A #TTBF Q&A with Author David Yoon
What’s one material thing you can’t live without?
Probably my camera. I carry it almost wherever I go.
What’s your favorite of your non-book-related talents?
I really like playing music—piano, guitar, and drums. It’s a way of hanging out and communicating without talking.
If you could choose one X-Men power, what would it be and why?
I always liked the idea of teleporting like Nightcrawler. I could pop over to Hawaii for plate lunch, and pop right back, although I think that’s beyond his normal capabilities. Let the nerd debate begin!
What inspired you to write Frankly in Love and what do you believe it can offer American teen readers, Korean-American or otherwise?
I was inspired by my own upbringing. Because my parents only wanted me to date Korean girls, I had to hide my actual love life (which included non-Korean girls, because hey, we were in America) from them. Only until much later did I realize how weird this was. I also realized that many immigrant kids are also caught in these sorts of awkward situations, where they have to balance their love for their parents with their desire to be free and live life on their own terms—even if that means defying their parents’ expectations.
The protagonist in Frankly in Love is Korean-American like you; are there similarities between his personality and experiences and your personality and experiences during your young adulthood?
I like to say that Frank is the version of myself that I wish I could’ve been when I was a young adult—as clever, as thoughtful, and ultimately as wise. He basically learns in a single year what it took me literally decades to figure out. Lucky Frank!
If you could choose three books to include on our official “Read Everything” book list for 2019, what would they be?
I’m particularly excited for The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh (Ann Rice-ian vampires are back, people!), Pet by Akwaeke Emezi (because her brand of magical realism seems so fresh and intriguing), and The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu (Marie’s doing historical fantasy? Hell yeah!).