Thursday, May 07, 2009

Local author pens Conjoined Hearts with Herrin twins' mom

Herald Extra: Spanish Fork Press

People all over the world watched the story unfold in 2006 as the Herrin twins, Kendra and Maliyah, underwent a twenty-five hour surgery to separate their shared lower bodies. And just two years later, in the fall of 2008, a local author was given the opportunity to team with Erin Herrin, the mother of the twins, to help co-write a book to share their story with the world.
Lu Ann Brobst Staheli is an accomplished educator and writer. She currently teaches English at Payson Junior High in addition to being a writer. Staheli is also a part of the Write Wise program founded by Richard Paul Evans and Robert G. Allen. Staheli has been able to teach and edit other authors work with this program. Evans was so impressed with Staheli and her work that he knew she would be perfect to help Herrin write a book about her experiences.
"I have worked with Lu Ann in our Write Wise program," said Evans. "I knew I could count on her and knew that she would be a natural fit in helping Erin share her story."
Staheli and Herrin began working on the project in August of 2008. They started out by sending each other information via the internet and talked over the phone. Staheli began putting together the information into a story form.
"When I was going through all these experiences there was no information about other families who had been through this and their experiences," said Herrin. "I really wanted to have information from other parents. The book was written so others will have that information and also because as time goes on our memories fade and I wanted something to document all of our experiences."
Staheli wrote the book from the notes Herrin wrote down during her experiences and the book is written as if Herrin had written it herself.
"It has been wonderful to work on this project," said Staheli. "The world has known about these little girls for the past seven and a half years and now they can know the whole story and that miracles do happen."
The story shares more than just the twin's experience, it starts at the beginning with the Herrin's dating and ends with an update on what the family is currently doing.
"The book is definitely an emotional book," said Herrin. "From the beginning Lu Ann was right on and worded everything the way I wanted it. The story flows so well. She has been wonderful to work with and has made the story exactly what I wanted."
The book, "When Hearts Conjoin," was released just a few weeks ago and is only available at the website All the proceeds from the books will go into a trust fund for the twins medical expenses. The book tells the families story and shares never before seen photos. It also has a forward by Evans, a #1 New York Times Bestselling Author. The twins will also be featured on a TLC special in June and then on the Oprah show to let others know about their story and book.
And now that Staheli has had her first successful experience co-writing a book, she already has three more co-written books in the works. She is currently working with Alan Osmond to share his story about life lessons, David Osmond to share his story about overcoming life's battles and with Jim Karol to share his story about a man with super mind and how he uses that mind to entertain and teach others.

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