david yoo's stop me if you've heard this one before

Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before, the latest novel from author David Yoo is out in stores today. If you've been reading this site for a few years, you know that I absolutely loved his 2005 debut novel, Girls for Breakfast. I even did an interview with David. So I was thrilled to hear from him about the new novel. I started reading Stop Me... over the weekend, and so far I'm really enjoying it. Here's the official description:

If Albert Kim has learned one thing in his tragic adolescence, it's that God (probably a sadistic teenaged alien) does not want him to succeed at Bern High. By the end of sophomore year, Al is so tired of humiliation that he's chosen to just forget girls and high school society in general, and enjoy the Zen-like detachment that comes from being an intentional loser.

Then he meets Mia Stone, and all the repressed hormones come flooding back. Mia, his co-worker at the Bern Inn, is adorable, popular, and most intimidatingly, the ex- long-term girlfriend of Ivy-bound, muscle-bound king of BHS and world class jerk, Ryan Stackhouse. But -- chalk it up to the magic of Al's inner beauty -- by the end of a summer vacuuming hotel rooms and goofing off together, he and Mia are officially "something."

Albert barely has time to ponder this miracle before the bomb drops: Ryan has been diagnosed with cancer, and he needs Mia's support, i.e. constant companionship. True, he's lost weight and he's getting radiation, but that doesn't make him any less of a jerk. And to Albert, it couldn't be more apparent that Ryan is using his cancer to steal Mia back. With the whole town rallying behind Ryan like he's a fallen hero, and Mia emotionally confused and worried for Ryan, Al's bid for love is not a popular campaign. In fact, it's exactly like driving the wrong way on a five-lane highway.

In this desperately funny novel, David Yoo tells an authentic story of first love, and therein captures the agony, the mania, the kicking and screaming that define teenage existence.

Once again, as he did with Girls for Breakfast, David comically examines the painful, awkward agony of adolescence with a story of losers, lust and first love—familiar territory, yet endlessly providing shreds of humor and truth. I always seem to relate with the protagonists in David's novels in ways that I'm too embarrassed to admit.

Maybe this is your kind of story. If you liked Girls for Breakfast, I'm pretty sure you'll dig Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before. If you need further convincing, read this funny letter Dave sent out, asking folks to spread the word about the new book. Ten people need to read it, or something terrible will happen to me:

Hey everybody,

Well, it's been three long years since my first novel, Girls For Breakfast, came out, and a lot has happened to me since then. I had a suspicious looking mole surgically removed from my back. I re-connected with old friends. I became an uncle. I got married to my long-time girlfriend.

But none of that even remotely compares to the most gratifying thing to happen to me--I finally finished my second novel!

Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before (Hyperion) is the story of an unorthodox high school love-triangle, starring an earnest-if-awkward young man named Albert Kim, a headstrong wisp of a girl named Mia Stone, and a frustratingly perfect, mesomorphic monster named Ryan "The House" Stackhouse. The novel features the music of Phil Collins, a handful of seemingly magical frogs that figure largely into the story, and within the pages you'll discover the origins of the Damnit Game, soon to be sweeping the nation. It's received advance praise from some of my favorite authors, and is now officially available for purchase at your local bookstore and online.

The thing is, I need your help spreading the word about this novel, because I'm notoriously horrendous at book promotion. For one thing, I almost never leave my house. I very rarely "talk" to anyone (I don't even own a cell-phone). As a result, I don't seem to know that many humans (is that what you carbon-based life forms prefer to go by?), so I was thinking maybe we could turn this into one of those really cool chain letter emails that everyone seems to enjoy so much. Therefore, please pass on this email to at least 10 people, and ask those people to send it to 10 more people, ad infinitum.

And like all chain emails, please be aware that if you don't pass this email on to at least 10 other people, something terrible will happen to you.

Truth be told, the results of my efforts to promote my first novel back in the day were inconclusive at best, but more likely an utter failure. Basically, I did three things to promote my first book:

I scribbled "Girls For Breakfast" or "David Yoo" on every piece of paper currency I came in contact with over a three year period. (Alas, my dismal earning potential limited the amount of paper currency I came into contact with during that period.)
I visited bookstores in the area and secretly tore the front cover off copies of my books because I'd been mistakenly informed that doing so would guarantee the bookstore would have to purchase the copy. (Turns out that not only is this NOT true, but it's also a prosecutable offense.)
I tried to form my first fan club, Davey's Palz. (Currently, I'm still the sole member.)

Needless to say, these efforts did not impact my sales whatsoever. So for the last fifteen minutes or so I've been brainstorming new ways to get the word out on my new book. My first gangbusters idea was the chain-letter thing. My other ideas are as follows:

Idea #2: I need you to actively discuss my title in bookstores. For example, you could loiter by the front register and, when you make eye contact with a customer in line, smile broadly and say something like, "I heard that book really sucks! Say, have you read Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before yet?" That's just a boilerplate example, of course, feel free to tweak the dialogue however which way you like.

Idea #3: Call up your local radio station during their request hour, and ask that they play Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before, by David Yoo. When they say they don't have that song by that artist, reply, "Oh, actually, it's a book. Why, do you only play songs?" Then wait five minutes, call back and say, "Hey pal, why haven't you played my book request yet?" Repeat this process a total of 9 times, because according to marketing experts the average, potential customer needs to hear a title at least 9 times before it finally sticks in their heads. (Note: The beauty of this strategy is that it can easily be modified to work with just about anyone working in any vocation)

In the meantime, I've also decided to try to re-kickstart my fan club, Davey's Palz. In hindsight, I realize now that what scared everyone off the first time was the admittedly exorbitant membership fees. Originally, I had it set up that a 1-year membership fee cost $100, and that you could purchase a discounted 2-year membership for $198. This time around, due in part to our struggling economy, I've decided to take the financial hit on your behalf and offer, for a limited time only, a lifetime membership fee for the fire sale price of just $99! That's right, for under a hundred buckashmoozies you're entitled to all the benefits of being a Davey's Pal for the duration of your life (of course it goes without saying that the younger you are the more valuable the membership), including:

-receiving an annual e-newsletter, recapping all the wonderful things to happen to David in the previous calendar year (note: this year's newsletter has been cancelled due to time constraints)

-automatic entry in a yearly raffle (prizes include: signed copies of my novels, as well as still-to-be-determined, assorted random crap laying around on my desk)

-permission to freely refer to yourself as a "Davey's Pal" at public, non-Davey's Palz-related functions.

That's the perks of being in the fan club, in a nutshell. Otherwise, I'm elated to finally be able to introduce you to my new novel, which has been a long time in the making.

A few final bits of book-related news before I go:

-There's a book trailer for STOP ME at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6QW1HX7gCk

- I have a new web site at www.daveyoo.com, which features up-to-date news and events, links to purchase my books online, and a picture of possibly the most menacing cat you'll see in your lifetime.

Anyway, thank you for taking the time to read this, and know that I actually was being quite serious earlier—if you don't pass this on to at least 10 people something really terrible will happen to you.

Have a great day!

David Yoo

Author of
Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before (Hyperion)
While I would become a member of Davey's Palz, I just can't afford the $99 lifetime membership fee. It's a bargain, but as we all know, times are tough. In the meantime, I'll settle for David's wit in the form of Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before. It's available in stores now. For more info on the book, visit David Yoo's website here. David also has a semi-regularly updated Xanga blog here.

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