My inspiration for The Recovery of Rose Gold came from my best friend.
She’s an elementary school psychologist in Colorado and has experience with Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSBP)—which is a mental health disorder wherein a caregiver fakes or induces illness in the person they’re caring for—through her work with students and their parents. The more research I did on MSBP, the more fascinated I became. Perpetrators are usually mothers acting out of a need for attention or love from authority figures within the medical community, a motivation I find both intriguing and heartbreaking. The mother/child bond is supposed to be sacred but it’s not in these cases. I wanted to get inside the head of one of these mothers, to try to understand whether she knows she’s lying or if she believes she’s doing what’s best for her child. Along came Patty Watts.
My novel is not at all autobiographical.
I’m really close with my parents, I swear!
I’m from Chicago but have been living in London for close to 4 years.
I moved to London in 2014 so my husband could attend London Business School. In 2016 we moved to Boston so I could take my turn with graduate school at an MFA program for fiction writing, where I wrote this novel. Then in 2018, we crossed the pond one more time for his job—and because we love living in the UK. We’re quite happy here and plan to stay for a long while.
I once waxed a Frenchman’s chest on the streets of Barcelona.
I feel this fact is best served without any context whatsoever.
Before becoming an author, I worked in advertising.
I was a copywriter, writing TV and radio spots, print ads, and digital campaigns for brands like Virgin Active, Coors, and McDonald’s. Think Mad Men but no martini lunches and slightly less misogyny. My advertising days were great training for writing novels. I learned the art of concision, how to come up with lots of ideas, and how to take rejection—although the last one is always a work in progress.
When I’m not working I love to travel.
My favorite country is Italy, which is also where I got married. My top five travel experiences include, in no particular order: the Chiang Mai lantern release, shark cage diving in South Africa, a bike tour in Saint-Émilion, hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and walking through Antelope Canyon. Destinations at the top of my to-visit-next list are Japan, Patagonia, and New Zealand.
I have a Cockapoo named Moose Barkwinkle.
He is the best thing about me, and I say that with nothing but pride.
Stephanie Wrobel is the author of The Recovery of Rose Gold, out on 5th March (Michael Joseph £14.99)