Welcome to WRITER WEDNESDAY! Today’s blog is all about my baby bro DAVID YOO. He is the author of two acclaimed YA novels (GIRLS FOR BREAKFAST/Delacorte ’05 and STOP ME IF YOU’VE HEARD THIS ONE BEFORE/Hyperion ’08). His debut middle grade novel, THE DETENTION CLUB, hit bookstores on June 21, 2011 from Balzer + Bray. David’s story, “A Fistful of Feathers,” is also available as an e-Book from all major retailers June 7, 2011. His first collection of adult essays comes out from Grand Central this spring 2012. For more information on David and his upcoming DETENTION CLUB book blog tour, go here: http://daveyoo.com
By the way, if the book cover art looks familiar, that’s because it was done by illustrator/author/animator DAN SANTAT. He was a Guest Author for my 2011 National Picture Book Writing Week (NaPiBoWriWee). You can read more about Dan at his interview on my NaPiBoWriWee blog here: http://paulayoo.com/napi/?p=250
THE DETENTION CLUB has gotten rave reviews so far. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY said: “Peter and Drew’s antics will keep readers laughing, as readers will be entertained by the boys’ hijinks and empathize with their desire to fit in.” And according to The Bulletin of the Center For Children’s Books, “Readers familiar with Yoo’s YA work will be delighted and surprised by his first foray into middle-grade fiction.”
I asked David to explain the plot of THE DETENTION CLUB. He said: “The title is so explain-y that to say anything more about it would give away the ending, but I will say, briefly, that it’s the story of two friends, who-”
Okay. So in case you need more info on his book, here’s the official story: “Detention: The best worst thing to happen to Peter Lee? Peter and his best friend, Drew, used to be so cool (or, at least, not total outcasts) in elementary school. But now they’re in middle school, where their extensive mica collection and prowess at kickball have earned them a new label: losers. Then Peter attracts the unwanted attention of the school bullies, and his plan to become popular through his older sister, the practically perfect Sunny, backfires. Things go from bad to worse when Peter gets detention. But what at first seems to spell his utter doom turns into an unlikely opportunity for making friends and influencing people…”
David took time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions. (Keep reading after the jump to find out more about my baby bro!)
Q&A with DAVID YOO
David Yoo is a graduate from Skidmore College with an MA from the University of Colorado-Boulder. His first novel, Girls For Breakfast (Delacorte) was a Booksense Pick, an NYPL Books For the Teen Age selection, and a Reading Rants Top Ten Books for Teens choice.His first middle grade novel, THE DETENTION CLUB (Balzer + Bray) comes out June 21, 2011. His first collection of essays, Honorable Mention (Grand Central) is forthcoming spring 2012. He lives in Massachusetts, where he regularly plays adult soccer and old school video games. He teaches in the MFA program at Pine Manor College and at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop.
David is currently on a book blog tour to promote THE DETENTION CLUB. Please go here for all the dates: http://daveyoo.com/html/news_events.html
For more on David, please visit his website here: http://daveyoo.com
— Q: Where is the best place for you to write your books? (Do you write at home, do you like to write anywhere else like a coffeehouse or library?)
— A: I have to write at home, in total isolation. I can’t write in coffeehouses or libraries—the sound or just the fact that there are others around rattles my concentration, on top of the fact that I can’t help but always feel like I look like I’m trying to not look like I’m performing for the clientele.
— Q: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
— A: Professional pool player.
— Q: Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
— A: To this day I still can’t touch photos of insects, particularly spiders, in magazines like National Geographic. To the degree where if you came at me with the magazine opened up to that back page where there’s usually a closeup of a hairy tarantula I’d literally hurl myself out the window or try to hit you with the nearest blunt object in abject fear. I also eat a ridiculous amount of ginger snaps. It’s kind of my weakness (besides my vices, that is).
— Q: What was the most unusual job you’ve ever had?
— A: I can’t say I’ve had “unusual” jobs, but it did surprise me when looking back on my job history for this question to realize I’ve had three assembly line jobs, and that I kinda loved working all of them. There’s just something really satisfying about being able to look down the line at the finished product and say, “We made that.” (note: it’s important to completely ignore the fact that neither you nor any of your co-workers can really say what it is you’ve collectively made…)
— Q: If you could give one piece of writing advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?
— A: Keep at it.
— Q: What were you like in the 6th grade?
— A: Very unhappy with the way I walked in public. I wasn’t thrilled with how I looked or sounded, too, but my walk mortified me. Specifically, I could never settle on a satisfactory way to swing my arms and was as a result really self-conscious about looking Cro-Magnon-ish. I sometimes didn’t get lunch because I was too embarrassed to walk to the lunch line in front of my classmates. That said, I felt like I looked pretty cool sitting, though.
— Q: What’s up with this obsession with mica?
— A: If you have to ask, it’s not worth trying to explain it to you.
— Q: Were you ever in detention?
— A: Often.
— Q: If so, for what?
— A: Drawing in class, passing notes, attempting to use cheat-sheets during tests, forgetting to do my homework, eating deceptively loud snacks, playing the Gameboy under my desk, smiling creepily at the teacher in effort to appear like I was paying attention and then subsequently getting outed for having no clue what he/she was talking about—the list goes on…
— Q: How tall were you in the 6th grade? When did you suddenly get so tall?
— A: I have no idea. I do know I surpassed your eventual adult height when I was, like, seven.
LOL! Thanks a lot, Dave! 🙂 Well, I hope you enjoyed my brother’s interview for today’s Writer Wednesday. Please feel free to comment on this blog, say hi to my brother, and ask any questions for him and I’ll make sure he gets back to you! And you can visit him here: http://daveyoo.com
Also – I have lined up A TON of writer interviews for the months of July and August. These writers include adult novelists, children’s book authors, non-fiction historical authors, and some chefs with new cookbooks! So please stay tuned for a future calendar and announcement of these interviews coming up.
And don’t forget, TUNA THURSDAY is tomorrow!
Until the next blog, Happy Writing! WRITE LIKE YOU MEAN IT! 🙂