Dolly Parton talks dreams, love, plastic surgery

Christine Kearney
Reuters Middle East

NEW YORK, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Although Dolly Parton has

cemented her place in country and popular music, pop culture,

and as an entrepreneur and philanthropist, she still, on

occasion, gets nervous.

Her new book, "Dream More: Celebrate the Dreamer in You"

encourages readers to overcome their fears, believe in their

passions and keep taking risks.

The "I Will Always Love You" singer/songwriter, 66, who has

written more than 3,000 songs and sold more than 100 million

records, talked to Reuters about the message of the book, which

was published this week.

Q. You say you put off writing this book?

A. "It's just a simple little book. It's not meant to save

the world, or it's not a complete book of how to be successful,

but I think there is enough stuff in it for people to see kinda

how I conduct my business and kinda what my thoughts are. And

the good part is that all the money, if it sells good, goes to

Imagination Library."

Q. Right - your non profit quest to get kids to read?

A. "It's one of the reasons I wanted to write this too,

because I usually do concerts every year, for the foundation to

make money to afford a lot of books, but I am not on tour now."

Q. Talk about your 2009 commencement address at the

University of Tennessee. Were you nervous?

A. "Well, yes, when I am out of my element doing things. I

am not that educated and I didn't go that far in school and I

thought, 'What am I going to say to these educated people, not

just these kids who have just graduated college and are probably

brilliant, but all these professionals and all these teachers?'

And I thought, 'Oh, I am not smart enough', but I thought,

'Well, at least I am a hometown girl. At least they can see that

in America, you can start from humble beginnings, that everybody

can make it."

Q. Which is one of the book's messages, overcoming fears?

A. "Any time I am in a situation where I am just not

comfortable, I am uneasy, but that doesn't mean I won't go on

with it, just like the speech. And that I won't be good at it,

but there are just some things I would prefer not to do!"

Q. Success doesn't equal happiness, yet you seem so hopeful

and modest?

A. "I am always hopeful as a person, I have been since I was

little...I really want things to be good. As I mention in the

book, I wake up everyday expecting it to be good, and if it is

not, then I try to set about changing it before I go to sleep at


Q. Would you describe yourself as religious or spiritual?

A. "Just spiritual, I am not religious. Although I grew up

in a very religious family, but...I am no fanatic by any stretch

of the word, and I am no angel, believe me. I wrote a song

called 'The Seeker' many, many years ago, and it says 'I am a

seeker, just a poor sinful creature, there is no one weaker than

I am.'

"People say, 'What do you regret?' I say, 'I can't say that

I regret anything because at the time I was doing it, whatever

it was, it seemed to be the thing to be doing at the time.'

"I have a good friend base, I have a good husband. So I have

a lot of things and people who help me and guide me. I have

never had to go to a psychiatrist, but I would if I thought that

I needed to.

Q. But we are in New York, Dolly! No psychiatrist?

A. "Well yes (laughs), I guess not. But I do that in my

songs, I write my feelings out and then I have such a strong

faith and then I have such good friends. I am very close to

several of my sisters, and we just talk about everything and

anything....And my best friend Judy, there is nothing I can't

tell her, even if it is the awful-est thing in the world."

Q. You recently had to deny gay rumors. Who is your greatest


"My husband is my greatest love, I have been with him 48

years...He is my best buddy."

Q. Why do you think people always wonder about him?

A. "They don't think he really exists! When I was doing my

show, we were thinking about having a different guy knock on the

door every night, as my husband, and then one night he would be

a midget, and one night he would be a black man, and one night

he would be like a boxer or a wrestler, all these different

things that people imagine what my husband looks like."

Q. You say that looking so artificial works for you, as it

lets you prove how real you are. Why all the plastic surgery?

A. "Because I need it. Why does anybody get it?"

Q. Why do you think you need it?

A. "Because I am in show business. I am not a natural

beauty. And I am on camera all the time. And I just always see,

like if I need - Oh take one of my chins off, at least! - Or

whatever. I mean, I don't go to extremes with it. I just do

little bits and pieces, just to try and keep things touched up,

just tweaking."

(Reporting by Christine Kearney, editing by Jill Serjeant and

Carol Bishopric)

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