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Viola Davis, James Patterson Set to Team on a Novel

Viola Davis, James Patterson Set to Team on a Novel

Viola Davis and James Patterson will co-write a novel together.

Little, Brown and Company announced Tuesday that the EGOT winner and author are teaming on a novel that will be set in the present-day rural South.

The novel will center on a “dynamic and brilliant female judge on the brink of a decision with seismic repercussions for her small county and potentially the whole nation.” “With her career, principles and ultimately her life at stake, Judge Stone is a character readers will never forget,” the publisher teased.

Davis said in a statement: “I am beyond excited to partner with the legendary James Patterson on our novel. James’ ability to weave compelling narratives with depth and suspense is unparalleled, and I am honored to work alongside him. 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. This collaboration is a dream come true, and I can’t wait to share the fruits of our creative synergy with the world.”

Patterson added, “It is an honor to work with Viola Davis. I’ve long admired Viola as an actress, producer, and writer. 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. 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.”

The novel will be published at a yet-to-be-announced date in 2025 or 2026 in association with Davis’ company JVL Media. It will appear simultaneously in hardcover, ebook and audiobook. Hachette Book Group will distribute the book in North America and Century, an imprint of Penguin Random House U.K., will distribute in the UK and Commonwealth (excluding Canada).

Robert Barnett and Deneen Howell of Williams & Connolly sold the rights.

David Shelley, CEO of Hachette Book Group, said of the upcoming book, “It’s a real honor to be able to publish this unique collaboration between two remarkable creative forces. This is a story that I think will touch millions of readers around the world, and we have huge plans to get it into their hands.”

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Little, Brown and Company publisher Sally Kim also said in a statement, “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. This collaboration is a thrilling gift for everyone who values story.”

Following its release in 2022, Davis’ memoir Finding Me became a bestseller, with the actress earning EGOT status after she won a Grammy for best audiobook, narration and storytelling for her memoir.

“I wrote this book to honor the 6-year-old Viola. To honor her, her life, her joy, her trauma, everything. And it has just been such a journey. I just EGOT!,” Davis said while accepting her award at the Grammys.

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