In a rare instance of an independent, print-on-demand novel series signed straight to network, Ovation, America’s only arts network, has inked Joel Eisenberg and Steve Hillard, creators of the eight-volume fantasy saga The Chronicles of Ara, to a comprehensive development deal. The structure of the deal encompasses an 8-hour miniseries based on the first two novels, Creation and Perdition, with an option to exploit the remaining books for a possible ongoing series and further spin-offs.
The series is about a muse who inspires all of art and invention, Ara, who is corrupted upon a tragic loss. "Our logline springs from there," says Eisenberg. "The end of the world begins when man is betrayed by his greatest creation: his art." He adds, "What better outlet than Ovation, a network devoted to the arts and culture, to explore this concept?"
Hillard elaborates. "We run with the concept of dangerous art - all those video games, novels, music, lyrics, and so on that parents and teachers say are bad for you - and we respond, 'Okay, we agree. All art is dangerous. Now what? What of the wars and cultures art inspires. What then?'"
To get there, the authors run parallel storylines and follow some of history's more renowned 'darker authors' in the course of their greatest creations. These authors include J.R.R. Tolkien, Mary Shelley, Lewis Carroll, H.G. Wells, Edgar Allan Poe and others as featured characters. It is Eisenberg and Hillard's conceit that authors who "tend to explore their darker human natures more than most, are those most likely to realize hidden truths."
“The Chronicles of Ara is a fantastically imaginative series that explores the origins and repercussions of artistic creation. Its theme, of course, is perfectly suited for the only television network dedicated to the arts, but the story itself is so engaging and visual in its telling that it seems destined for a series,” said Scott Woodward, EVP, Programming and Production, Ovation. “We’re looking forward to working with Joel and Steve to bring their stories to Ovation viewers.”
"We are thrilled to be in business with Ovation," says Eisenberg. "Their mission statement of Art Everywhere resonates with us, and there is no better outlet for our series."
To complement the unusual nature of the deal, The Chronicles of Ara novels are published by Topos Books, an imprint of Incorgnitio Press (www.incorgnitobooks.com), a company that was formed earlier this year.