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Voices in the Monte: Heather Hershap M.DIV Author of My friends and I

By Evelyn Camero
On April 1, 2012

  • Kimberly Thomas Director of the Writing Center. Evelyn Camero
  • Students Enjoying Hershap Presentation. Evelyn Camero
  • Chamois Green getting her book authograph by Hershap. Evelyn Camero
  • Heather Hershap Author of My friends and I. Evelyn Camero

On Mar. 22, 2012, Texas A&M International University welcomed the author of My friends and I, Heather Hershap.  Hershap read her story to those present and gave a presentation about how writing is a way to communicate with the outside world. The event took place in the writing center, Hershap gave two presentations at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. 

Hershap was born with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy (CP) is a condition that mainly affects the brain and nervous system. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, complications of CP include lack of movement, hearing, thinking, learning, seeing, and communicating. Hershap, a Laredo native and Alexander High School graduate, was able to overcome the barriers of her condition. She obtained a Master of Divinity from Baylor University's George W. Truett Theological Seminary, and she managed to publish her short story.

Hershap initiated her presentation by reading her published work, My friends and I. After finishing her story, Hershap explained to the audience a little about of her condition. She started by letting her audience know "walking was not her ability." Hershap further added that her, "muscles were slower than she like them to be." Hershap added that her "right side moved at ease... but that her left side would strain her." Hershap stated that writing for her was an "outlet" that allows her to let ideas and dreams flow.  She also mentioned that writing gave her a voice. Hershap told the audience that many people think that because of her condition she has nothing to say, but writing has allowed her to prove them wrong and let them know that she has a lot to say. Humorously, she also stated that writing has also been a way to put food on the table.

In addition, Hershap shared her writing strategy with the audience. She explained the process and obstacles she went through to be able to become a writer.  Hershap stated that, "the writing process is a rainbow of emotions from sad to happy."

When asked what her inspiration was, Hershap explained that her "experiences, her journey with god, and her will to want to tell everyone that they all have a purpose in life." Hershap stated that her short story came to life because she wanted to write something that  would also impact the physically challenged people of India, whom she had worked with while on one of her many trips to the country.  One of the writing styles Hershap decided to follow was that of Dr. Seuss. When asked why, Hershap explained that this was because she wanted to create a story that would, "capture the attention of younger audiences... no matter the person's background or circumstances."

Finally, Hershap advised her audience that they should not be discouraged should their writing be rejected by publishers. She explained that her short story had been rejected 20 times before it got published. Hershap suggests that if writers want to reach success they must continue writing. Hershap concluded her presentation by stating that "the more you write, the more practice you get, and the more hope you have," she concluded.

If you would like more information about her short story My friends and I, or would like to contact Heather Hershap she may be reached at (956) 235-0380 or at  For more information about the TAMIU'S Writing Center and future presentations you may call at them  at (956)326-2883 or (956) 326-2884 or email them at

(Evelyn Camero may be contacted at

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