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April 08, 2016

Author Wade Rouse
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Our guest this week is Wade Rouse, the bestselling author of six books, including his debut novel, The Charm Bracelet. He wrote that under the pen name Viola Shipman, who was his grandmother. Her charm bracelet and family stories inspired him to write that novel, which is a tribute to all of our elders.
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Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Wade Rouse
Wade Rouse is the bestselling author of six books, including his debut novel, The Charm Bracelet, which launched March 22 from St. Martin's Press/Thomas Dunne Books.

Wade's work has been selected multiple times as a Must-Read by NBC’s Today Show, featured in the New York Times as well as on Chelsea Lately on E!, and been chosen three times by the nation's independent booksellers as an Indie Next Pick. Wade has also been a contributing writer for People, Good Housekeeping and Coastal Living, among others, as well as a regular contributor to All Things Considered.

The Charm Bracelet -- which was just selected by the nation's independent booksellers as an April Indie Next Pick and by B&N as one of its major debuts of the spring -- was inspired by Wade's grandmothers' charm bracelets, stories, lives and lessons -- as well as the lives of our elders. In fact, Wade chose his grandmother's name, Viola Shipman, as a pen name as a small way to honor and pay tribute to his grandmothers, who not only inspired the novel but also him to become a writer and the person he is today. Truly, our elders' sacrifices helped make us the people we are.

The Charm Bracelet is about how the charms on a grandmother's heirloom bracelet reconnect her to her daughter and granddaughter and reminds them -- and all of us -- in this too-busy age of what's most important in life: Family, faith, friends, fun, love and a passion for what you do.

To date, The Charm Bracelet has received stellar reviews and been translated into 10 languages, and the book will be a lead title this year in Germany, Italy, Spain, among others. Barnes & Noble is showcasing the book with front-of-store promotion for two months, Reader's Digest is condensing the book for its July Select edition, and national book clubs have it as a featured pick this spring. Wade's book tour will take him to nearly 20 cities across the U.S. this spring and summer.

Following on the excitement of The Charm Bracelet, Wade is currently writing a series of unique "heirloom novels," each revolving around a cherished antique heirloom that tells the poignant story, history, journey and bond of family. The novels are highly personal as well: All are inspired by the author's own family members and heirloom treasures. The Hope Chest – about three people who have seemingly lost all hope until one woman's long forgotten hope chest is rediscovered in her attic, along with its contents and family secrets – will publish in spring 2017 from St. Martin's Press/Thomas Dunne Books, and honors Wade's grandmothers' hope chests as well as his uncle, who passed away last spring after a decade-long battle with ALS.

Wade is also author of the critically acclaimed memoirs America's Boy, At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream, Confessions of A Prep School Mommy Handler and It's All Relative, as well as editor of the humorous dog anthology, I’m Not the Biggest Bitch in This Relationship, which features a foreword from Chelsea Handler's dog, Chunk (50 percent of the book's proceeds benefit The Humane Society).

Wade's writing has also appeared in Time, Forbes, Salon, the Washington Post, Metrosource, Out, The Advocate, Publisher’s Weekly and Writer’s Digest. USA Today calls Wade “a wise, witty, often wicked voice,” the Chicago Tribune’s Pulitzer Prize-winning cultural critic states that everyone should “read Wade Rouse, especially if you value laughter and wisdom", and Writer’s Digest recently named Wade the #2 Writer, Dead or Alive, “We'd Love to Have Drinks With” (Wade was just behind Ernest Hemingway, and just ahead of Hunter S. Thompson).

Wade earned his bachelor of arts in communications, with honors, from Drury University and his master’s of science in journalism from Northwestern University. He divides his time between the coast of Michigan and Palm Springs.