LAYTON — Murr LaVar Brown, of Layton, dreamed of writing a book.
His dream became a reality, but he wasn’t alive to see the book go to print. His wife, however, completed that task for him after he died at age 68.
Murr started writing his book during the Persian Gulf War in 1991, but set it aside after the war ended, thinking his romance-adventure novel about religious cultural differences wouldn’t be of interest to readers.
He picked it back up about 18 months ago, after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and realizing he may not live as long as he originally planned.
Murr originally planned to make the book a trilogy, his wife, Cheryl, said. Instead, he rewrote his idea and condensed the trilogy into one book.
That was difficult for him, Cheryl said, because he had such big plans for his story.
After battling pancreatic cancer and being declared cancer-free after four months of treatment, Murr thought he would have more time to write. However, two months later, doctors discovered cancer in his liver, with little hope for recovery.
While experiencing excruciating pain in the few months after his diagnosis, he dictated the last few chapters to his wife, finishing the book just days before suffering a fatal stroke in March 2010 as a complication of the cancer.
“He wasn’t going to die until he finished,” said Cheryl, 67.
She said his favorite credo in life was learning to be patient while working through a process, rather than expecting rewards right away, something he struggled with while finishing the book.
“Murr almost gave up because it was so difficult, but I reminded him that sometimes you have to get it done step by step, even when you’re in a hurry,” Cheryl said.
Cheryl experienced similar frustrations while going through the process of getting the book published after her husband’s death. It ended up being a bigger challenge than she anticipated.
After the Browns’ first publisher backed out following Murr’s death, Cheryl found another interested publisher. And soon, the book her husband had dreamed about getting published for so long finally became a reality.
Even though her husband isn’t alive to see it, Cheryl believes Murr knows it.
“I think he’s seeing it now. I have no doubt, because it was so very important for him to have this done,” she said.
The book was recently published by Digital Legend Press and is currently available online only, under the title “The Eden Antidote.”
Cheryl discovered that getting a book published isn’t a fast or easy process.
“It’s been a huge process with a lot of patience, but it’s been a real learning process,” she said. “I feel good that it’s been published, but I have yet to feel that euphoria of seeing everybody read it.”
Cheryl said she is waiting for enough orders of the book to go through before it gets sent to local bookstores.
Cheryl said working on getting the book published helped her through the difficult transition of life without her husband, because it kept her busy. Now she keeps busy doing countless other things, including writing music and teaching music lessons.
Cheryl is currently writing a book about what the couple went through during Murr’s illness.