FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON AND BESTSELLING NOVELIST LOUISE PENNY TELL “CBS SUNDAY MORNING” THEIR FRIENDSHIP EMERGED FROM GRIEF AND TURNED INTO A COLLABORATION ON A NEW POLITICAL THRILLER
(L-R) Louise Penny and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
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In what might seem like an unusual partnership, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and bestselling novelist Louise Penny have collaborated on a new political thriller called State of Terror. Their friendship emerged from grief and led them to work together on the novel, they tell Martha Teichner in an interview for CBS SUNDAY MORNING, to be broadcast Sunday, Oct. 10 (9:00 AM, ET) on the CBS Television Network and streaming on Paramount+.
“This whole experience and this book arose out of our friendship, and our friendship arose out of someone who was a very good friend to both of us. That was my best friend from the sixth grade, a woman named Betsy, Betsy Johnson Ebeling,” Clinton says.
“Our friendship came out of grief … and when we met … you had just lost the election … I just lost my husband … we were two women of a similar age who knew what that felt like,” Penny says.
The book, published by St. Martin’s Press and Simon & Schuster, a division of ViacomCBS, is set in Washington, where the “near criminal incompetence” of the fictional former presidential administration leads to a global crisis. It’s a thriller in which the heroes are two middle-aged women.
“This book started really out of a conversation that Louise and I had,” Clinton says.
“I asked, ‘What’s your nightmare?’” Penny recalls.
They decided on nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists as the premise. They wrote the book together from their respective homes – Penny in Quebec and Clinton in Chappaqua, N.Y. The authors want people to read the book for what it is, a dead-serious cautionary tale and a tribute to a friendship.
“This is a wake-up call for anybody who cares about America, the world,” Clinton says.
“I feel very proud of this book for doing that and for being entertaining at the same time, and having a heart and having a soul,” says Penny.
CBS SUNDAY MORNING is broadcast Sundays (9:00-10:30 AM, ET) on the CBS Television Network. Rand Morrison is the executive producer.
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