Decemberist-Colin Meloy has written a novel titled the Wildwood Chronicles, and now has plans to release it on August 30th complimented by drawings by his wife Carson Ellis.

Dear Readers,

Back in the year 2000, Carson and I were living humble, impoverished lives in a warehouse in Portland, Oregon. I was thinking about starting a new band; Carson was doing oil paintings and selling them at fire-sale prices. We were kindred spirits. Since we'd met in college a few years prior, we discovered that our creative sensibilities lined up perfectly. Carson had done flyers for my college band. I sometimes suggested subjects for her paintings. We were looking for some way to create a real collaboration.

We started working on a story.

It would be an illustrated novel, we decided, and it would be for kids. It would be epic in scope. A war-torn world that existed, somehow, out of time. A young protagonist, searching for a lost relative. A mechanical boy-prince, whose resurrection and subsequent death was the ultimate cause for the heartbreak of a nation and, perhaps, the madness of his bereft parents. [Colin Meloy]

You can now pre-order the Wildwood Chronicles, and even if you don't, you can read the first four chapters for free.

The Decemberists will be in Chicago this Monday (7/25), to play the Aragon Ballroom with support from The Head and the Heart. Tickets are (oddly) still available.