About Loretta

Loretta Schumacher Carlson, YA novelist

Loretta Schumacher Carlson, YA novelist

I was born in Philadelphia, a city I still claim as my own, although I moved away many years ago. As an only child who lived on a dead-end street populated with an overabundance of senior citizens, I spent a lot of time in my room reading, mulling over and embellishing the day’s events, and writing stories.

I attended Catholic schools from kindergarten through high school and found there a community of caring teachers and friends. My high school English teachers inspired a lifelong love of reading and writing and introduced me to Shakespeare and Jane Austen, while my friends encouraged me to leave the “approved reading list” and explore the worlds of Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, and J. R. R. Tolkien. We wrote every day and read each other’s stories.

I made plans to study creative writing in college. My wonderful, practical parents said I could major in English as long as I took a double major in something useful. Fortunately, they considered journalism useful, so at least I was writing.

Although I never became a journalist, I put lessons learned at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications to good use in the business world. For a time, I continued writing stories, and I even submitted a stack of stories that earned a stack of rejections. Somewhere along the line, life got in the way of my writing. Or so I told myself.

A few years ago, I read an article about people diagnosed with terminal illnesses, and the author asked each person, “What is your biggest regret?” Not one person said she wished she kept her kitchen cleaner or put in the hours she needed to get that big promotion. They all said they wished they hadn’t given up on a special dream. The article ended by posing the same question to the reader. I didn’t have to stop and think. I knew the answer.

I pulled out my notebooks and found the nub of a story I longed to write. Over six years of taking writing classes, attending Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) conferences, and working with my amazing and supportive critique group, I wrote and revised (and revised and revised …) Finding Giselle, my first young adult novel. The story of a naive ballet student contending with a scheming rival, a budding romance, and a devastating family secret, the novel is set in Philadelphia and allowed me to immerse myself in the world of ballet. Now I am proud to say that as I continue my search for an agent to represent me, I am hard at work on my second novel.

Today I live in Bear, Delaware, with my husband, Russ, and our three cats. When I am not reading or writing, I enjoy birding, listening to classical music, and attending the ballet and opera. I also serve as the conference critique coordinator for the Maryland/Delaware/West Virginia region of SCBWI and volunteer at Tri-State Bird Rescue.