For most teens, spring break is a time to take a break from school, hang out with their friends or even take a short trip to the coast, mountains or Disneyland with their families. Anything that’s relaxing and helps to recharge their batteries before classes resume and the run-up to final exams begins.
Angelina Curry’s spring break this year was like none of that. While most of her peers were thinking of anything but schoolwork, Curry dove deep into a complicated project.
She wrote a book.
The 15-year-old, who will be a junior at Denair Charter Academy this fall, credits her parents and a particularly inspiring DCA teacher for encouraging her to follow her dream, which has culminated in a self-published book entitled “Melting the Ice.”
Now available on Amazon, it is set in South Korea. It is the story of a 21-year-old woman named Kwan who seeks her first job to help pay for her mother’s medical bills. She is hired as a secretary at one of the country’s largest technology firms and ends up working for an emotionally demanding boss.
According to the book description, Kwan “begins to see past his intimidating demeanor and realizes that deep down he is a good person. She starts to wonder, why is he so cold? Can she help him? Will he let her close enough? Can she melt the ice that surrounds his cold, wounded heart?”
The book runs 105 pages and 15 chapters. Curry wrote it from the family’s home computer in their living room in Delhi. She started as early as 6:30 a.m. and often wrote until 7 p.m., taking breaks only for meals.
“The more I wrote, the more it came to me,” she said.
Her editor was her favorite DCA teacher, Karen Sanchez, who provided encouragement and advice when Curry told her what she wanted to do.
“The idea was all hers,” said Sanchez, who has worked with independent study students such as Curry at DCA for the past five years. “I’ve always encouraged her to write a short story. I wasn’t expecting her to write a full-fledged, 15-chapter book.”
Curry has never been to South Korea. The story’s setting, she explained, was inspired by her love of the Korean boy band BTS and the K-pop music genre. The plot reflects her interest in books in which “the guy was cool and girl helped warm him up.” But, she’s quick to point out, “Melting the Ice” is not “an office romance.”
Curry has been interested in writing since she was a student at Hickman Charter School. As a seventh-grader, she picked up a copy of “How to Improve Writing” – which was intended for high school students – and read it cover to cover. She began keeping a diary. Writing, she said, was a way for her to deal with anxiety and emotional issues.
“I want to acknowledge the people who helped me make this happen,” she wrote in the author’s note for her book. “My mom and dad, who are always there to support me, love me and help me take care of my mental and physical well-being and to encourage me to keep at my dream of writing. My teacher Mrs. Sanchez who helped me self-publish this novel and who was the first to read my book and tell me how much she enjoyed it. She is by far the best teacher I have had.
“I would also like to thank my friends who have stuck by my side for the past years and continue to support me and were so excited to read my novel. But most of all, I would like to thank God for helping me get to this point, health-wise, to be able to do all this. I hope you enjoy ‘Melting the Ice.’ ”
When Easter Break was over and the book was written, Curry sent it electronically to Sanchez, who helped with editing. Sanchez also researched self-publishing options on the Internet and identified someone to design a book cover.
“Melting the Ice” has been available on Amazon since May 25. The cost is $3.99, though it’s free for those with a Kindle Unlimited subscription. More than 200 people already have downloaded it or read it for free. It even has four five-star reviews.
Curry, who says her career goal it to become a full-time writer, already has begun her next project, a book entitled “First Impressions: Eternal Love.” Five chapters are written.
“It’s about a guy who has money but is miserable to be around. He’s a photographer,” she said. “One day, a girl who just lost her job is walking down the road, sees a baseball in the gutter and throws it at a tree, but misses and breaks a window in his mansion. That’s how they meet.
“I have a notebook where I want the story to go, but I know they’ll get married in the end.”