Bio & Books

Wade Rouse is the internationally bestselling author of seven books, including his latest novel, The Hope Chest, which launched in March from St. Martin's Press/Thomas Dunne Books, and The Charm Bracelet, which came out in paperback in January. To date, the novels, written under the pen name Viola Shipman, have been translated into over a dozen languages and resonated with readers around the world. Wade chose his grandmother’s name as his pen name in order to pay tribute to the woman whose heirlooms, lives, lessons and love inspire his fiction and inspired him to become a writer and the person he is today.

Wade is also the popular, critically acclaimed author of the 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.

Wade's work has been selected multiple times as a Must-Read by NBC’s Today Show, featured on Chelsea Lately on E!, and been chosen three times by the nation's independent booksellers as an Indie Next Pick.

Wade’s current novel, The Hope Chest, is about three people – Mattie, a fiercely independent woman battling ALS, Don, her devoted husband who is facing a future without his one true love, and Rose, their caregiver, a young single mother trapped in her life – who have lost a part of themselves and seemingly lost all hope until one woman’s heirloom hope chest is rediscovered, along with its contents and secrets. The book is about finding hope when all seems lost and redefining the meaning of family. Like Wade's debut novel, The Charm Bracelet, The Hope Chest was inspired by his grandmothers’ heirlooms, as well as his uncle’s courageous battle with ALS and Wade's relationship with his father’s caregivers during the final years of his life, strangers who have now become family to him.

New York Times bestselling author Garth Stein called The Hope Chest “a graceful, touching novel, and a moving, emotionally impactful read.” Library Journal wrote in its review, “The noted art colony and beachside tourist town of Saugatuck, Michigan, beautifully springs to life in this gentle story of lifelong love along with the emotional support and care that families and friends can provide. Life with ALS is also respectfully but vividly portrayed. It is refreshing and soothing to read about truly good people emerging from major life hardships with strength and dignity.”

The Charm Bracelet – which was recently named a 2017 Michigan Notable Book – 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.

Wade’s third “heirloom” novel, The Recipe Box, will publish in 2018.

Wade has written for People, Good Housekeeping, Coastal Living and Metrosource, among others, as well as been a regular contributor to All Things Considered, where he did a series of funny, poignant essays on family holidays. Wade's writing has also appeared in Time, Forbes, Salon, the Washington Post, 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 of science in journalism from Northwestern University. He divides his time between the resort towns of Saugatuck-Douglas, Michigan, and the Palm Springs, California. For more, please visit or