Love’s Journey

Where falling in love is just the beginning

Serena B. Miller was born in Portsmouth, Ohio, the youngest of four girls. Much of her childhood was spent playing on relatives’ front porches while listening to stories about the past.     

She married a home town boy studying to be a minister. They raised three sons while serving churches in various states.   

During those early years, she worked a series of part-time jobs. In Tennessee, she worked as a clerk at Vanderbilt Hospital’s ER. In Kentucky, she worked as a secretary for a small concrete business. In Michigan she became a court reporter for Detroit’s Friend of the Court system.  

Eventually, she and her family came back home to Ohio where her husband was hired to preach for the country church she had attended as a child.

“It was a good choice for us. The congregation flourished and the echoes of those old- time family story tellers began coming back to me. I started typing out my own stories with the hope of getting them published someday. My son, Caleb, was a great encourager. Every afternoon when he came home from school, he wanted to read what I’d written that morning. I figured if I could hold a twelve-year-old’s interest there might be hope for me as a writer.”     

Raising a family on a country preacher’s salary did not allow much wriggle-room to pay for the writer’s workshops and conferences she needed, so she found part-time work stocking greeting cards for Hallmark. It was the perfect job for a wanna-be writer.

“The hours were flexible, the pay decent, and I enjoyed interacting with people who needed help choosing the right card,” she remembers.

Her husband and sons were pleased when she published her first book, Love Finds You In Sugarcreek in 2010, and thrilled when a Hollywood producer read the novel three years later and made it into an award-winning TV movie.  

“I was as astonished as everyone else in my life,” she says. “I was a small-town preacher’s wife who was getting to attend a red carpet event in Hollywood. Finding something to wear was a challenge. The only thing in my closet were T-shirts, jeans, and flowered church dresses.”  

Since then, she has published many more books and won numerous awards, including Romance Writer’s of America RITA award for The Measure of Katie Calloway, American Christian Fiction Writer’s CAROL award for A Promise To Love, and her Under A Blackberry Moon was a finalist in the CHRISTY awards.

Her most recent exciting moment was learning that one of her Amish books, An Uncommon Grace, had been chosen as the basis for a movie for the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel. 

“It feels like I’ve come full circle,” Serena says. “When I was stocking greeting cards, I used to daydream about writing a book that was good enough to be chosen for a Hallmark movie. Fifteen years and a ton of hard work later—that dream became a reality.”

Serena’s Inspiration 

This is me sitting on my dad’s lap. It takes a magnifying glass to see it, but the book he is reading aloud to me at eighteen months of age is Birth of a Nation. I comprehended nothing, of course, but as I grew a little older, I became insatiable for stories. Whenever Dad came home, if he was sitting down, I would beg him to read to me. He usually obliged. In the meantime, Mom decided to teach me how to make my own books. She would sew some paper together, using leftover flowered wallpaper for the cover, and although I could not yet read or write, she would copy down my childish attempts to create stories and rhymes—which I would then spend hours illustrating with my crayons. Some people believe that one is either born with a writer’s brain or not. Perhaps that is true, I don’t know. But what I suspect is that having the blessing of these two patient people in my life is what gave me a voracious hunger for books—and the desire to write them.  

Serena’s Goals

My goal as an author is to write books that I would want to read and entertain all ages and genders. I love novels that take me on a journey to a new place. I want to read stories that engage me emotionally. If a book can make me laugh and cry, I’ll read everything that author has written. Most of all, I want books that leave me with a little more hope and courage. Writing a book like that is not easy, but it is always my goal.

Serena’s Future

I have several projects I’ve been developing that we will be bringing out over the next few months. Two will be full-length Amish novels that continue the story of Rachel and Joe from my Love’s Journey in Sugarcreek series. There will also be a four-book series of shorter novels set on a Canadian island about a multi-generational family of light keepers. Plus I’m finishing up a short story describing my experience with an Amish schoolhouse, and working on a script for the second book in the Sugarcreek Amish series. Best of all, though, will be the blessing of becoming a grandma again soon! I can hardly wait to hold that sweet grandbaby.