Kelsea Ballerini to Narrate Dolly Parton’s ‘Run, Rose, Run’ Novel

Dolly Parton‘s book with acclaimed author James Patterson, Run, Rose Run, will be out on March 7. The novel, about a woman pursuing her dreams of a career in country music, will also be available as an audiobook, which will be narrated by Kelsea Ballerini. Parton will voice the part of Ruthanna Ryder, a country music icon attempting to retire from the business when she sees a rising star slowly take over her place as the queen of country msuic.

“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 says (via The Hollywood Reporter). “I think our fans are going to love hearing us in a totally different way than they’re used to, and they’re going to love following our characters on their unpredictable journeys through the Nashville music scene and beyond. We just can’t wait to share our performances, woven into the work of the rest of the amazing cast of professional narrators, with Run, Rose, Run!”

Ballerini calls being asked to narrate Run, Ruth, Run a dream come true for her.

“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,” Ballerini gushes. “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. 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,” the Grand Ole Opry member continues. “Vocally embodying this complex, bold, and sometimes secretive character through the unpredicted twists and turns of this Nashville-based thriller was such an honor, and I can’t wait for listeners to fall in love with her, and this story, too.”

A new album will be released with the book as well, with all songs written based on the characters in Run, Rose, Run. Pre-order of the upcoming novel is available here.