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Parton is set to headline the audiobook cast of her thriller co-written with James Patterson, Run, Rose, Run (Little, Brown & Company), narrating fictional country icon Ruthanna Ryder. Ballerini also joins to narrate character AnnieLee Keyes, The Hollywood Reporter can exclusively announce.
Run, Rose, Run, which marks Parton’s first novel, is centered on a young singer/songwriter who travels to Nashville to make her dreams come true yet the secrets and darkness she’s been running from soon catch up and find her.
Soneela Nankani, James Fouhey, Kevin T. Collins, Peter Ganim, Luis Moreno, Ronald Peet, Robert Petkoff, Ella Turenne and Emily Woo Zeller also round out the audiobook cast.
“I’m thrilled to share the news that Ruthanna’s fledgling counterpart in the story, a brilliant young singer/songwriter with a mysteriously dark past, is narrated by Kelsea Ballerini, who I knew from the beginning could bring the right balance of vulnerability, ferocity, and sparkling wit to the character AnnieLee,” Parton said in a statement.
“Working on a creation from the ever-brilliant mind of Dolly Parton has to be a dream job for anyone, especially as a young artist in country music. And as a writer myself, to be asked to join this project that is also a collaboration with James Patterson — another incredible storyteller not to mention best selling author — has been truly thrilling,” Ballerini said in a statement.
She adds, “It is an incredible privilege to voice the story and character of AnnieLee, a girl who has seen the worst of what people can do to each other, but who still has the pure ambition to want bigger and better things for herself. She has an unwavering belief in her innate talent and relentlessly pulls herself from the depths of hell into finding her platform to share her gifts with the world.”
Of the production, Patterson said, “The cast for Run, Rose, Run’s audiobook edition is truly beyond compare. With Dolly Parton and Kelsea Ballerini headlining, we’re the hottest ticket in town, no question. And the rest of the cast, headed by award-winning narrator Soneela Nankani, really bring the characters to life in exactly the way Dolly and I envisioned when we were writing. Listeners will find it hard to hit pause once they get started.”
To accompany the book’s 2022 release, Parton will also simultaneously release an album that will feature 12 new songs inspired by the novel.
Run, Rose, Run will release on March 7, 2022 and is available to pre-order on CD and Digital download.
Below, THR shares an exclusive audiobook excerpt.
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