About this project
Time Traveler Tours & Tales shapes interactive stories from historical events, people, and places, just as a sculptor extracts the statue hiding within a block of stone. Then, we offer them to our audiences where they want them most: in print or audio, on tablet or mobile device.
Through this Kickstarter campaign, we invite you to participate in the creation of a new form of storytelling: The StoryAppTour. Join us in producing In the Footsteps of Giants, by internationally renowned author Mary Hoffman -- an interactive first-person tale based on true events, and inspired by the people, art, and culture of 16th century Florence, Italy.
Hoffman’s story-driven tour, peppered throughout with quests for artifacts dating to the age, takes you back in time to the Renaissance in the company of the young model who stood for Michelangelo’s David. Listen and/or read along as you follow in his footsteps, walking where Michelangelo once also walked.
In the Footsteps of Giants StoryAppTour, to be developed for iPhone, transports you to the streets of old Florence. You’ll feel as if you are there–a witness to history–as you watch one of the greatest artists of all time carve one of the most iconic sculptures in world history. Through immersive, high context games and activities, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the time and place in which Michelangelo lived and worked, interacting not just with your device, but with your companions and, most importantly, your surroundings.
Reusing the creative features that make up Mary’s StoryAppTour, we can then produce a suite of products -- print, interactive, and audio books -- under the same title, all honoring the colossal sculpture, David, as well as the giant who made him, Michelangelo.
Time Traveler Tours & Tales combines the power of story with the magic of the touchscreen to create portals to the past so that digital natives may experience history on devices they enjoy and understand. Published across digital and traditional formats, our Title Suites bring history to life in a variety of contexts, including home, school, museum, and even the family holiday.
We are to history what Neil deGrasse Tyson is to astronomy, and what Bill Nye is to science. We make history personal, relevant, real, and most importantly fun!
Our mission is to ensure that no one says History is Boring! ever again.
MEET MARY HOFFMAN
- Mary's six-book Stravaganza Series, swashbuckling time-travel tales to historic Italy, has been translated into 28 languages
- Described by LeVar Burton as "one of my favorite children's books of all time," Mary's Amazing Grace celebrates its 25th anniversary in September. It now boasts 50+ hardback editions in the US alone. And the series spawned by the original title has sold 1.5m copies worldwide.
- Mary's adult novel, David, on which In the Footsteps of Giants is based, was described by Art historian Ross King as "A thrilling story of dangerous rivalries in art, love and politics, with one of the world’s greatest masterpieces at its heart."
- Falconer's Knot, France's Prix Polar: Best Crime Novel for Young People
- Amazing Grace, Waldenbooks Silver Book Award: Best Picturebook
- Troubadour, Costa Award Shortlisted Title
- The Great Big Book of Families, School Library Association's Information Book Award
- Welcome to the Family, currently on the shortlist for the SLA award
MEET TEAM TTT&T:
Behind every great Renaissance artist was a patron, and behind the great authors of today there is always a supporting team that believes in the magic that's being made and wants to be a part of its realization. That is certainly true of the team at Time Traveler Tours & Tales. And here we are!
Plus all the good folks at:
And did you know?...
THE TTT&T BACKSTORY:
How did it all begin? Founder & Creative Director, Sarah Towle, recounts the origins of the StoryAppTour and how that transformed into a digital-first mulitplatform publishing startup called Time Traveler Tours & Tales...
WHAT WE WILL DO WITH $40,000:
One thing we've learned through creating this campaign: You never want to set out asking for less money than you need. But the fact is that our goal for this campaign will only get us started. With a successful campaign, we will be able to build our first iteration "Minimum Loveable Product": An English-language iOS app for the iPhone, viewable on the iPad, based on Mary's interactive tour to Renaissance Florence, In the Footsteps of Giants. Simultaneously, we will be developing the foundational infrastructure of our publishing engine that will enable us to produce interactive historical StoryAppTours for years to come.
Here is how we anticipate using the initial $40k:
Should we make it beyond $40K, we could do many more things:
- translate In the Footsteps of Giants into Italian and re-issue a bilingual edition of the StoryAppTour
- publish In the Footsteps of Giants as interactive books for iPad in both English and Italian for the school & library markets
- publish print editions of In the Footsteps of Giants in both English and Italian
- develop a curriculum guide of In the Footsteps of Giants for use in school
ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN ARTWORK:
This gorgeous map of Florence was created expressly for Time Traveler Tours & Tales by world-class picture book & app illustrator, the amazing Roxie Munro. It can be yours through this campaign in a variety of prices and formats:
- B&W print of the inked original -- $250 (limited to 75)
- Print of the painted original -- $500 (limited to 75)
- B&W inked original -- $1000 (already reserved!)
- Painted original -- $5000 (taken 3x already, but donated each time back to the campaign. YAY!)
The gorgeous work of art below, is generously offered by the illustrator, John Shelley – a close personal friend of Mary Hoffman – as a limited edition print at $500 for the exclusive benefit of our campaign. Taken from Stone Giant by Jane Sutcliffe, we feature it here with the full permission of Jane and John's publisher, Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc. We are so grateful to the generosity of John, Jane, and Charlesbridge, and we urge you -- once you’ve made your pledge to our campaign -- to run right out and buy their wonderful book!
Stone Giant, Illustration copyright © 2014 by John Shelley, Used with permission by Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc., 85 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472, (617) 926-0329, www.charlesbridge.com. All rights reserved.
TTT&T Corporate Friends, Supporters, and Sponsors:
In addition to John Shelley and Charlesbridge Publishing (above) and all our corporate sponsors, I have many, many people to thank for this adventure...
Beth Lower, TTT&T Art Director, for being with me from the very beginning,
Michael Tucker, CEO Bluespark, for seeing the promise as early on as 2011 when he happened to beta-test Beware Madame La Guillotine.
Emma D. Dryden, Editorial & Publishing Consultant, for believing, encouraging, and making my words shine brighter.
Dan Blank, Outreach & Marketing Consultant, for pushing ME to understand better what it is I'm trying to do so that together WE can better communicate it to the world.
Caitlin Hoffman, Community Manager, the magic would not be happening without you, doll!
Mary Hoffman, Author, Thanks for taking a risk on us!
Frank Totaro, Finance & Accounting Consultant, thanks for your faith in the project and for helping me prove, with numbers, that it can work.
Deb Shapiro, Publicity Consultant, your fresh perspective and fun ideas are always just what need, at just the right time, every time.
Julie Hedlund, Author & Founder of 12x12, we are all so very grateful for your ongoing support and superlative advice re: Kickstarter strategies!
Julie Gribble, Author & Founder of KidLit TV, thanks for hosting our fantastical Kickstarter kick off bash! For all your help with the campaign video! And for your love, generosity, and support!
Candy Gourlay, Author & Final Cut Pro Enthusiast, Thank you SOO much for your generous gift of time and talent in the making of our campaign video! It's loved by all!!!
Carey Shea & Calvin Parker, Dear Friends & Harlem Residents, Thank you for billeting the expanded Team TTT&T when in NYC, resulting in a savings to us of thousands!
Alex, Chiara, Lauren, Leah & Robbie, TTT&T Interns, Thanks for your help at the NY Event. Brunonians Rule!
Rachel Skingsley & Isabelle Chollet, Friends & Partners in French Language Acquisition, honestly, without you, I would not be here today.
And for ALL supporters of my first Kickstarter Campaign, you set me on this path and I will be grateful to you, always, for that.
Last, but absolutely not least, James & Liliana Hertling, my adoring family, without you there would be no me and not TTT&T.
But wait! There is one more... Gryffindog, thanks for forcing me out of my chair three times each day to take you out on walks, buddy. You keep me young, fit, and relatively stress free (with an emphasis on relatively).
Risks and challenges
Tech is tech. In fact just today, on the eve of taking this campaign live to the public, we've had a series of server issue problems, modem cut outs, and computer acting-ups.
So while we will make every effort to have Mary's StoryAppTour ready for tourist season 2016 -- and shipped to you! -- stuff happens.
If it does, we'll keep you posted every step of the way. Promise!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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