Colin Meloy and Maile Meloy are both publishing books for kids
Colin Meloy is mainly known as lead man of Decemberists. His sister Maile Meloy is one of America's brightest young writers. But the paths of the talented siblings are intersecting: Later this year, they're both publishing their first books for readers aged 9-12.
Colin, whose band's latest record debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard chart, has written one book before -- "Let it Be," part of the 33 1/3 series. It's a very readable memoir about growing up in Montana and listening to the music of The Replacements.
Maile, who lives in Los Angeles, has made writing her vocation. Her accolades include being named one of Granta's best young American novelists, winning the Paris Review's Aga Khan Prize for best short story of the year and receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2009, she published the acclaimed short story collection "Both Ways Is The Only Way I Want It."
Maile's book, due in October from Putnam Juvenile, is "The Apothecary." Set in 1952 London, it's about an American girl from Los Angeles who meets a son of an apothecary, who then disappears. It's got an ancient book, spies and a looming nuclear threat.
"Wildwood," written by Colin with 76 illustrations by his wife Carson Ellis, is the first of a trilogy. It's being published by Balzer & Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins. Described as a Narnia-like tale of adventure and magic, it's set in an alternate version of modern-day Portland, Ore. -- here's the cover.
Colin and Maile Meloy will appear together to talk about their upcoming books later this month at Book Expo, publishing's biggest conference. They're both scheduled to be on the "buzz" panel, during which major publishers present upcoming big books to a room full of more than a thousand booksellers.
After which, Colin departs to reach audiences of thousands more, on the Decemberists' summer tour.
-- Carolyn Kellogg
Photos: Left, Colin Meloy performing with The Decemberists at SXSW in 2009. Credit: Jack Plunkett / Associated Press. Right, Maile Meloy. Credit: Ringo H.W. Chiu / For the Times