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Nurse revisits, publishes novel after personal tragedy

February 03, 2008|By JULIE E. GREENE

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Megan Brown is hoping a novel she wrote for fun in college will help her support her family financially.

Brown's daughter was born with a birth defect and died when she was three days old in April 2007. Brown found the grief too much to deal with when she returned to work as a nurse at City Hospital five weeks later.

So she took a leave of absence and rediscovered the novel she wrote in 1999 while attending Shepherd College in Shepherdstown.

Brown, 27, of Martinsburg, put the finishing touches on the story and released the book through PublishAmerica just before Christmas.

"Finding My Way" is about a young girl who becomes pregnant and has to decide whether her boyfriend, who is not very supportive, fits into the picture, Brown said.

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Brown used a pen name, Dawn Canterbury, to publish the book. Dawn is Brown's middle name. Canterbury is the name of the Laurel, Md., development where she lived when she was a newborn.

"If someone came up to me and said, 'Are you Dawn Canterbury?' I would know that they knew who I was because they read the book," Brown said.

Brown is hoping sales of the novel will help generate extra income. In addition to her leave of absence, her husband, Michael, took a leave of absence from his job to care for their three older children when Brown was hospitalized last spring. Brown started a new nursing job in January.

Since getting the book published, Brown has written a second novel, one that takes advantage of her experience as a nurse working in a hospital. However, the plot is fiction: An emergency room nurse is blackmailed by the chief of surgery.

Brown said she will decide whether to publish the second book once she sees how well the first one sells.

"Finding My Way" is for young adult and adult readers, she said.

"Finding My Way" is available for $17.95 through PublishAmerica at www.publishamerica.com. A few autographed copies were still available last week at Waldenbooks in Valley Mall for $19.95.

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