Tal Fultheim, 13, a Teaneck resident and Yeshivat Noam seventh grade student, wrote a 38-page book Making Memories, and published it on e-book, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and Apple. Recently, the sequel, Moving On, was published as well.
Below is our conversation with her:
What age did you start writing?
I started to write when I was about ten years old, but I always knew I wanted to be an author.
When did you start your book? How long did it take you to write it?
I started my book way back in December, and I wrote it over a month and a half.
How is it that you are a native Hebrew speaker, but the book you wrote is in English?
Well, I felt strong enough to write in English, and over the past two years I had two amazing English teachers, Ms. Peyser and Mrs. Solomon, and my friends that read the book first-Sarina Shields, Tzivia Major, Adina Traurig, Tifferet Mondrow, Meital Fuksbrumer, Batya Becker and Goldie Goldberg-helped me edit too.
Where did you get the idea for the story?
I was just in bed, and then suddenly the images of Nancy and her friends just came to me. I knew I need to write this.
Which writers influenced you?
There are a couple of them-J. K. Rowling, Rick Riordan, Eti Elbaum, Eti Affel (Hebrew writers), and Heather Vogel Frederick.
What age are the books for, and why?
For ages twelve and up, because there are a lot of deep things writen in it that you really need to think about and understand. I feel like younger kids will not understand much.
What’s the book about? Who is your intended audience?
The book is about fourteen-year-old Nancy is adopted in a family with three other siblings, and her twin, Grace, is going to be adopted by the family, too. The story is about their relationship and their friends.
Which part did you most enjoy writing?
I most enjoyed writing a scene in which Nancy and Grace turn fifteen at exactly 12:03 at night, and they’re both awake in Nancy’s room counting down the minutes. It’s an act of true friendship and love.
What are your hobbies?
Writing, of course. But I also like singing in our school choir, the Yeshivat Noam Middle School Girls Choir, and I like watching movies. And reading books. Especially Harry Potter or Percy Jackson.
What do you advise teenagers who want to write, too? Or have any other talent that they aren’t ready to go public?
Everybody has his or her special talent. When you find it, it fills you with warmth from the inside. That’s what happens to me when I write. And remember-you don’t have to go public. You can just show your friends and family if you feel uncomfortable. Go on, and shine as bright as you can, ‘cause you can. Believe in yourself.
To see Tal’s book on Smashwords, go to https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/tfultheim.