14-year-old student from Waltham publishes his first science fiction novel

WALTHAM, MA — Fourteen-year-old eighth-grade student Luke Schumacher at McDevitt Middle School in Waltham has released his first full-length novel.

It’s just a headache, released on May 28, tells the story of Adam Johnny Cox, a teenager who is plagued by extremely painful headaches, terrifying visions and nightmares. Inspired by Madeline L’Engle A shortcut in timeit’s not just a sci-fi novel, but also a story about the things that make college, well, college.

“I started writing this story in fifth grade with a few of the same characters, and then decided to adapt it into a play,” Schumacher said. “Nothing ever happened to the play, but I decided I wanted to do more. It took four months to write, then 11 months to edit and publish.”

“There is something in science fiction that influenced me, like the tesseract [the phenomenon of folding the fabric of space and time] in A wrinkle in Time,” he continued. “I was thinking of [what would happen] if they did something like that to someone who didn’t want it.”

Schumacher said he was grateful to his past and current English teachers, Rachael Hershon and Emily Whipple, for their help during the writing process.

“Mrs. Hershon let me stay after school and work there at first,” Schumacher said. “She even read my entire book and gave me feedback. Mrs. Whipple was mad about her promotion and put a countdown on her board. Now they want me to speak at English lessons from sixth grade. It was crazy for me, I never expected it once when I wrote this book.”

According to Schumacher’s parents, David Schumacher and Tricia O’Connell, Schumacher did this project all by himself. He figured out how to find a cover designer, distributor, and publisher, format it, and hire an editor, and largely used his own money to pay for it.

“Obviously we couldn’t be prouder and hope he keeps writing,” O’Connell said. “People often think, ‘How did he have time to do that?’ But that’s the silver lining of Covid. Luke would sit down and say I’m going to write 500 words a day and it gave him something to focus on during a time of solitude.”

“We’re really happy that he found something productive to do during this time,” said David Schumacher. “It’s a project that he really researched, and it’s not just about the story, but also about the children and their relationships with each other and the way they think and dream and interact. , and to me, that’s just as much a valuable part of it as anything.”

Luke Schumacher said he plans to continue writing as he grows up. He does not plan to write a sequel to It’s just a headachebut is currently working on a play and considering a career in writing.

“It’s crazy to be able to have all these opportunities since the book came out,” he said. “So many people buy it and ask about it, it comes out of my school, adults and kids read it, and just being able to go to a news site like this is insane.”

It’s just a headache is available for purchase here.

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