For Naugatuck resident Marie Serio, becoming an author has been a life-long goal. Despite numerous setbacks over the years, Serio never gave up.
That’s the message in her children’s book, “Now I Want a Horse.”
That never say die philosophy is one Serio has followed for the 26 years it took her to get the book published.
The story follows a little girl who really wants a bunny. She’s on spring vacation and already has a dog, but now her heart is set on a bunny.
“She loves animals and wants all kinds of animals,” Serio said.
Throughout the book, the girl, Ellie, is reminded to keep thinking positive and not to give up on her dream.
Serio said the story embraces a positive message.
“It’s entertaining and a little bit whimsical,” she said.
Serio wrote the book, which is based on a true story, back in the 1980s.
“At the time, I was a single parent, and I had to work at least three jobs, so I didn’t get a chance to get my children’s stories published,” Serio said.
When she lost her job three years ago, she saw an opportunity to finally publish her book.
After talks with publishers dragged on, Serio decided to self-publish.
“It’s a time-sensitive story,” Serio said.
She wanted to get it out before spring so the setting of the story would coincide with the season.
Serio worked with illustrator Mayra Moreno to make the book come to life.
Originally, Serio, who worked in the school system, wanted a student to illustrate her book, but it proved too overwhelming for kids.
“I must have gone through 30 to 35 people who wanted to illustrate it,” she said. “But it’s a very tedious job.”
She moved on to college students, but nobody fit the bill, she said.
Then, last year, a friend recommended Moreno.
“When she called me, I’m thinking, yeah, here I go again,” Serio said.
But, Moreno proved to be enthusiastic and stuck with the job.
By the time Moreno finally completed the book in the middle of January, Serio was already talking to a publisher.
“It just started rolling and things were going pretty smooth,” Serio said. “Everyday, you hold your breath because you don’t know if it’s going to work.”
Despite the 26-year delay, Serio is happy to finally publish her book.
“It was meant to be now that my book came out,” she said.
Serio has two more books on the way – another children’s book of autumn poetry due out in July, and a book for adults which she hopes to finish by the end of the year.
“This was my goal for my senior years. When I retire, I wanted to be a writer,” Serio said.
Serio started down the writing path when she was eight years old.
As a child, Serio listened to the radio and wrote down the news as it was being reported. She turned her reports into a newspaper and sold them door to door for five cents each. Unfortunately, her Mom insisted she return the money—all five nickels.
Serio has written many pieces for local newspapers, including poems and features for the Naugatuck Daily News and instructive poetry for school children, throughout her career.
This is Serio and Moreno’s first children’s book.
Serio said the book, which is about 30 pages, is appropriate for children four to eight years old.
She hopes to have book signings at the Timexpo Museum and local libraries, but no dates are yet set.