Pictured at the book signing are WVWC Professor Devon McNamara, student Renae Kennison, student Reeds Benjamin, student Kylah Lockridge and Create Buckhannon member/city recorder Randy Sanders. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

Create Buckhannon hosts switched-at-birth author for book signing at Opera House

BUCKHANNON – Author Shirley Muñoz Newson recently shared her astounding story with members of Create Buckhannon and signed copies of her new book.

Newson recently published her book, “The Little Dark One: A True Story of Switched at Birth,” and had her first book signing in Buckhannon on Thursday, Sept. 22. While in town, Newson also planned to visit a West Virginia Wesleyan English class taught by Professor Devon McNamara.

“I have been a person working in the background. I always volunteer, but I’ve never been very comfortable speaking in front of a group,” Newson said. “I feel like God is guiding me, and I have faith the class will go well.”

Newson said she never thought she could write a book until she did.

“I never in my wildest dreams thought I could write a book, and my cousin would say to me, ‘Aren’t you excited? You’re finished. Are you proud of yourself?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know, I don’t really feel like I did anything,’ but this is the first celebration I’ve had, other than my book launch,” Newson said. “It’s really amazing to be thought of as an author and to be embraced and accepted by the community.”

Newson said her son, who urged her to write about her experiences, was a major impetus for the book.

“He kept saying, ‘Mom, you need to write a book. Do you know how many people you could help?’ So, then I started looking for ghostwriters and couldn’t find any,” Newson said. “My cousin was writing a book, so I asked her how to find a ghostwriter, and she said, ‘You don’t, you write the book yourself,’ and she told me about this book creator course she was taking, and I took the course, too.”

She said writing the book was cathartic and helped her cope with her feelings after discovering she was switched at birth.

“I think God knew I was at the point I needed to feel those emotions because suppressed trauma takes a toll on your body,” Newson said. “I was also going through autoimmune diseases and different things. I had three surgeries when I was writing my book. It’s thrilling, and my goal was to help people, but I also helped myself.”

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