Tuesday, January 12, 2016


NASHVILLE—In an extraordinary start to 2016, Sydney Lane Press has inked a deal with Stephen and Ross Lawhead to publish the Hero Trilogy, a retelling of the Gospel story set in a chilling, dystopian future America.

The project was conceived through a collaboration of Stephen and Ross Lawhead with Grammynominated songwriter and performer, Eddie DeGarmo. DeGarmo and co-writer Bob Farrell created Hero: The Rock Opera. The live event opened with Michael Tait, Mark Stuart, and Rebecca St. James in lead roles. Hero was performed theatrically 21 times. The bestselling soundtrack won two Dove Awards.

DeGarmo turned to the Lawheads, who have garnered numerous literary awards and sold millions of books, to bring Hero to life in book form. The three books imaginatively capture the coming of the Messiah in an age controlled by a One World Government that parallels the brutal Roman World of Jesus’ life and ministry.

“We wanted to re-introduce the incredible power of the Gospel narrative by placing it in a world of danger and intrigue the modern reader will immediately relate to,” said DeGarmo. “There was no one better than the Lawheads to pull off that incredible writing feat. The storyline they created from our musical still amazes me.”

“I’ve always loved to write about real and imaginary worlds that are steeped in meaning,” said Stephen Lawhead. “To faithfully retell the Gospel in a future where truth and life is dictated by a tyrannical bureaucracy was a challenge, a delight, and a labor of love.”

"I was honored to work on Hero,” said Ross Lawhead. “Eddie originally approached me to illustrate a graphic novel, with my dad writing the script. I couldn't help pitching my own ideas and so I became co-author. It was a thrill to then be asked to co-author the novels, which allowed us to fully expand the story's themes, plots, and characters. The Gospel is truly the greatest story ever told—I believe we've managed to put an exciting spin on it in retelling it this way.”

“I was introduced to Stephen Lawhead’s writings with the Pendragon Cycle,” said Mark Gilroy, president and publisher of Sydney Lane Press. “There is a reason Stephen’s works are compared to those of literary giants like J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. The parallels Stephen and Ross draw to the four Gospels are brilliant. We are pleased and proud to publish this amazing work.”

City of Dreams releases in August 2016. New and existing fans of the Lawheads will be pleased to learn that Rogue Nation and World Without End will follow in four-month intervals.

Sydney Lane Press of Nashville, Tenn., is a new publishing company founded by veteran book publishing executives Mark Gilroy and Brian Henson in the fall of 2015. The Sydney Lane catalog will have twenty titles by the end of 2016. Visit www.sydneylanepress.com for more information.

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