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Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny in their new political thriller, “State of Terror”

In what may 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 grew out of heartbreak and saw them work together on the novel, they told correspondent Martha Teichner, in an interview for “CBS Sunday Morning,” which airs Oct. 10 on CBS and airs on Paramount +. .

“This whole experience and this book grew out of our friendship,” said Clinton, “and our friendship grew out of someone who was a very good friend to both of us. She was my best friend in sixth grade, a wife named Betsy, Betsy Johnson Ebeling. “

“Our friendship was born out of heartbreak,” said Penny, “and when we met – you had just lost the election, I just lost my husband – we were two women of the same age who knew what it was like.”

St. Martin’s Press / Simon & Schuster

The book, published by St. Martin’s Press and Simon & Schuster (a division of ViacomCBS), is set in Washington, where the “quasi-criminal incompetence” of the former fictitious presidential administration is leading to a global crisis. It’s a thriller in which the heroes are two middle-aged women.

“This book really grew out of a conversation Louise and I had,” Clinton told Teichner.

“I asked, ‘What’s your nightmare?'” Penny remembers.

They decided that nuclear weapons fell into the hands of terrorists as a premise. They wrote the book together from their respective homes – Penny in Quebec and Clinton in Chappaqua, NY. The authors want people to read the book for what it is, a serious warning and a tribute to a friendship.

“It’s a wake-up call to anyone who cares about America, the world,” Clinton said.

Penny said, “I’m very proud of this book for doing it and being entertaining at the same time, and having a heart and a soul.”

The Emmy-winning “Sunday Morning” airs on CBS Sundays starting at 9 p.m. ET. “Sunday Morning” also airs on CBSN [beginning at 10:30 a.m. ET] and Paramount +, and is available at and

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