Allen Zadoff Quarantine Interview
by Allen Zadoff
I recently sat down to interview myself in quarantine. Because let's face it. There was nobody else there.
AZ: Congratulations on your book birthday!
Allen: Wow, thanks so much. And thanks for remembering. It’s hard to believe that Wild & Chance is finally in the world and available to readers. As with most books, the journey to publication began nearly two--
AZ: Yeah, that’s very interesting. But could you tell us about the story?
Allen: Um, okay. Wild & Chance is an action thriller narrated by a dog who has lost her memory. She’s trying to find out who she is while on the run from Animal Control officers who are more like soldiers for a secret organization. It's Jason Bourne meets Homeward Bound.
AZ: Is it true Wild can talk to humans?
Allen: You actually read the book, huh?
AZ: I'm busy so I skimmed it. But tell us about the talking thing.
Allen: Wild is super intelligent and can understand human language. Her barking is translated through a high tech collar, and you can only understand her if you’re wearing a special ear bud. For everyone else, it just sounds like barking.
AZ: Wild is a dog, but she narrates the story?
Allen: That’s right. The entire book is written from the point of view of a hyper-intelligent dog.
AZ: That sounds pretty cool.
Allen: For sure. I often say the writer is the first reader of a book. If I’m having a great experience writing it, I trust you’ll have one reading it. When I was writing Wild & Chance, I was incredibly excited, on the edge of my seat, crying and laughing along with the characters.
AZ: That seems a little weird.
Allen: It is. But I’m usually alone when it happens, or in a New York coffee shop. When you’re weird in New York, nobody notices.
AZ: Who is the book for?
Allen: I think it’s a great read for 8-14 year olds, those who love to read and reluctant readers. One of the most gratifying things about my previous series Boy Nobody/The Unknown Assassin is how many kids loved it who traditionally don’t like to read. Short chapters, propulsive narrative, action and emotion. I had parents and teachers emailing to share stories of kids who were reading—and having fun reading— for the first time. Wild & Chance is the same kind of experience.
AZ: So it's just for kids?
Allen: It's for kids—and kids of all ages—who love a great thriller. It's for Boy Nobody/Assassin readers who want another adventure, albeit with slightly younger characters. And it's for anyone who wants to read an Allen Zadoff book. I’ve got a lot of friends who have never read my work.
AZ: A lot of friends?
Allen: A few friends.
AZ: How many exactly?
Allen: This is getting personal. Could we move on to the next question?
AZ: I’m just trying to spice up the interview.
Allen: You do you. Next question.
AZ: What’s it like to have a book birthday in quarantine?
AZ: Is that why you’re interviewing yourself?
Allen: Pretty much.
AZ: Did you really fill your fireplace with books and make an in-home bookstore?
Allen: Yup. Bookstores are closed, at least temporarily, and I wanted to honor the book and recreate the experience of having it on the table when you walk into the bookshop.
AZ: Anything else you’d like to share?
Allen: Can I add a few links so people know where they can order the book?
AZ: We don’t really do that. It’s kind of tacky.
AZ: Okay. Whatever.