Author interview


The Program, the clandestine agency that employs Boy Nobody as an assassin, is rather scary, but the conspiracy theorist in me thinks it could be possible that something like this exists. Where did you get inspiration for the idea? And do you think it is possible?

Sadly, my inspiration is all around us these days. Secret government organizations, secret data collection, secret courts, secret trials. Is it so hard to believe an agency like The Program might exist? Of course I don’t believe there are real teen assassins in our country, but it wasn’t a stretch for me to imagine an organization that started out with a noble goal and became corrupt over time.

How do you research your books? They seem so on point…are you a secret spy for the government?

I can neither confirm nor deny being a secret spy for the government. Next question.

Did you find it hard to write the Unknown Assassin trilogy as opposed to your other more contemporary and humorous books?

You’re right that my previous books such as FOOD, GIRLS, AND OTHER THINGS I CAN’T HAVE were funny and realistic. But I’ve always been a fan of the thriller genre, so I loved having a chance to play in this new, darker world. It’s fun to write action scenes!

I read that your first love is theater, do you write your books with a movie or play in mind?

I grew up in the theater, first as a high school actor, then later as a director in college and graduate school. I think my dramatic background informs the way I tell stories, but to be honest, when I’m writing a book, I’m just thinking about the book itself.  I’m always looking for the most effective, entertaining way to tell the story, whatever form it might eventually take.

The series have been optioned by Sony Pictures, is there any word of what will become of it?

The first book, I AM THE WEAPON (formerly called BOY NOBODY), has been optioned by Sony Pictures and Overbrook Entertainment. I can’t tell you anything about the film except that they’re working on it, and I’d love to see it in theaters.

Finally, what can we expect next?

Much like my spy credentials, the next project is top secret.

About The Books


I Am the Traitor by Allen Zadoff

Series: Unknown Assassin #3
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on June 9th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Also by this author: I Am the Weapon, I Am the Mission

The Program has sent Boy Nobody on countless missions, instructed to kill whichever target he was given. But now, after going rogue, he is on his own mission to rescue his friend Howard, who was captured by The Program.

Boy Nobody manages to free Howard as well as Tanya, a mysterious girl who was being held with him. Putting their skills to the test, Howard and Tanya help Boy Nobody collect information about his father, eventually revealing a dangerous secret that teaches Boy Nobody a valuable lesson -- he can't trust anyone.

On the run from The Program, Boy Nobody must face his past, as he's forced to decide where his loyalties lie.

Allen Zadoff packs the final installment in the Unknown Assassin trilogy with even more action, higher stakes, and mind-blowing reveals that will leave readers riveted.


I AM THE MISSION by Allen Zadoff

(The Unknown Assassin #2)
Pub. Date: June 17, 2014 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

AmazonBarnes & Noble, iBooks,  Goodreads


No name. No past. No remorse. Perfect, that is, until he began to ask questions and challenge his orders. Now The Program is worried that their valuable soldier has become a liability.

And so Boy Nobody is given a new mission. A test of sorts. A chance to prove his loyalty.

His objective: Take out Eugene Moore, the owner of an extremist military training camp for teenagers. It sounds like a simple task, but a previous operative couldn’t do it. He lost the mission and is presumed dead. Now our assassin is confident he can finish the job. Quickly.

But when things go awry, Boy Nobody finds himself lost in a mission where nothing is as it seems: not The Program, his allegiances, nor the truth.

The riveting second book in Allen Zadoff’s The Unknown Assassin series delivers heart-pounding action and a shocking new twist that makes our hero question everything he has believed.


I AM THE WEAPON by Allen Zadoff

(The Unknown Assassin #1)
Pub. Date: June 11, 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks, Goodreads

Previously published under the title Boy Nobody

They needed the perfect assassin.

Boy Nobody is the perennial new kid in school, the one few notice and nobody thinks much about. He shows up in a new high school in a new town under a new name, makes a few friends, and doesn’t stay long. Just long enough for someone in his new friend’s family to die-of “natural causes.” Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, moving on to the next target.

But when he’s assigned to the mayor of New York City, things change. The daughter is unlike anyone he has encountered before; the mayor reminds him of his father. And when memories and questions surface, his handlers at The Program are watching. Because somewhere deep inside, Boy Nobody is somebody: the kid he once was; the teen who wants normal things, like a real home and parents; a young man who wants out. And who just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program’s mission.

In this action-packed series debut, author Allen Zadoff pens a page-turning thriller that is as thought-provoking as it is gripping, introducing an utterly original and unforgettable antihero.

About the Author

About Allen Zadoff

Allen Zadoff

Allen Zadoff is the author of the THE UNKNOWN ASSASSIN series as well as several acclaimed novels includingFOOD, GIRLS, AND OTHER THINGS I CAN'T HAVE, winner of the Sid Fleischman Humor Award and a YALSA Popular Paperback for Young Adults. Allen's action-packed series debut, I AM THE WEAPON (formerly BOY NOBODY), is a page-turning thriller about a teenage assassin that has already been optioned for film by Sony Pictures & Overbrook Entertainment. The book was featured in the Los Angeles Times' Summer Reading guide and has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and VOYA. Kirkus Reviews called I AM THE WEAPON "fast, furious, and fun." Look for the sequel, I AM THE MISSION, beginning in June 2014.  Allen is a graduate of Cornell University and the Harvard University Institute for Advanced Theatre Training. His training as a super spy, however, has yet to be verified. Visit Allen on the web at www.allenzadoff.com.


5 sets of THE UNKNOWN ASSASSIN Series (Books 1-3) US only.

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Tour Schedule:

6/8/2015- The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia– Excerpt

6/8/2015-Curling Up With A Good BookGuest Post

6/9/2015- Parajunkee– Interview

6/9/2015- The Book Landers– Review

6/10/2015- Swoony Boys Podcast– Interview

6/11/2015- Fiktshun– Interview and Review

6/12/2015- YA Book Nerd– Guest Post