They’d Kill to Have Kids

One of my favourite genres has always been post-apocalyptic. There’s a strange appeal to the idea of everything coming to an end and life becoming much simpler. It’s a horrifying idea, but at the same time I can’t help imagine how I’d do in the world of Mad Max or The Hunger Games.

Not well is the answer, of course. I sit all day typing at a keyboard. I don’t have any of the skills that might be useful in a world without electricity, let alone data validation and test matrices.

Last spring, a group of authors suggested creating a collection of post-apocalyptic fiction and I jumped at the chance. But I didn’t want to take one of the major films or books in the genre as my inspiration. I wanted to write something inspired by Salute of the Jugger, a little known film starring Rutger Hauer.

In it, they play a brutal future sport for the entertainment of the nobles in the city. So I created something similar, but since it’s one of my books, I mixed in a lot of my own stuff too. I designed the sport, came up with the reason the world existed, and a lot more besides.

But the crux of the story is something that’s truly dear to me: the right to be a parent. In the story, everyone is born sterile. The right to have children is granted by the nobles. Usually only to someone in the favour, but there’s one way to guarantee a cure: compete in the game.

Which led me to Tom Cain. Tom is thirty-something and his wife is running out of time to have children. So he has no choice. He can scratch out a living as a farmer for a decade or two more, but he’ll never have anyone to leave it to. Out of desperation, he agrees to play.

You can read the book from next Saturday, and for anyone that preorders, it’s reduced to just 99 cents!


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