There wasn’t supposed to be a sequel.
After Shavonne Brewer Matulevich wrote a personal account of her life as a military wife in 2004, the Steilacoom High School alumna had other plans.
“Darryl came home from Iraq in February 2005,” she said. “The book was published in March.”
Her book, “How to Cope When Your Husband Deploys: The Story of a Marine Corps Wife,” was published by Author House and did well.
Late in 2005, Darryl and Shavonne Matulevich welcomed a daughter, Yalaynah.
They were stationed in Okinawa, Japan, where Shavonne had grown up in an Air Force family.
Life was going well, Shavonne thought, until Daryl moved out in August 2011.
“He said he didn’t love me anymore. I remember standing in the shower crying and crying,” Shavonne said. “There were signs, but I was in denial.”
When her own Navy service ended in 2011, she moved back to the Northwest, in part to be near her parents, Jimmie and Stephanie Brewer of Lakewood. She threw herself back into school, following up a bachelor’s degree with a masters in professional communication, which she earned online with help from the GI Bill.
Shavonne, now 31, works as a squadron secretary at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Last January, an attorney telephoned to say her husband was filing for divorce.
Now that it’s final, Shavonne said, she’s begun working on her second book. Not surprisingly, it’s about divorce and the single mom.
“I remember when Darryl and I separated, I talked to Yalaynah and told her, ‘When you come out of school, he’s going to be gone.’ After school, before she even got to me, she said ‘Daddy’s gone’, and the look on her face? I’ll never forget it.
“She watches other kids and their dads and wants hers back.”
The new book’s title comes from a question Yalaynah asked: “Mommy, What Now?”
“It’s not about bashing Darryl, it’s about how I dealt with divorce, and how to deal with your child. When you’re a single mother, you’re not going through this alone,” Shavonne said. “I’ll write about my emotions.
“It will be a little like the first book was — part journal, part self-help.”
That first book sold well, especially on military bases, and is still available at Amazon.com. After it was published, Shavonne earned a reputation — and a Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal — for her volunteer work in the Navy.
“One year, I was in charge of traffic control at schools; another, I worked in an animal shelters, then a Girl Scout leader.”
For all her efforts, Shavonne received the 2014 Distinguished Alum Award from the Steilacoom Historical Education Foundation.
Now, her latest project is that book sequel.
“After Yalaynah and I get home, we eat, do homework, then she has chores,” Shavonne said of her 9-year-old daughter. “We read and talk, then lay out clothes for the next day. After all that, I write and edit the book.”
It will deal with her anger, she said, but it won’t be written in anger.
“In the beginning, at my angriest, I didn’t put that into my writing,” Shavonne said. “I found my faith in God kept me from doing that. I took that anger out on the punching bag in the gym.”
That doesn’t mean emotion won’t be a large part of the project.
“It is about the pain of losing what you thought would be your life,” she said. “My daughter knows what I’m working on, and she knows it’s not all about Daddy.
“I want to reach single moms, help give them closure, hope, encouragement, strength, support. I want to let them know, it’s going to work out. It will be OK.”
Then she laughed.
“If anyone out there wants to publish me, let me know.”