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Dolly Parton tries something new with a surprising collaborator: James Patterson

Dolly Parton and James Patterson are co-authors of the novel, "Run, Rose, Run," which will be published in March 2022.
(Dolly Parton)

America’s sweetheart keeps on giving. Dolly Parton has written thousands of songs and donated $1 million to help develop the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine — but she isn’t done. On March 7, 2022, the country-music icon will publish her first novel, “Run, Rose, Run,” co-written with bestselling author James Patterson.

Parton will simultaneously release a new 12-song original album of the same name, meant to accompany the book. Set in Nashville, “Run, Rose, Run” tells the story of a young woman who journeys to Music City to pursue her country music-making dreams, drawing inspiration for her songwriting from a brutal secret in her past — a secret that won’t stay hidden.

In an announcement today, Little, Brown, the division of Hachette Book Group that will publish the novel, promised “Run, Rose, Run” would combine “James Patterson’s brilliant character-building and dramatic skills with Dolly Parton’s unparalleled insight into the music world’s star-making machinery.”

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The country music star is everywhere these days. And she’s determined to bridge our seemingly countless divides.

“It’s been an honor — and a hell of a lot of fun — to work with the inimitable Dolly Parton, whom I’ve long admired for her music, her storytelling, and her enormous generosity,” Patterson said in the Little, Brown release. “The mind-blowing thing about this project is that reading the novel is enhanced by listening to the album and vice versa. It’s a really unique experience that I know readers (and listeners) will love.”

The album, produced by Richard Dennison and Tom Rutledge, will be released by Parton’s Butterfly Records in partnership with another record label to be named later.

A book jacket for Dolly Parton and James Patterson "Run Rose Run." Credit: Little, Brown and Company
(Little, Brown and Company)

Though Patterson has frequently collaborated with other writers, ranging from regular co-author Maxine Paetro to two-time partner and former President Bill Clinton, none of them have sold more than 100 million albums.

Parton’s last book collaboration, with Robert K. Oermann, produced the music-focused memoir, “Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics,” a look behind 175 of her songs.

“I cannot be more excited about the release of my very first novel,” said Parton in the statement, adding, “I hope you enjoy the book and the songs as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it all together!”

Dolly Parton’s new coffee-table collection of lyrics, ‘Songteller,’ reveals her keen ear for characters, mostly women, who have suffered unspeakable tragedy.

“Run, Rose, Run” will be published simultaneously in hardcover, ebook and audiobook.


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