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Dolly Parton was a writer before she even knew how to write. She’d sing songs as a child, elaborate heart-felt tunes, that her mother would put to paper. As she grew up, the “9 to 5” singer began to write stories and poetry in addition to music. In many of her early interviews, Parton would mention that one of her dreams was to publish some of her fiction. Now, at the age of 75, the Queen of Country is doing just that with her debut novel, Run, Rose, Run.

Dolly Parton in front of stacks of books for the Imagination Library.
Dolly Parton | Shannon Finney/Getty Images

Dolly Parton’s dreams of becoming a published author

In an interview with Music City News in 1967, Parton was asked about her hobbies. When she wasn’t concentrating on her career, she liked to relax by fishing and writing short stories and poetry.

“You might say my hobbies are fishin’ and writin’ ’cause I really don’t have time for a real strict hobby by the time I do everything else,” she said, as recorded in the book, Dolly on Dolly. “So that’s about the extent of my hobbies.”

Though Parton wrote “a lot of poetry and some stories,” she “never did anything with ’em.” She mostly wrote to get “’em out of [her] system.” However, she had dreams of someday publishing her work.

“Well, someday I hope to publish some kind of little volume of my poetry and some short stories,” she said.

But even though she loved writing fiction, the “Light of a Clear Blue Morning” singer didn’t know if she’d ever be able to get around to publishing anything.

“I doubt that I’ll ever try to have anything done with them ’cause it’s just somethin’ I like to do,” she said. “I guess you might say it’s a hobby.”

Dolly Parton’s new book, ‘Run, Rose, Run’

Parton has always been a big dreamer, despite the warnings of her family and neighbors in the mountains of East Tennessee. The Queen of Country has always thought that there’s no reason she can’t do anything and everything she sets her sights on in this life.

On Aug. 11, Parton announced on Twitter that she’s releasing her debut novel, Run, Rose, Run, along with co-author James Patterson on March 7, 2022. The book goes with a companion album of new music Parton wrote specifically for the story.

“I cannot be more excited about the release of my very first novel Run, Rose, Run with the great James Patterson,” she told People. “I also have a new album to go along with the book. All new songs were written based on the characters and situations in the book. I hope you enjoy the book and the songs as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it all together!”

“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,” said Patterson. “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.”

Little, Brown, and Company, the novel’s publisher, gave this as a synopsis:

“Every song tells a story.  She’s a star on the rise, singing about the hard life behind her.  She’s also on the run. Find a future, lose a past. Nashville is where she’s come to claim her destiny.  It’s also where the darkness she’s fled might find her. And destroy her.”

Dolly Parton’s works of non-fiction

While this is Parton’s first novel, it isn’t her first book. She has two autobiographies: Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business and Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics. Two illustrated children’s books: Coat of Many Colors and I Am a Rainbow. And even a cookbook, Dolly’s Dixie Fixin’s: Love, Laughter and Lots of Good Food. As for what’s next, she’s currently working on a Broadway musical about her life.

Paron is one of the most accomplished celebrities in the world. Her resume is as long as it is varied. So what’s her secret for accomplishing goals?

“I am a list maker,” she told Rolling Stone in 1977. “I like to write my goals and plans down and keep them in a secret place where people can’t see them. You’d be amazed that even years ago the things I’d written down on my list, that I just mark ’em off as they come true and I think, boy, if that ain’t proof that positive thinkin’ is a marvelous thing. I mean if there is something I really want, why, I write it down on a piece of paper and I look at the list and I concentrate real hard on it, try to visualize it happening, and I just go through all the motions as if it’s already been done.”