Today Allen Zadoff, author of the upcoming Boy Nobody, is here for an interview!
GC: In BOY NOBODY, how are the targets chosen? Do they fit a 'type,' or are they seemingly random in appearance?
AZ: Let’s see how much I can tell you without giving the book away. The Program, the organization that Boy Nobody works for, has amazing digital assets at its disposal. If you’re doing something online that you’re not supposed to do, it will discover you. I’m talking about things like espionage, terrorism, etc. If The Program suspects you are up to something and deems you to be dangerous, then you fit the profile. They might come for you in the form of Boy Nobody. The good news is by the time you know, it will be too late.
GC: Why is Boy Nobody needed? What special traits does he possess that makes him a candidate?
AZ: Because Boy Nobody is a teenager, he can get close to people who would otherwise be untouchable—heads of industry, superstars, famous politicians, the ultra-rich. He is able to get to them through their weak point, their own children. As I say to adults: Imagine your son or daughter’s new best friend is an assassin sent to punish you for your crimes. How could you defend yourself against that?
GC: How does Boy Nobody track down his targets?
AZ: The philosophy behind Boy Nobody is “hide in plain sight”. This is true for Boy Nobody himself, a seemingly normal teen who is a highly trained assassin. It’s also true for how Boy Nobody tracks his targets. His assignment dossiers are hidden inside social media, a fake Facebook profile, a Tumblr blog, etc. One Facebook page among hundreds of millions gets no notice whatsoever. One day the profile exists, the next day it’s gone. In the meantime, Boy Nobody has read it and acquired a name, photos, maps, and everything else he needs to know about the life of his next target.
GC: Which characters from other books do you believe could hack it inside Boy Nobody's world, and which would easily become fatalities even though they are champions in their own worlds?
AZ: I think Katniss would do really well in Boy Nobody’s world. She’s got the physical abilities and natural skill set to be a great assassin, but because she has such a fierce independent streak, she’d have a big problem with allegiance to The Program. Boy Nobody is an interesting character because he is a soldier and patriot. He’s wants to be a believer, at least at the beginning. His problem is that he’s torn between duty to his commanders and the humanity that is growing inside him. Eventually he’s going to have to make a choice.
GC: Share a secret with us about how BOY NOBODY came to be.
AZ: This is one of the great mysteries of the series. Boy Nobody saw his parents killed, after which he was “adopted” by The Program and trained to be an assassin.
Why was he chosen?
And if all of The Program’s targets are traitors, terrorists, or spies, what did his parents do that caused them to become targets?