Whidbey Examiner


Coupeville grad channels town in her first novel

By MEGAN HANSEN Whidbey Examiner Co-Editor
October 20, 2013 · Updated 2:35 PM

Heather White Driscoll took the concept that you write what you know to write her first novel, a coming-of-age story of a young girl living in a small town on an island. / Photo provided

It’s been three years since Coupeville High School graduate Heather White Driscoll started her journey to become a published author.

And now she’s celebrating.

Driscoll, a 2001 graduate, released her first novel, “He Calls Me Harp,” in July.

Driscoll now resides in Boston with her husband and celebrated the launch of her book with a party last month.

The book was self-published through Dog Ear Publishing.

“It’s been doing well,” Driscoll said. “The e-version is doing well.”

“In a few weeks it’s surpassed soft sales.”

While the book doesn’t come right out and say it, the coming-of-age story centered around a young girl and her older boyfriend is set in Coupeville. To make the storyline plausible, which includes frequent jaunts to Seattle, however, Driscoll said set the book on Brainbridge Island.

“Being fiction,” she said, “you can remove the element of disbelief.”

But for all those Coupeville folks, they won’t miss references to Coupeville’s one and only grocery store — Prairie Center — or the fact that the main character, Harper, lives on Parker Road.

The novel, which follows freshman Harper Whitmore into her high school career, deals with many issues teenage girls deal with — from first love and finding yourself — to dealing with gossip and how other people perceive you.

While the story is fiction, Driscoll said it’s true that you write what you know. Taking elements from her own personality, Driscoll created a quirky character readers have grown to love.

Driscoll, who graduated from the University of Massachusetts, said she’d always wanted to write a book. That idea was curbed when she graduated in 2005 and started working at an investment firm.

After marrying in 2010, Driscoll said she started writing what she described as silly little essays about her search for the sun and perfect tan.

Those essays helped catapult Driscoll’s journey into “He Calls Me Harp.”

Taking the concept that you write what you know, Driscoll said she thought to herself, “Why don’t I write a story about growing up on the island?”

What resulted is a story about a high school girl that’s not for high school girls.

“It’s for the women who’ve done high school, not for the women in high school,” she said. “Gossip is a universal fear.”

Driscoll takes readers through roughly five years of Harper’s life. It explores Harper’s relationship with her first boyfriend Scott, who is a senior to her freshman standing.

What transpires is years of love, passion, growth and heartache.

“Who you are in high school is not who you are in life,” Driscoll said. “Whenever you grow as a person, it’s because of the people in your life.”

For more information about Driscoll and her story go to www. hwdriscoll.com


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