Author Interview with Allen Zadoff

So I have something totally exciting; an interview with the amazing author, Allen Zadoff, author of Boy Nobody
which was a totally awesome book and one that you should check out.

I would first like to thank Mr. Zadoff for doing this interview. I really appreciate it and his answers are really fun and cool!

So without further adieu, here is the interview 😀 (that rhymes, haha)

1.  Why did you start writing in the first place? Was it your first choice or was there something else that you wanted to do instead?

My first love was the theater. I was an actor in high school, a director in college, and I even went to graduate school as a stage director. But you never know where life (and your talent) are going to take you. It wasn’t until my twenties that I started writing seriously, and my career as a novelist is still something of a surprise to me.

2.   Where did you come up with the idea for your book?

Like many of my ideas, it came to me first in the voice of the character. He told me he was a teen assassin who traveled from place to place carrying out missions. He said he had no home and worked for a shadowy organization called The Program. I knew he was lonely. I knew he was dangerous. And I knew his name: Boy Nobody.

3. Are there any real life events which inspired the making of this book? If not, how long did it take you come up with this idea?

I always pull from real life, but I’d say my books have emotional truth more than actual truth.  For example, I’ve never been an assassin for the government. But I know what it’s like to struggle with loyalty to the family vs. my own desire to be independent. That’s something Boy Nobody is going through in the novel. .

4.   Why did you choose to make the protagonist a teenager?

Boy Nobody chose, not me.

5.  This book was completely a different writing style. Less speech and more personal thoughts and feelings which was quite an interesting turn. Why did you write the book like this, and how do you think, in your opinion, it enhanced the book?

The book is written from Boy Nobody’s point of view, so we are literally in the mind of a soldier assassin. He thinks in a very simple and direct way. The sentences are short. I think this makes the pace super fast and very exciting.  You can read ten chapters in fifteen minutes! Some people ask me if I did that so it would be an easy book for young people to read. That’s a side benefit, but it’s not the reason I did it. I was just trying to write the way the character thinks.

6.    What are some things that you have to do when writing (ie: Having a lighted candle, chewing some mints)?

I listen to music almost all the time when I’m writing. It’s a huge inspiration for me.  My favorite app is Pandora, but I’ve been getting into iRadio since Apple’s new IOS 7 came out. Boy Nobody uses an iPhone, too, so I think he would approve.

7.   During your average day, what can you be found doing?

Writing, watching tv, walking, having a meal or coffee with friends. Writing is a lonely business, so anything I can do to balance it out is helpful to me.

10.What can you be found currently watching on the TV?

I watch a lot of television. I think there is amazing writing on TV these days.  I learn a lot from it.  Currently I’m watching shows like Walking Dead, Homeland, Boardwalk Empire, and Breaking Bad until it ended this year!  I also have some guilty pleasures like Project Runway, Chopped, and X Factor.

11.What is the weirdest food that you have ever eaten?

Crickets which are called chapulines in Spanish. There’s a big Oaxacan community in Los Angeles where I live, and it’s not hard to find chapulines. They’re usually fried or sun-dried and covered with salt, lime, and chili pepper. They’re delicious, but it helps if you close your eyes before you bite down.