Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Wade Rouse/Viola Shipman

Viola Shipman is a pen name for Wade Rouse, a popular, award-winning memoirist. Rouse chose his grandmother’s name to honor the woman whose charm bracelet and family stories inspired him to write his debut novel, The Charm Bracelet, which is a tribute to all of our elders. Rouse lives in Michigan and writes regularly for People and Coastal Living, among other places, and is a contributor to All Things Considered. To date, The Charm Bracelet has been translated into nine languages. He is at work on his second “heirloom novel,” which will be published in 2017.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. Rouse's reply:
I cannot read while I'm in the midst of writing a book: I find other voices and storylines distracting, as I'm so in my head in the midst of a book. But when I finish, I read anything and everything I can get my hands on, ranging from fiction to nonfiction. Some of it is for pleasure and some is business (asked by publishers to provide a blurb for another author). As a writer of nonfiction (four humorous memoirs) and fiction (my debut novel, The Charm Bracelet, now out in the world), I typically read a genre different from the book I just finished.

After just finishing edits on my second novel, I was recently asked to read an early galley of a memoir by Mark Woods entitled Lassoing the Sun, a book about a man's journey visiting our national parks over the course of a year. As an avid hiker, I thought the book sounded interesting, but I ended up being deeply moved, as it is part road trip, part eulogy, part educational guide and part spiritual guide. Five weeks into Woods' journey, he discovers his mother is dying, and his trips to our parks to connect with his family, recreate his childhood and pay tribute to our parks takes on greater meaning. The memoir is enlightening and educational, and it resonated in my soul. As I ended up writing about the book: "A love letter to family and our national parks that is as big as a son's heart, as beautiful as the night sky and as stunning as the American landscape." It's a lovely book from a new author.
Visit Viola Shipman's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Charm Bracelet.

--Marshal Zeringue