To celebrate the release of We Were Beautiful, we have a special Q&A with Heather Hepler! Stay tuned for Part II next week…
Get your copy of We Were Beautiful HERE.
What was your inspiration behind We Were Beautiful?
This book was born out of an anti-fairy tale that I imagined – about a girl with a scarred face receiving a chance at beauty only to find that she would rather go through her life physically flawed than emotionally empty. It morphed from there into Mia’s story – which has a similar theme. Mia has a chance at learning about empathy, forgiveness, and unconditional love if she can see past the physical and emotional scars that she has.
Why is NYC a good location for this book?
NYC is city of diversity and possibility. It’s a city where you can lose yourself and you can find yourself – sometimes on the same day! I wanted Mia to move from the tiny town where she was starting to feel claustrophobic and isolated to a city where she has room to move and to grow. Plus, it’s just plain fun to be in NYC. It’s one of my favorite places to visit.
What kind of impact did writing We Were Beautiful have on you personally?
We Were Beautiful came to me during a time of my life where I needed my own redemption story. Mia’s story gave me the courage to make my own amends and move forward from a painful time in my life. That is one of the best things about writing—you get to fight your own demons and hopefully defeat them.
What do you hope readers take away from We Were Beautiful?
I hope that readers allow Mia’s story to help them overcome their own pain. I also hope it gives them the courage to try new things, be vulnerable, and learn that just because something is hard doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing.