editor fell in love with my story and it will be published soon. I'll post details as we get closer to the publication date which should be sometime in August. 

Here's the deals report in Publishers Weekly! 

Young Adult

Anne Van's TOKYO DARE, in which a dare sends a high school student to Japan where her host family thinks she's the devil and a wacky to-do list turns her world inside out, to Jude Pittman at Books We Love, by Dawn Dowdle at Blue Ridge Literary Agency.

I'll be blogging about the crazy times ahead as I get closer to the book release. I'm lucky to have a publisher that will let me design my own cover. Those years of art school are finally going to pay off. : ) I'll be posting cover previews as I go along. 

So stay tuned!