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Children’s book author writes a message of overcoming grief

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By Rachel Johnson, Staff Writer

Retirement didn’t stop Bolivia resident Thelma C. Fullwood from putting her years of knowledge to work.

After teaching in the Brunswick County School System for 25 years and another six in Virginia, Fullwood retired. After doing some thinking, she recognized a need in young adult literature and decided to tackle the issue.

“After I retired, I had time to look through the material children had written,” Fullwood said. “I was surprised to realize children usually choose to write about death when they are given the chance to write about any subject they want. I decided to address the topic.”

In Fullwood’s first book, “A Lifetime of Memories,” she shares the story of a young girl whose favorite aunt passes away. The main character reminisces about her last days with her aunt and begins to feel selfish for her actions. An older woman helps the young girl through the grief process.

“So often children wonder why people come and take things that belonged to their loved one after a death. ...We need to address the fact they have loss and emotional effects that linger,” Fullwood said.

After the publication of “A Lifetime of Memories,” Fullwood felt compelled to write another book, “Love Finds a Receiver,” about dealing with the loss of an animal. She feels there is definitely one more book to be written on the topic of death. She hopes to have it completed by the first of next year.

“All of the books in the series end with a poem which culminates the book,” Fullwood said.

Her talents aren’t only being used to reach youth. Fullwood has also written a collection of books containing poetry and plays for the Christmas and Easter holidays. She even sings and has recorded CDs to accompany several of the books. Fullwood wrote and performed more than 21 skits utilizing puppets for a former Wilmington-based public access television station.

“I have written poetry all of my life,” Fullwood said. “Much of the plays are from skits I wrote for public access in Wilmington.”

When Fullwood began writing, she used a publisher but discovered she could offer the books to the public for a lower price if she self-published. Now she publishes her books through Coming Out of the Forest Publications. Each of Fullwood’s stories is accompanied by artwork, and her son Edward Naconiel Fullwood Jr. does the majority of it. 

Thelma Fullwood’s books are available locally at Lowell’s Bookworm in Holden Beach, Sweet Sensation Hair Design in Bolivia and at the following Wilmington locations: The Salt Shaker Bookstore and Café, Cox Christian Bookstore and Pomegranate Books.