Diana Renn

Diana Renn’s novel, Tokyo Heist, a YA mystery, was published by Viking Children's Books/Penguin in June 2012. Her essays and short fiction – for adults and for young readers – have been published in a variety of magazines, including The Writer, Writer's Digest, YARN (Young Adult Review Network), Literary Mama, Lit 103.3: Fiction for the Ears, The Indiana Review, and Cricket Magazine for Children. She has also published several textbooks for students of  English as a Second Language. She lives outside of Boston with her husband and son, and is working on her next novel, also a YA mystery. Visit her website and her group blog about mystery writing for kids and teens, Sleuths Spies & Alibis.

Quirky writing habit:
I often slip on a pair of striped fingerless gloves before sitting down to type. They're striped, cashmere, from Nordstrom, and well-worn. It's something I started doing one winter, when I used to get up very early to write and was just trying to warm up my hands. But I found it was like putting on a "writing uniform" – it helped me quickly get into the mindset of producing pages – so if I'm uninspired or distracted, I'll put those writing gloves on even in the summer!

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Sixteen-year-old Violet loves reading manga and wearing scarves made from kimono fabric, so she’s thrilled that her father’s new painting commission means a summer trip to Japan. But what starts as an exotic vacation quickly turns into a dangerous treasure hunt.

Her father’s newest clients, the Yamada family, are the victims of a high-profile art robbery: van Gogh sketches have been stolen from their home, and, until they can produce the corresponding painting, everyone's lives are in danger -- including Violet's and her father's.

Violet’s search for the missing van Gogh takes her from the Seattle Art Museum, to the yakuza-infested streets of Tokyo, to a secluded inn in Kyoto. As the mystery thickens, Violet’s not sure whom she can trust. But she knows one thing: she has to solve the mystery -- before it’s too late.