2018 was a fantastic year for me, beginning with having found an excellent publisher in the UK then deals coming in from foreign countries such as France, Hungary and Portugal. The audio book was narrated by Amaka Okafor whose warm, husky voice couldn’t be more perfect. The kindle version of Wolf Country was launched before Christmas ahead of the official publication on the 31stJanuary 2019. The early reader reviews have been very positive and I’m looking forward to taking the book out to a wider audience. Beyond my primary aim of entertaining, I hope that the book will also make readers think and reconsider the way we live, and more importantly, the way we think.
Wolf Country is set in a near-future London but the plague of extreme consumerism has already spread across the globe. Every citizen is required to spend a minimum amount a month and once they are unable to do it, they become non-profit, having to withdraw from society. Withdrawal for the majority means nine months of luxury retirement in a Dignitorium before being peacefully euthanized. The system seems to work well, citizens enjoy life to the full as long as they live, work and consume in the newly designed megacities that offer the highest standard of fun and entertainment. When the aging process starts deteriorating the body and mind, the solution of a planned, peaceful and pain-free departure is more than welcome. For the first time in history humanity has managed to cheat death.
Against the backdrop of this world the book follows Alice, in the most crucial part of her life, when from a good middle class status she suddenly finds herself threatened with becoming non-profit. She begins to question the society she grew up in and in the meantime she finds out more than she ever suspected.
When I tell the brief scenario of Wolf Country to people, the first question many ask is, ‘Is it horror?’ I wouldn’t call it horror, definitely not the classic kind, but I like to call it social horror. Sadly this kind of horror is not unlikely to happen, in fact, the reason for me writing the book is because this is how I see our current society and the lifestyle it dictates. The world-building of Wolf Country has been praised from its early stages but this is not just a product of my imagination, this is how I really see our world. Our current society is getting closer to the point where income allows us – and compels us to – the seemingly utopian ‘avocado mocha hipster’ lifestyle. Nevertheless, this lifestyle is so unstable and futureless that losing our job security can lead to the loss of our home, and everything else, within a very short time. Then we are discarded, forgotten though not (yet) euthanized in a Dignitorium. But what awaits can be just as grim.