UMM English professor to release young-adult novel

An adjunct English professor at the University of Maine at Machias, Heather Hepler, is set to have her new young-adult novel released in April.

We Were Beautiful follows the journey of Mia Hopkins, a fifteen-year-old girl who is sent to live with her grandmother in New York City after a tragic car accident takes her sister’s life and leaves Mia with permanent scars. The novel explores themes of grief, guilt, friendship and ultimately, redemption.

Hepler has been teaching at UMM for almost 20 years. She has taught courses on English composition and contemporary literature, and will return to teach a creative writing class this summer.

“The UMM community has always been so supportive of my writing,” says Hepler. “Teaching here allows me to give back to an up-and-coming community of new writers who are looking for mentorship, support and affirmation.”

Hepler received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine and a Master of Library Science degree from the University of North Texas. She is the author of several young-adult novels, including Frosted Kisses, Love? Maybe, and The Cupcake Queen.

We Were Beautiful will be published by Blink, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. To learn more about Hepler’s work, or to pre-order the book, visit