2008 "American Idol" runner-up David Archuleta comes to the Theatre...

2008 "American Idol" runner-up David Archuleta comes to the Theatre at Westbury on Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. for his "Christmas From the Heart" holiday tour. Info at 877-598-8694, livenation.com. Admission: $39-$49.

Credit: Getty / Kevin Winter

It's no secret that David Archuleta, the runner-up on season 7 of "American Idol," knows how to tell a story when he sings. Now the 19-year-old pop star is telling his own story - from the high notes (his success during and after "Idol") to the low (when he was 12, vocal- cord paralysis nearly put an end to his dreams of a musical career) - in the book "Chords of Strength" (Celebra), which hit bookstores Tuesday.

Archuleta comes to Barnes & Noble in Lake Grove Thursday to sign copies of the book. He phoned us from Hollywood, where he was attending last week's "American Idol" finale, and chatted about his book, "Idol" and his upcoming album.

How afraid were you that you might never sing again?

I was really scared. Music is the only thing I really felt passionate about. . . . I was told I could have the surgery, which is really risky, or I could see what voice therapy could do for me after a couple of years. The doctors told me the surgery could permanently damage my throat. So I decided to go to therapy. . . . I learned that it was up to me to do the effort and put the work into it if I wanted it. It totally paid off.


How did being on "Idol" help you to be a better performer?

It's what got me really performing in the first place. When "American Idol" started, I said, "I want to do what those people are doing." It made me feel so empowered. . . . It was all about showing who you are as a person. A lot of yourself starts coming out when you're performing.


In the book, you said you were harder on yourself than the judges were. What would you have done differently?

I'm not much for changing the past. It's something you can't change.

What do you think "Idol" will be like without Simon?

It's going to totally change the dynamics of the show. But like Simon said, the viewers really make the show because they're the ones who are voting. They're choosing who goes on and that's what's really the magic of the show.


Now that your book is done, are you working on another album?

Actually, I have a new single that should be coming out in July, and the album will be coming in the fall. . . . I got really involved in the writing. The songs are going to be more about my life. This is going to show more of me, more of my personality. I'm a quirky kind of person, so I wanted to show more of my unique personality.

WHEN | WHERE David Archuleta signs copies of "Chords of Strength" 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Barnes & Noble, 601 Smith Haven Mall, Lake Grove, 631-724-0431, bn.com

Also Wednesday night at 7, Borders, 10 Columbus Circle, Manhattan, 212-823-9775

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