Dolly Parton and James Patterson Team Up To Write Run Rose Run

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Tika Viteri

Staff Writer

Tika writes from her home office in Pittsburgh, PA, accompanied by 3 grey cats and many, many plants. When not plonking away on a keyboard, she can be found painting, knitting, gardening, and casting the occasional spell or two -- all usually accompanied by a glass of wine.

On April 23, also known as World Book Day 2021, Dolly Parton posted the above photo to her Instagram, adding that she “dream[s] of writing [her] own novel one day. [wink emoji]”

It is rare that a musician bridges the divide between literature and music as thoroughly as Dolly Parton has. She has been outspoken about her belief in the power of books and reading for decades, and her next project will tie reading and music together even more, and in retrospect the wink emoji at the end of her post is doing a lot of hinting.

Image of the book cover for Run Rose Run

Today, a mere 110 days after World Book Day, Parton has blessed us by announcing not only a partnership with James Patterson to co-write a novel titled Run, Rose, Run through Little, Brown & Co., but also her next album: 12 songs written specifically to accompany her new literary adventure. The album will be produced by Parton’s Butterfly Records label. The novel will follow a young woman who heads to Nashville with dreams of becoming a star; her music is fueled by a brutal secret she has worked hard to keep, which as any reader of mystery/thrillers knows is a dangerous combination.

Patterson expressed his excitement about working with Parton, saying, “[i]t’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.”

Parton has long been a champion of books and reading. In 1995, she launched Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which provides free books to children from birth to age 5; to date, the library has provided 163 million books. Book Riot contributor Isabelle Popp wrote an in-depth piece about Dolly Parton Imagination Library in March 2020. She published a list of her favorite books read in 2020, which includes Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (welcome to the fold!).

Parton’s love of reading stems from her father, who could neither read nor write. She decided that she would inspire future generations to love books and reading so that they would never struggle the way her daddy did. She’s spoken extensively about her love of books, and we cannot wait to see what Run, Rose, Run has in store for us.

The book hits shelves March 7, 2022.