Books I've Written

“Run, Rose, Run,” An Insightful Interview with World-Renowned Best-Selling Author, James Patterson

Published February 11, 2022 / Last Updated February 13, 2022
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

James Patterson gives us a glimpse into collaborating with Dolly Parton on their forthcoming novel, “Run, Rose, Run.”

James Patterson is known around the world as one of the greatest authors of all time. With over 100 books on the New York Times Best Sellers list, it’s no wonder Dolly Parton was thrilled to receive a personal invitation from James to co-author a novel with him.

These two creative geniuses have combined their talents to bring us something incredibly special. In this interview, James tells us about the writing process and shares what it was like to collaborate with the world’s most beloved entertainment icon on “Run, Rose, Run.”

 

You have written well over 100 New York Times bestsellers, and you’re widely known as one of the most diverse writers of our time. What was your inspiration for this particular book?

I’d always admired what Dolly does to get people reading–adults and kids. Dolly’s also a gifted storyteller. Every one of her songs is a story. I thought we’d make a good team. As it turned out–I was right. I’m enjoying being on Team Dolly.

Did you develop the plot or the characters first?

I don’t think you can separate the plot and the characters. Dolly and I developed both in layers, or drafts. The plot kept getting thicker, and the characters kept getting more complex and interesting. I think readers are going to really enjoy our book.

Who is your favorite character in Run, Rose, Run?

It would have to be a tie between Ruthanna and AnnieLee. Ethan wouldn’t be far behind. One of my rules is that you have to be incredibly involved with your heroes–and really despise the villains.

What was it like to collaborate with one of the world’s most beloved superstars, and what was your favorite part about the process?

My joke about Dolly and everyone who works with her is that they’re incredibly nice, incredibly smart and relentless. Man, do I love that. My grandmother used to say, ‘Hungry dogs run faster.’ I think Dolly and I are hungry, in a good way.

What is your typical process for co-authoring a book?

I don’t have a “typical” process for co-authoring, but it usually starts with a long outline, which goes through several drafts. One of my jokes is that the other author and I alternate words. The one thing that always holds true is that the co-authors and I work really hard to make the best book we can. I know that’s what happened with “Run, Rose, Run.”

You and Dolly share a passion for literacy. You are known for campaigning to make books and reading a national priority. When was this passion ignited in you, and how has it affected your approach to writing?

Whenever I appear at a school or conference for librarians or teachers, I’ll say ‘I’m here to save lives.’ That’s what happens when you get kids reading at grade level. It gives them a chance to finish high school and go to college, if that’s appropriate, and get a better job when they get older. My mom was a teacher, and she always told the kids at school that she was there to help them look through windows, not look in mirrors.

Has music been an integral part of your life?

Yes, indeed. I like country, but I’m a rock n’ roll junkie. I was actually at Woodstock–and I was an usher for nearly two years at the Fillmore East. When I was at Vanderbilt, I also spent a few evenings at the original Grand Ole Opry.

When did you start writing?

I think when I was a year and a half. But you probably mean when did I start writing stories. I think I started composing them in my head when I was four or five. I started writing them down on paper when I was fourteen or fifteen.

Who has been the most influential person in your life with regard to your love of writing?

About a thousand unbelievably talented novelists and non-fiction writers who I’ve read–but in particular, my grandmother. She told me I could do anything I wanted to do–except maybe play basketball in the NBA. Actually, she didn’t say ‘maybe.’

Both you and Dolly are philanthropists. Is there a charity or cause that you are especially passionate about?

I concentrate on charities that help kids become better readers, help bookstores to survive and help students who want to be teachers get through school without too much debt.

 

Now available for pre-order, the “Run, Rose, Run” novel will be published simultaneously in hardcover, ebook and audiobook and will release on March 7. The album, also available for pre-order, is slated for a March 4 release.

Team Dolly“Run, Rose, Run,” An Insightful Interview with World-Renowned Best-Selling Author, James Patterson

“Run, Rose, Run,” An In-Depth Interview with Dolly Parton

Published February 11, 2022 / Last Updated March 3, 2022
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dolly Parton shares the fascinating story behind her collaboration with world-renowned best-selling author, James Patterson, on “Run, Rose, Run.”

Dolly Parton is truly one of the most diverse creatives of our time. She’s a quintessential dreamer who simply never stops reaching for the stars and somehow always manages to sprinkle stardust on her faithful following of ardent fans. Dolly doesn’t just dream big dreams for herself. The beauty of who she is and what she does is that she brings us all along on her magical journey.

So when world-renowned author, James Patterson, reached out to her about collaborating with him on a novel, Dolly did what she does best. She created another work of art for us to treasure. We sat down with her for a Q&A to give you a behind-the-scenes look into the amazing collaboration on the forthcoming book, “Run, Rose, Run,” that she and James are releasing into the world on March 7.

 

We know how passionate you are about literacy. Your children’s book, Coat of Many Colors, is a favorite among children enrolled in your Imagination Library book gifting program, but you’ve also written autobiographical and inspirational books for adults. Was it a dream for you to write a novel, and how did this project come about?

The way this came about, James Patterson called me out of the blue and asked if I would like to write a book with him. I thought, ‘What in the world does James Patterson need me for? He’s doing all right.’ I told him, “Well, I don’t know…I’ve never thought about it. I’ve read all of your books but have never thought about writing one with you. What would it be about?” He said, “Well, let’s get together and we’ll figure something out.” So he flew to Nashville, and we visited for a long time. We realized we liked each other a lot. I told him I couldn’t be involved in anything that I’m not personally very involved in. I don’t want to just put my name on something and it not be something I’ve really contributed to. He said he had always thought about writing a book about Nashville, which I do know something about. So we came up with the idea of what it would be about. He went back home and started writing, and I started thinking about it. We exchanged ideas and before we knew it, we had a book going, and now we have a novel.

Did you draw any inspiration from your own musical journey when writing this book?

I had to draw a lot of inspiration from my own musical journey, with all of the ups and downs, the heartaches, the tears and the joys. I’ve been at it a long time and been through it all. So yes, I drew a lot from my own musical journey.

How did you come up with the title?

Well, I did not come up with the title. We kicked around so many different titles. I’d have a few and he’d had a few. One day he called and said “What do you think about ‘Run, Rose, Run’?” I said, “Wow, I love it.” She’s on the run, and you realize that AnnieLee Keys is actually Rose McCord, thus the title is “Run Rose Run.” To me, I thought that was absolutely a great title.

Which of the characters do you relate to most, and why?

I relate to both of the characters, the young AnnieLee Keys(Rose McCord) and Ruthanna Ryder, who is the older person and is just kind of who I am now, with my own career and mentoring people, writing, having my own studio and not touring. There are a whole lot of similarities in both of those characters for me.

How did co-authoring a book compare to co-writing a song? Were there any similarities?

Any time you work with anybody, whether it’s a song or book, it’s a very creative process. You have to think about the subject matter; where this should land and where that should land. So it’s very similar, but you just don’t have to rhyme so much. Your mind is allowed to be a little freer as you go, because you don’t have to keep it down to two and a half minutes for radio or that sort of thing. So you have more freedom in writing a book than you do a song.

What was it like to co-author a novel with the iconic James Patterson?

It was amazing. James Patterson, as we all know, is one of the greatest writers of all time. I was honestly kinda floored—and flattered—when James asked me to work with him. And it was fun. When he came down to my little place at my office the first time we met, when I saw him get out of the car and come up to my doorstep, I thought ‘I like this person.’ You know how you just know if a person feels right? You just get a feeling or some sort of aura about everybody. I thought, ‘He’s so relaxed, so smart, so at peace, so in control of who he is.’ And I felt there was no BS about him…even though he is fun and has a crazy sense of humor like me. So we have really wound up being good friends. I am sure we’ll always be in touch long after this book.

You teamed up with Kelsea Ballerini and a stellar cast to record the audio book. How did that come about?

I love Kelsea Ballerini. Usually if I’ve written a book, I’ll read the whole thing myself. But we thought ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have the characters take on their own personality?’ I read the Ruthanna—the older woman—part. Then we thought, ‘Who should we get to read the AnnieLee Keys/Rose character?’ Of course, Kelsea’s name came up, and we all said ‘YES!’ She’s very sweet, and I thought that was a good call.

Tell us about the 12-song companion album that is releasing simultaneously with the book. Did you know from the beginning you wanted to release a companion piece, or was it an idea that came organically during the process of writing the novel?

Early on, when I started writing with James and, of course, we couldn’t be together every day, we had phone calls and exchanged emails and all the ways you work when you’re older people like us. He would send me ideas, and I’d send him my thoughts. I thought, ‘I bet I can contribute to this more by writing a lot of my thoughts about the characters and their situations in a song.’ So I started writing songs and sending them to him. He said “Wow, this is a great idea. I can expand on the characters and get more in-depth on who they are and what they’re actually thinking from a woman’s point of view, especially the AnnieLee and Ruthanna songs.” And the male character, Ethan, I know him, because I hung out with all of these guys in the music business—Porter, Kenny, Merle Haggard and all the greats. I’ve been in it a long time, so I related to all of these characters. I thought, ‘I can write songs for all of them.’ So I started doing that, and James loved it. Then I thought, ‘Wow, this is a really good album. I can put these songs in an album. Nobody’s ever really done a soundtrack for a book that I know of.’ So I thought it would be a great vehicle for promotion and marketing to have both of them come out together. James and I have a very strong publicity and marketing department, plus the publishing company. Everybody got on board, and we’ve really made it work for us, I think. I’m excited about that. You can listen to the album and know what the book is about. And if you read the book and listen to the songs, you really completely know what it’s all about and kinda link them. It’s kind of a little fun thing all on it’s own, something different.

Your breadth of writing is unparalleled, from songs to Broadway musicals to movies to books. Can we expect more novels like this from you in the future?

I really don’t know. I had always thought that I would write novels, but I thought it would be when I was older. Then I realized I am older. (HA!) So I don’t know. It will depend on how things go. I’m a creative writer, and the spirit has to hit me on what I’m going to write about, but it’s certainly not off the table. I don’t know if I’ll write another one with James. I think once is enough for something that great, but I’m not saying we won’t. But we do think this is going to turn into a movie, so we’ll be working together for years just on this one book. Whether or not I write another novel depends on how smart I am when I am older. If my mind will do it, I might.

Both you and James are known as philanthropists and giving plays a central role in who you are. Tell us about your beloved Imagination Library and how it all began.

As you know, I am very involved in a lot of things. I am proudest of the Imagination Library. Most people know how it started, I know you do, but for those who don’t, the Imagination Library is a program where we send books to children once a month from the time they’re born until they start school. They get the book in their mailbox with their name on it. They learn to love to read and love books. It’s a wonderful thing. I think it’s so important, because what inspired that was my own Dad, who couldn’t read nor write. It was the same for many of my relatives from the mountains who didn’t get a chance to go to school, because they had to work hard and help provide for their families. Plus, the schools were sometimes miles away, and they were usually one room schools. So a lot of people didn’t get an education. My Daddy was so smart, but that always embarrassed him and kinda crippled him in a weird sort of way. That always troubled me, because he was so smart and I loved him so much. So when we started the Imagination Library, I thought, ‘I’m gonna get Daddy in on it and let him feel important.’ So I would take him with me and involve him in any way I could. He lived long enough to see the Imagination Library doing good. I’m a person of faith, so I believe there’s life on the other side. So I just always know when all of those great things happen with the Imagination Library and it gets so much publicity, I feel like Mama and Daddy are looking down and trying to help bless my work. I don’t know what all of James’ inner feelings are about charities, but I’m sure he has many of them as well, based on some sort of truth and personal emotion. I will always try to do my best. I believe that when you are in a position to help, you should help.

 

Now available for pre-order, the “Run, Rose, Run” novel will be published simultaneously in hardcover, ebook and audiobook and will release on March 7. The album, also available for pre-order, is slated for a March 4 release.

Team Dolly“Run, Rose, Run,” An In-Depth Interview with Dolly Parton

“Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square” Wins Two Emmy Awards

Published September 14, 2021 / Last Updated September 23, 2021
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dolly Parton’s Netflix special “Christmas on the Square” wins two Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Television Movie and Outstanding Choreography For Scripted Programming

Congratulations are in order for Dolly Parton, who won her first Emmy Award during the 2021 Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony on Sunday, September 12.

Dolly won an Emmy for Outstanding Television Movie as an executive producer of her Netflix holiday musical, “Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square,” while the film’s choreographer Debbie Allen also took home an Emmy for Outstanding Choreography For Scripted Programming. In a conversation with Deadline, Dolly said:

“Who knew that when we were creating this movie, that it would be aired in the middle of the pandemic, and it would bring so much joy and so much hope to millions of people around the world? I think that was one of greatest gifts that we gave and didn’t even know quite when we were doing it that we were going to help uplift the world.”

Dolly’s tremendous success places her in a rare group of fewer than 100 people who have received nominations for an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award. With this Emmy win under her belt, now she is one step closer to joining the ranks of only 16 people who have won all four awards.

Emmy Winner, Oustanding Television Movie

 

“Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square” is only the second holiday movie ever to win the Emmy for Outstanding Television Movie. Featuring 14 original Dolly songs, the musical’s stellar cast includes Dolly Parton, Christine Baranski, Treat Williams and Jenifer Lewis.

When a cold-hearted, wealthy woman returns to her hometown following her father’s passing, she is on a mission to force all of her father’s tenants out of their homes in order to close a real estate deal with a mall developer. Instead, she finds herself reconnecting with people from her past and having an unexpected encounter with an angel, played by none other than Dolly herself, leading to a story of redemption.

Emmy Winner, Outstanding Choreography For Scripted Programming

 

“Christmas on the Square” really came to life when Debbie Allen accepted the roles of director and choreographer. The multi-award-winning actress, dancer, choreographer, singer/songwriter, director and producer has enjoyed a show-stopping career, encompassing everything from Broadway to a hit television series to the silver screen. After 20 Emmy Nominations, the award for Outstanding Choreography For Scripted Programming on “Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square” marks her fifth win.

Watch “Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square,” Available on Netflix

Watch Dolly’s Emmy Award-winning holiday musical “Christmas on the Square,” available to stream on Netflix!

Team Dolly“Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square” Wins Two Emmy Awards

Dolly Parton Celebrates Christmas in July With Two Emmy Nominations for “Christmas on the Square”

Published July 21, 2021 / Last Updated July 23, 2021
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Join us for a Christmas in July celebration as we look back on the “Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square” cast interviews

Christmas has come early for Dolly Parton! The recent announcement of the 2021 Emmy Nominations brought news that Dolly’s Netflix Christmas musical, “Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square,” has been nominated in two categories: Outstanding Television Movie and Outstanding Choreography for Scripted Programming. Dolly said:

“Well Christmas sure came early this year! I’m thrilled about our two Emmy nominations for ‘Christmas on the Square.’ Thank you to Netflix and everyone who dreamed along with me to help make it possible.”

Come celebrate Christmas in July on Dolly’s Front Porch as we watch interviews with the cast and team behind her festive Emmy-Nominated Christmas special.

“Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square” nominated for Outstanding Television Movie

 

With so much iconic talent involved in the film, it’s no wonder that “Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square” received an Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Television Movie. Starring Dolly Parton, Christine Baranski, Jenifer Lewis, Treat Williams, and directed and choreographed by three-time Emmy and Golden Globe winner Debbie Allen, “Christmas on the Square” features 14 original Dolly songs in what has now become a hit holiday classic.

Exclusive interview with actress Christine Baranski

 

Award-winning actress, Christine Baranski, plays the leading role of Regina Fuller in “Christmas on the Square.” A Tony and Emmy award-winning actress, singer and producer, Baranski has an incredibly busy work schedule, but she jumped at the chance to collaborate with Dolly in a holiday musical.

Her character, Regina Fuller, is a cold-hearted, wealthy woman who returns to her hometown of Fullerville after her father passes away. She is on a mission to force all of her father’s tenants out of their homes, so she can close a real estate deal with a mall developer. Instead, she finds herself reconnecting with people from her past and having an unexpected encounter with an angel, played by none other than Dolly herself, giving Regina an opportunity to have a change of heart.

The story of redemption in “Christmas on the Square” serves as a beautiful reminder that the most valuable gifts we can give are treasures that money cannot buy. It’s a message of hope that renews our faith in the human spirit and affirms the fact that change for the better always begins in the heart.

Exclusive interview with actress Jenifer Lewis

 

Hollywood star Jenifer Lewis delivers a sensational performance in the role of Margeline, a lovable beauty shop owner from Fullerville. Lewis has enjoyed a long and illustrious career, appearing in many notable movies and television series. And, like Dolly, she comes from a small town and a big family. Her larger-than-life role makes an indelible impression in the film as she lights up the screen with luminous joy.

Exclusive interview with actor Treat Williams

 

The enormously talented actor, Treat Williams, has a rich and diverse resume. Having over 120 credits in film, stage and television, Williams was the perfect fit for the role of Carl Pellam, an antique store owner and caretaker of the town’s history.

Williams was a natural for this part, especially considering the fact that his mother owned and operated an antique store for many years. He understands on a deep level the connection between an object and someone you dearly love and brings this understanding to his portrayal of Carl Pellam in the film.

Debbie Allen’s talents earn Outstanding Choreography for Scripted Programming nomination

 

“Christmas on the Square” really came to life when Debbie Allen accepted the roles of director and choreographer. The multi award-winning actress, dancer, choreographer, singer/songwriter, director and producer has enjoyed a show-stopping career, encompassing everything from Broadway to a hit television series to the silver screen.

The energetic icon brought to the set her incredible ability to marry movement and music. Her innovative giftings, combined with Dolly’s innate way of crafting lyrics and melodies, created an endearing result of Christmas magic. Dolly composed all 14 songs that are featured in the Emmy-nominated musical. Together, these two talented women brought the heartwarming holiday story to life.

Watch “Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square,” Available on Netflix

Celebrate Christmas in July by watching Dolly’s Emmy-nominated holiday musical “Christmas on the Square,” available to stream on Netflix!

Team DollyDolly Parton Celebrates Christmas in July With Two Emmy Nominations for “Christmas on the Square”

Dolly’s Christmas Traditions And A Note To Jolene

Published December 22, 2020 / Last Updated December 22, 2020
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dolly shares some special Christmas stories and sends a holiday message to Jolene.

It’s Christmas and Dolly is sharing a few of her favorite childhood memories. She recalls the excitement in their home when it came time to get and decorate a tree. This tender memory comes to life within the lyrics of “Comin’ Home For Christmas.” The handmade ornaments and tinfoil star were some of the most treasured in those days, mainly because of the special care and love her mother put into the preparations. Dolly said,

“In those early days, we didn’t even have electricity so we didn’t have electric lights for it. Mama was always great with making things out of colored paper or different rags that she would tie. We could make bows out of colored rags…Mama always made everything special.”

Dolly shares this memory and more in her Christmas message. She also adds a last-minute holiday message for Jolene.

Team DollyDolly’s Christmas Traditions And A Note To Jolene