“A collaboration they’ve
been dreaming about for years” Meloy + artist Carson Ellis.
By Blurt Staff
Decemberists mainman Colin Meloy, no stranger to
flights of lyrical whimsy, and an author in his own right, is now set to deploy
his active imagination in the field of children’s literature. HarperCollins
Publishers announced yesterday that it has acquired North American rights
to Wildwood, a middle-grade series by Meloy,
illustrated by acclaimed artist Carson Ellis. Wildwood is described as “a
classic tale of adventure, magic, and danger, set in an alternate version of
modern-day Portland, Oregon.”
It’s a 3-book deal for Meloy, with the first one due in the
fall of 2011.
“Storytelling and rich imagery are hallmarks of Colin’s songs, so
writing a novel seems like a perfect next step for him,” said Donna Bray of HarperCollins imprint Balzer & Bray.
“Wildwood is both incredibly original yet timeless – nothing
less than an American Narnia. We’re thrilled to introduce such an exciting new
voice in children’s literature.”
Steven Malk of Writers House added, “Colin
and Carson tap
into the greatest potential of an illustrated novel; the words and images
invigorate each other in a way readers rarely get to experience.”
“The germ of this series goes back a long way,” Meloy said.
“For me, this is the culmination of a long-term collaboration with Carson, matching words
and art. I grew up on a steady diet of Lloyd
Alexander, Roald Dahl, and Tolkien; this is
our humble paean to that grand tradition of epic adventure stories.” Artist
Ellis, who first rose to prominence as the artist who created the band’s iconic
visual look, and has gone on to illustrate bestselling books such as The
Mysterious Benedict Society and Lemony Snicket’s The Composer
is Dead, commented, “Wildwood is a project very close to
my heart – the collaboration that Colin and I have been dreaming about for
BONUS BEATS: Name the two separated-at-birth celebrities, below.