Dolly Parton to publish her first novel in 2022

From The Guardian:

Dolly Parton and James Patterson Photograph: Courtesy of Dolly Parton

First globally successful entertainer . . . and now novelist … Dolly Parton seems determined to prove that there are few things she can’t do.

The singer, best known for country-pop hits including Jolene and 9 to 5, has written her first novel, to be published by Penguin Random House next year. Run, Rose, Run, which is about a young woman who moves to Nashville to pursue her music-making dreams, has been co-written by Parton and bestselling novelist James Patterson. Both UK and US editions will be published on 7 March 2022.

Parton will release an album of the same name alongside the book, consisting of 12 original tracks. She says the new songs “were written based on the characters and situations in the book” and their lyrics will also feature in the novel.

“It’s been an honour – and a hell of a lot of fun – to work with the inimitable Dolly Parton,” said Patterson, who has sold more than 300 million books and has collaborated with other writers on scores of novels including Bill Clinton on 2018’s The President Is Missing. “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.”

Link to the rest at The Guardian and thanks to D. for the tip.

PG will remind one and all that Big Publishing is, first and foremost, the curator of culture for the universe. All other considerations are subordinate to the carrying out of this divinely-ordained mission.

In keeping with artistic soul of Randy Penguin, the photo is full of meaningful symbols.

PG admits that he’s only a lowly scrivener and unlikely to be able to interpret all the symbolism in the photo. However, he’ll do his best.

The purplelishy alien life form behind the two subjects’ heads is probably a symbol of the ever-expanding financial universe of Randy Penguin, eagerly gobbling up small planets harboring a variety of life-forms.

Dolly has long red fingernails and James doesn’t. Dolly has hair and James has a little something on his head that might be hair or not. Dolly’s the star and James isn’t.

The photo of Dolly on the right-hand side of the photo depicts Dolly wearing a cowgirl hat. James would look pretty silly in a cowgirl or cowboy hat, but it would have the virtue of hiding his hair-like bumps.

Dolly has a well-rehearsed celebrity smile. James looks like he might have been gritting his teeth when the photographer told him to smile. Or maybe he’s a little constipated.

Dolly has her hips slightly turned and her hand placed on her front hip, which PG immediately recognized as an oft-rehearsed western and Hollywood star-pose.

Patterson is standing in wrinkled jeans like he’s having his picture taken in front of the Dumbo ride at Disneyland.

He does have his right hand around Dolly’s shoulder, however, the meaning of which which is fairly straightforward. She’s his best pal right now and he doesn’t want her running off with any other ghost-writer.

What puzzles PG is what it means for Patterson to have his left hand in the left back pocket of his jeans. (Jeans and Dolly probably go together, but what’s with the pocket? Dolly would never carry anything in her back jeans pocket.)

The left rear pocket is the most common location where PG usually carries his billfold when he’s wearing jeans, but PG is not a famous author.

Perhaps, that pocket is where Patterson’s muse resides.

9 thoughts on “Dolly Parton to publish her first novel in 2022”

  1. Actually, it could be very interesting to see a novel (co-)written by Dolly Parton.

    Lately I’ve made a bit of a study of some of her songs. She’s an extremely clever lyricist, and has mastered the difficult art of telegraphing a story in a few lines without actually taking up the wordage that would be needed to tell it outright. She also knows how to put across rapid changes of tone and emotion. Those are all useful skills for a storyteller. For all I know, she has been scribbling prose fiction in notebooks secretly for forty years and has mastered the other needful skills; but even if she hasn’t, she is working with a collaborator who can supply whatever chops she is missing.

    Of course, it’s also possible that the whole thing is a cynical marketing ploy to make some extra bucks off her latest album. But unlike some other cases I could mention (*ahem*, Snooki), it isn’t a foregone conclusion one way or the other.

    • She’s not just an excellent crafter of songs (I very much agree), she’s also renowned as a clever businessman, savvy about marketing and promotion.

      While we all may feel a certain personal affinity for starving artists (sigh), how much better it is to have a great example of a one who’s successful on all fronts.

  2. Normally, the ghost writer writes the book and the entertainer’s name on the cover sells it. Meanwhile, in his collaborations Patterson normally generates the plot and leaves it to his co-writer – with some oversight by Patterson – to lay down the words.

    I can’t see how Dolly fits into this mix and am tempted to assume that she has already decided on the plot and probably wants to do the writing herself. So what part remains for Patterson? Development editor?

    More importantly, whose name appears at the top of the cover?

  3. Her cover of “The House of the Rising Sun” is the best version I’ve heard and closer to the original which was about a young woman becoming a prostitute.

    Nothing to do with books but thought I’d throw it out there.

  4. I’d bet she doesn’t need him to write a novel. I’d probably buy it if she authored it alone. Won’t bother now. Too bad.

  5. I think James should think bigger and start a series of YA thrillers co-authored with Billie Eilish.

  6. This brings to mind that writer/songwriter Mercedes Lackey put out an Appalachian fantasy novel this year — and it’s named Jolene. It is openly based on the fairy tale “Queen of the Copper Mountain”, but also obviously based on a certain well-known song by Dolly Parton. Titles can’t be copyrighted, names of women can’t be copyrighted, and it’s not doing anything wrong… but it’s also clearly fanfic, and not everybody is up for that.

    I’m not saying that women songwriter/performers are territorial… but I detect a little pushback. I expect that speed of production was why Parton collaborated with Patterson.

    That said, if novelwriting was something Parton ever wanted to do, and Lackey gave her the push she needed, however inadvertently… it’s all good luck for everyone.

    The other factor is that anyone (like Parton) who researched Lackey would quickly find out that, as a filker and songwriter, she has done several concept albums set in the worlds of her fantasy novels, with lyrics by herself and tunes by various friends.

    So the whole idea of doing an intertwined novel and album seems like another shot across the bow. A very pointed one.

    And again… since it’s not aimed at me, I see no problem here. Heck, if it were aimed at me, I’d be like, “AVENGE YOURSELF ARTISTICALLY AS MUCH AS YOU WANT!” Because of course she can do it even better than me, and so what? Tons of filker/writers have put out concept albums in the worlds of their series, but they weren’t Dolly Parton!

    Of course, the optimal thing would be that Lackey asked first and got permission, although obviously such was not legally necessary; and it just wasn’t listed in the book, and I don’t know about it because I’m not in Lackey fandom these days. And optimally, Parton just glommed onto a good album/novel idea after getting the idea from Lackey (or LeGuin, or whoever). Because I would prefer everybody to be happy and love each other. But I’ll also take constructive happy revenge, if necessary.

Comments are closed.