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Indie author, Nannette Serra, talks about her first POD book.

Updated on July 5, 2014

First CreateSpace book

This is the first book I had published by CreateSpace.
This is the first book I had published by CreateSpace.

Fireflies: The Rose Llerrow Story

On January 16, 2014, Morgan Llerrow Stark found her mother, Rose Llerrow, badly beaten and lying between garbage dumpsters behind the Cinco de Mayo Mexican Restaurant in Rankin, Colorado. Her three children believed their father, Art Llerrow, was responsible for the beating and they filed a complaint with the Rankin Metro Police who started an investigation.

Rose was diagnosed as having “Boxer’s Dementia” and, consequently, was unable to relate what had happened to her or identify her attacker. On January 24, 2014 Rose was released from critical care at the hospital and her children placed her under the care of a neurologist at the Redemption Rehabilitation Center in Safe Haven, Colorado.

On May 13, 2014, two months after her release, Rose was abducted from her daughter’s home.

The story that follows is an attempt to relate what was going on in the mind of Rose Llerrow during her hospitalization and, later, her year of captivity. author Nannette Serra

FICTION/CRIME Adult book / Domestic Violence

Fireflies Author Comments Immediately after NANOWRIMO 2013


I started participating in NANOWRIMO somewhere around 2005. I've always been an obsessive, compulsive writer so I took at-home studies with Newspaper Institute of America back in 1963. I had entered the U of A to study medicine but within a week had written my parents for permission to change my major. My roommate was studying Journalism and that's what I wanted to do. Mom wrote me back, "Any fool can write."

This "fool" has been writing since I was a child and took pen and paper to a solitary hill on the other side of the railroad tracks from my home. No one could bother me there and I had a clear view of the house so, if anything exciting started to happen at home ... a relative came for a visit or my parents started to take off somewhere without me ... I could run home and not miss anything.

My siblings should have known that the pencil would be my security blanket for life. I learned to walk pretty early but I refused to do so unless I held on to a pencil which was held by a member of the family. Siblings would turn loose of the pencil and I would walk until I realized no one had the other end of the pencil.

I gave up on premed after I got purpura. Purpura is a blood disease that is often fatal but I recovered. Upon returning to college I felt like I didn't have the physical energy to keep up with my studies. One day I became angry with a lab assistant (I was later told by other students that I was right to challenge him) and asked myself why I was putting up with all the hoopla when I didn't even want to study medicine.

After I got married, the first thing I did was enroll in a home study course from the Writer's Institute a division of Newspaper Institute of America. After I finished this course, I took their study in Fiction Writing as well. Then I signed up for a Journalism class at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Before that class was finished I became pregnant.

One of the problems with being an obsessive person is that it requires a lot of time. Raising children and running a household does not give a woman much time to do anything else. It didn't keep me from writing. I have a room full of journals to prove it.

When my two children went to school, I got an Associates in Art and Science in Journalism from Harper College in Palatine, IL and had started work as a reporter when I had my third child and shortly after our third child was born, we moved to St. Louis, MO.

When my third child started school, I got a BA in Communication Arts from Maryville University, St. Louis but didn't try to get a job as a writer. I wrote and got published with some freelance articles and I continued writing journals and began writing therapeutic poetry and, later, tried to write fiction. I got a masters in Counseling at Missouri Baptist University, St. Louis and became an advocate for victims of domestic violence.

In 2005, at age 63, I started participating in NANOWRIMO, National Novel Writing Month, in which I attempted to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. I became compulsive about doing NANO every year. I missed some years and some years I didn't make the 50,000 word count.

By the year 2013 I felt like I was too tired and old to do NANO again. But, that year, i became acquainted on Facebook with a distant cousin of mine, Joseph Franklin Dunkin, Jr. He really annoyed me because I saw immediately that writing was not just a hobby with him. I read his hubpages and realized he was a good writer, sincerely dedicate to his craft. He tried to encourage me and all our other friends from Alabama to get busy and do something.

Joe died in August of 2013 before his book, "Bones of My Brother" was published. I soon realized I was going to have to do NANO because of the feeling I had that I would be letting Joe down if I didn't. In 2013 I had a hard time starting my novel but, through the encouragement of NANOS and friends and relative on FB, I was able to finish my novel before Thanksgiving.

CreateSpace gave all the winners a coupon for two copies of our book, which meant that our novel would have to be published. I just spent the month of June trying to edit and format the novel I wrote in November. It has been a learning experience for this 72 year old lady!

I'm still having problems formatting my novels but I put them up for publish on demand anyway in hopes of getting some feedback. I've found it much harder to write fiction than it was to write non-fiction.

Maya Angelou said, "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story within you."

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NANAWRIMO 2007. CreateSpace awarded all winners with a free proof copy of their book.
NANAWRIMO 2007. CreateSpace awarded all winners with a free proof copy of their book.
NANAWRIMO 2007. CreateSpace awarded all winners with a free proof copy of their book.

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