Serena Bonzo Miller had a hope and a dream nearly 25 years ago. The minister’s wife, then in her early 40s, felt a strong nudge and tug to pursue a career as a writer but she didn’t know how or where to begin.
“I had always written journals or short stories, so it was something I always thought about but kept it on the shelf while I was helping my husband raise our three sons and serve in various churches in Michigan and Ohio,” Serena recalled recently. “Once I decided I wanted to try to be published, I was pretty much clueless how to start. I asked anyone I knew who wrote for living what they’d suggest I do. Everyone was encouraging, and most of them said the same thing—just start writing and submitting.”
And so began Serena’s long, arduous journey of penning articles, sending to publications and receiving rejection letters. Finally in 1994, after dozens of failures, the Detroit Free Press Magazine picked up one of her pieces. It was a red-letter day in her then fledgling career that she has never forgotten.
“I was hooked,” she remembers. “To see something I had written in print was an incredible feeling, and I knew this was what I wanted to do. I started writing even more, and soon I started working on my first manuscript.” More article submissions followed, with increased success and recognition in such publications as Reader’s Digest, Guideposts, Focus on the Family, Woman’s World and Christian Woman, to name a few. She realized the dream’s next big step in 2010 when her first novel, Love Finds You In Sugarcreek, Ohio, was published.
Now 64, Serena was 60 years old when that first book rolled off the presses. She believes her late-life success is not only a testament that God answers prayers, but it proves that the old adage “it’s never too late” is true.
“It’s been an amazing journey for my family and me, to see how prayer and encouragement have led to this moment,” she said. “I never in my wildest dreams ever envisioned one of my books being made into a movie, but we’re just days away from it happening. It’s very humbling.”
Serena’s first book (she has since published several more) is the basis for the new UP Original Movie Love Finds You In Sugarcreek, premiering Sunday, June 1 at 7 PM ET / 8 PT.
Watch the Trailer for Love Fines You In SugarCreek: