Actually, more like 8 years ago... it was the summer after high school graduation.
I've always loved to write. I remember, with images that are more than blurry around the edges, a story I wrote at the age of 7... or it could've been 9... like I said, the details aren't concrete, but I do remember the story. It was about a cat who was stuck underneath a black, top hat. Around and around he scurried, visiting mothers and fathers, children and friends, and everyone would say, "Why! That's a moving hat!" only to discover later that the moving hat moved because of a cat.
So back to that summer of freedom right after a grueling senior year that consisted of 8 college applications and essays. Have you ever played that game where you and your friends sit around and daydream out loud the 100 things you'd want to do before you die? I don't think we ever made it to 100, but I do remember my #1: I wanted to publish a book. I wanted to see something that I've written all shiny and bound on a shelf in a bookstore. I wanted to be just like those old storytellers, who travelled around, sharing their stories orally. What I want is that impact storytellers had. They told stories that others passed on to their children. They told stories that were remembered and through those stories, they too were remembered even if they were long gone.
So I thought to myself, what kind of story did I want to write? That was fairly easy to decide, almost as if it had come naturally. I've always enjoyed children's literature more than other genres. It's amazing to me, the imagination of children. If I could write a book that would have kids put down their video games and forget about their television, that is something truly magical.
I wanted to write a fairy tale, just like the ones I grew up on. I also wanted to include Greek mythology in my writing because even till this day I can still remember the images in D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths. That was 5th grade! Finally, I knew that I wanted my hero to be a girl. A strong, everyday girl.
Her name is Emma Brown and her story, my story, is called The Unicorn Tamer.
I finished yesterday. My heart leapt (the I-feel-nervous-but-I'm-not-actually-nervous sensation), my fingers were shaking (I could barely type anything other than the words... I'm done), and it was... probably one of the most significant moments in my life.
I promised myself two things. That I would finish my book in time for my visit with my beloved grandparents. The name "Nguyen" is hard to pronounce, so I'm taking their name as my penname: C.N. Curtin. My second promise was that I'd start a blog to chronicle my adventures in the publishing world. I don't know how long it'll take, and I don't know if it'll ever even happen, but keep your fingers crossed for me, okay? Thanks!