Kicking It With David Yoo

Monday, December 29, 2008

Caught this interview with author David Yoo who came out with his second book Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before a few months ago (and who wrote Girls for Breakfast):

I recently raved over David Yoo’s Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before, and I am so excited that he agreed to answer some questions. Hopefully this interview will pique your interest in reading the book!

1.) I could tell you were inspired by teen films from the 80s. What’s your touchstone film? And if Albert & Mia were 80s teen films, which ones would they be?

Sixteen Candles was my touchstone film. In my opinion it’s by far the funniest and least corny of the John Hughes canon, but I definitely had a complicated relationship with this movie as a teenager. On one hand it was a revelation for me in terms of how honestly it treated its teen characters, but at the same time, as an Asian American boy growing up in New England, the movie frustrated me to no end merely because it was responsible for producing the character Long Duk Dong, the William Hung of my generation. I can’t tell you how many times strangers at the mall, even adults—sometimes, would mutter lines to me like, “What’s happenin’, hot stuff?” in broken English, but I’m getting off topic.

As for Albert and Mia, well, I suppose they’d probably be Some Kind of Wonderful. That’s easily my least favorite Hughes movie, although I kinda have a begrudging respect for it now. Back then I just never bought that any guy in their right mind would be so oblivious to the innumerable charms of Mary Stuart Masterson, but then once I got out of high school I realized that that’s precisely what makes the movie so realistic—high school guys get so obsessed with the popular girls that they’re blind to anyone else and it’s like an unspoken rite of passage to go to college and feel utterly perplexed as time and time again your new freshman buddies peruse your old high school yearbook and point out all the nerdy girls as the prettiest ones…anyway, I guess that would make Albert the, um, Mary Stuart Masterson character? Which would then make Mia the…um, Eric Stoltz character? Now I’m confused, does this mean my novel was–previously unbeknownst to me–an allegory for two teens growing up the wrong gender? Eh, maybe I should just go with Pretty in Pink, although Albert’s nothing like Duckie, and it seems ridiculous to compare a guy nicknamed “The House” to a character legally-named “Blane.” You know, when I first started typing this seemed like such an easy question…sigh.
Read it in full down at and learn more about David down at his site.