HarperCollins Signs Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis for 'Wildwood' Series LEAD SINGER AND SONGWRITER OF THE DECEMBERISTS TO WRITE FIRST NOVEL FOR CHILDREN
NEW YORK, April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- HarperCollins Publishers announced today that it has acquired North American rights to Wildwood, a middle-grade series by Colin Meloy, illustrated by acclaimed artist Carson Ellis. Wildwood is a classic tale of adventure, magic, and danger, set in an alternate version of modern-day Portland, Oregon. Meloy is the lead singer and songwriter of The Decemberists, the highly celebrated and uncommonly literary band.
The three-book deal was negotiated by Donna Bray, Co-Publisher of the Balzer & Bray imprint at HarperCollins, with Steven Malk of Writers House, after an auction involving five other publishers. The first book is scheduled for publication in Fall 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 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." Ellis commented, "Wildwood is a project very close to my heart - the collaboration that Colin and I have been dreaming about for years."
Colin Meloy formed The Decemberists in 2000, with his singing and songwriting providing the core for the band's singular music. Their most recent album, The Hazards of Love, debuted at #1 on the iTunes Store album chart and at #14 on the Billboard 200. The band has sold more than one million albums worldwide. Carson Ellis 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.
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SOURCE HarperCollins Publishers