Changing Ways


Julia Tannenbaum, 18-year old author of “Changing Ways”

Mariana Rule

Mental illness is taking over the minds of not only the youth but also many adults. It can take over a person’s life so easily, and many are afraid to ask for help. There is a huge stigma around having a mental illness, many choose to suffer in silence. Julia Tannenbaum, a student at Hall High School in West Hartford, was one of these teens. She began struggling herself, and finding an outlet became increasingly difficult. Writing became her light in the darkness that seemed to consume her life. Julia began to write in eighth grade as a way to figure out what was happening to her. She struggled to articulate all of her emotions. Therefore, poems and stories became an outlet.

Around a year ago, Julia decided to take her experiences and start to write a novel. She explains that the “Main character is a reflection of myself when I was in a really dark place.”  Her novel, Changing Ways, is incredibly important because it is starting a discussion about topics only spoken about behind closed doors. Julia is very proud of her novel and says that she draws her inspiration mostly from “people I knew, experiences I had, and places I visited.” The story is very personal to her because she experienced some of these events herself, as have other people she knows. However, there are some details throughout the story that she drew from T.V. shows and movies.

Julia was originally planning to publish through an agency in a traditional manner, but due to her excitement she decided to self-publish. She decided to self publish through Amazon to get her book exposed to the public much faster. Another self-published author, K. R. Conway, was instrumental in helping Julia to design her cover and to format the novel. Julia’s friends, family, and teachers were all incredibly supportive as well and helped edit the entire novel. Julia is very grateful for their support.

The novel was just recently released at the beginning of September. Julia hosted a book talk in South Windsor on September 29th. The book talk was held at Book Club Bookstore and More on Sullivan Avenue. The book is out and is available in bookstores near you.