Press Release

J.R. Schumaker

San Diego, California

November 21, 2017

For Immediate Release:

Announcing the release of the new middle grade fantasy novel: Diana’s Dragons: The Awaited, by San Diego County author and single mother, J.R. Schumaker.

In these times when more and more readers and authors acknowledge the need for strong female main characters and diversity in the Arts, the debut novel  by J.R. Schumaker brings us all of these elements—plus dragons—in a story that has delighted beta readers of all ages and genders. Diana’s Dragons: The Awaited was released digitally in September 2017 and in paperback in November 2017.

The press is invited to a book release/signing event on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at a private home, 11566 Alborada Drive, San Diego, 92127.

From the book description:

Someone is stealing dragon magic.

Diana Santos and the dragonkin face a sinister intruder who uses the power of their own secrets against them. In their struggles to thwart the plans of the villain in their own backyard, Diana risks unspeakable loss, and the dragons risk a fate worse than extinction.

Diana’s Dragons: The Awaited began as a bedtime story the author—a single mother of four—made up for her young children in 2001. Schumaker believed she had a good idea and made some initial notes. She began to write what would become the final version of Diana’s Dragons: The Awaited when her children were in junior high and high school. She wrote in bursts of a few hours for several days at a time, stealing weekend days when there were no lessons or performances or events, and taking a few week-long retreats. After two years, she had the first draft. Schumaker jokes about calling her first novel her “fifth—and only neglected—child.” For some time, the author lived with a 200+ page hard-copy manuscript, making most of her first draft revisions with paper and pen. Schumaker notes, “I needed to print the whole thing out so that I could see and feel my ‘baby.’” She adds that her now twenty year-old son once asked, “Aren’t you afraid you’ll misplace that?” She replied—with a mental wink—“Did I misplace any of you?”

Of course Schumaker does observe a deeply fundamental differentiation between her actual children and her “book baby.” However, its constant call for attention moved her to “…free it from its digital cradle and nurture it to maturity; It is, without doubt, the proudest non-biological creation of my life,” she says.

J.R. Schumaker is a former freelance writer and editor, newspaper columnist, and contributor to many blogs, online magazines and websites (writing as Jennifer Schumaker). Her career as a highly involved single mother of three sons and a daughter, now grown—the family always thriving though ostensibly barely surviving—shaped most of her hours for nearly two decades. Throughout her child-raising years, Schumaker also devoted herself as a volunteer and leader in human and civil rights organizing, especially in LGBTQ family recognition and rights.

Diana’s Dragons: The Awaited is available in paperback and kindle formats. An audiobook version of the novel is slated for release in May 2018. More information is available at


Author J.R. Schumaker

J.R. Schumaker works from home in San Diego County, California. She earned a B.A. from Creighton University, in Omaha, Nebraska, then went on to complete the program in elementary education/adolescent literature at College of Saint Mary, also in Omaha. Diana’s Dragons: The Awaited, her debut novel, is the first book in a quadrilogy. Schumaker is currently at work on the second installment: Diana’s Dragons: The Stolen.

San Diego icon Richard Lederer reacts to the debut novel by J.R. Schumaker


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    10 months ago

    J.R. Schumaker
    I finished the initial notes on all 24 working chapters of the first draft of *Diana's Dragons: The Stolen*, book two in the *Diana's Dragons* series! The first draft writing and developmental notes are the "easy" parts. Lots of flow and creative sparks.Now I face weaving it all together into the second draft as a coherent story.I'll then have a developmental editor work through it for elements of continuity, cohesion, plot and character development.Next, I'll rewrite draft 2 to incorporate any of the developmental suggestions I choose; and there will be many changes. This will give me the 3rd draft to be copyedited, which yields a final draft to be polished and proofread. Wow, it sounds so neat and tidy when I spell it out like that. Don't I wish?! ... See MoreSee Less
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    11 months ago

    J.R. Schumaker
    Hello! Thank you for visiting!I'm over halfway finished with my first-round notes on the first draft of *Diana's Dragons: The Stolen*, book two in the series! I finished chapter 14 today (out of a working 24), after a long sabbatical due to family changes (sad ones and wonderful ones!), COVID, and moving! It feels so good to be back with the characters and feel the story unfold. ... See MoreSee Less
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    3 years ago

    J.R. Schumaker
    I'm having so much fun reading my novel aloud over FB Live (link in bio). Before a recent installment, I shared what I'm currently reading: the crazy-good sci-fi fantasy *The City We Became* by N.K. Jemisin. From the start, I've been hooked by her fast-paced yet epic style, and her mind-bending story.....#fantasynovels #scififantasy #fantasyauthor #newyorkcity #nyc #burroughsofnyc #womenauthors #librarians #womenwriters #highschoollibrarians #giftededucation #hugoawards ... See MoreSee Less
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    3 years ago

    J.R. Schumaker
    As we shelter-in-place during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all experienced how our physical "social distancing" can turn into too much social/emotional distance and isolation.To help us take back the dragon magic and connect with each other, I'll read my novel, *Diana's Dragons: The Awaited* aloud over Facebook Live. We'll connect my home, your home, and the homes of everyone else who joins us.I'll read the entire book in installments of about 15 minutes each day, starting Friday, April 10th, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. Pacific.Don't worry if you start late or miss some live reading! Recordings will available in the videos section on this page as well as on Or you can just scroll back on this page and find all the installments!I'm very excited to share the adventures of our hero, Diana Santos, and her Dragonkin with all of you. I hope you enjoy the book!Be well and may your dragon heartfires blaze!-J.R.P.S. *Diana's Dragons: The Awaited* is considered "middle grade fantasy," the same genre and audience as the Harry Potter series. ... See MoreSee Less
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    3 years ago

    J.R. Schumaker
    As Wellness Coordinator for a program for folks who live with HIV/AIDS, I report to work during the Covid-19 Shelter In Place order (in California). Still writing the sequel, and currently inspired to mold some of the characters and events according to the ways many are coming together from our separate places during this crisis. #grateful #LoveTheWorld #StayWellEveryone #CreatingDuringCrisis ... See MoreSee Less
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