Carson Ellis/Courtesy the Artist
Before illustrating the new Wildwood books with Colin Meloy, artist Carson Ellis created images for several Decemberists album covers, including The Crane Wife.
Before illustrating the new Wildwood books with Colin Meloy, artist Carson Ellis created images for several Decemberists album covers, including The Crane Wife. Carson Ellis/Courtesy the Artist
HarperCollins has signed Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy to a deal to write three novels for middle-school students. Meloy is calling the series Wildwood, "a classic tale of adventure, magic and danger, set in an alternate version of modern-day Portland, Ore." The books will be illustrated by Meloy's wife, Carson Ellis, the artist who designed covers for several Decemberists albums, including The Crane Wife and The Hazards of Love.
Meloy has long been known for composing literary story-songs with vividly imaginative narratives. "The germ of this (book) series goes back a long way," Meloy says. "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."
"Wildwood is a project very close to my heart," Ellis says, adding that it's "the collaboration that Colin and I have been dreaming about for years."
The first book in the Wildwood series is due for release in the fall of 2011.