Viola Davis And Author James Patterson to Publish New Novel

Viola Davis is partnering with bestselling author James Patterson to publish a new novel centered on a powerful figure with an important decision to make.

The novel — which has yet to be named and is set in the “present-day rural South” — follows a “dynamic and brilliant” female judge who is on the brink of making a decision with “seismic repercussions” to her small county and possibly the nation, according to the book’s synopsis.

It will follow Judge Mary Stone, who is described as a character “readers will never forget,” as she decides the fate of many with her own career, principles and even her life at stake. The novel blends Davis’ “eloquent and powerful voice” with Patterson’s “masterful story-building skills” to create “the perfect partnership for this timely story,” says the release. 

Patterson is a seasoned collaborative storyteller, having partnered with Bill Clinton, Dolly Parton and many others co-author stories — including a posthumous collaboration with Michael Crichton. But Davis is no stranger to the writing process either, having published her memoir Finding Me, which became a New York Times bestseller. 

“James’ ability to weave compelling narratives with depth and suspense is unparalleled, and I am honored to work alongside him,” Davis shared in a statement. 

“Writing about a character as compelling as Judge Mary Stone has been an extraordinary experience, and I believe readers will be deeply moved by her journey,” she added. “This collaboration is a dream come true, and I can’t wait to share the fruits of our creative synergy with the world.”

Patterson echoed her sentiments, saying, “It is an honor to work with Viola Davis … Her memoir, Finding Me, was among the most insightful and uplifting I’ve ever read.”

“Her gift of storytelling in film and beyond, as well as her generous spirit, is without peer,” he continued. “And there has rarely been a more important time to spotlight the subjects raised in this novel. I could not have asked for a better partner than Viola.”

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The novel will be published by Little, Brown and Company in collaboration with Davis’ company JVL Media in hardcover, ebook and audiobook formats. It will be distributed by Hachette Book Group in the U.S. and Penguin Random House UK in the UK and Commonwealth.

“At the heart of any unforgettable narrative is a story you haven’t heard before, with characters you root for and ideas that challenge you and leave you forever changed. James Patterson and Viola Davis are two artists and storytellers at the absolute height of their game who do this with every work they engage in,” Sally Kim, publisher of Little, Brown and Company, said of the book in a statement. “This collaboration is a thrilling gift for everyone who values story.”

A release date for the novel has not yet been announced.

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