TRANSPORT: HUNT FOR THE FALLEN, book two in your TRANSPORT series, continues the adventures of Captain Billet, his crew and their big armored personnel carrier, the HURON. What can we expect in this next book?
Billet is ailing, mainly due to that nasty forehead wound he received during the events of the first book. All the soldiers had been vaccinated back in the day, but some people’s systems burn it out sooner than others. No one’s sure at the time, if his vaccine is wearing out or if he is having a heart attack. There’s a lot of stuff weighing on our captain.
During a heavy rainstorm that’s been literally flooding the area, some of the local, protected zombies have fallen into the nearby churning river. One of Billet’s peers, a tank commander by the name of Jeremy Pike, wants to round them locals up quickly, mainly because the biggest rotter has a canister of black market drugs stitched into its belly. As people, even local militia, defect from city to city, village to village, Pike seems to be taking his big Abrams tank and crew out of the city, possibly going AWOL.
Billet won’t stand for this and gives chase. Though the HURON outweighs the 68 ton main battle tank; the tank greatly outguns the Heavy Transport Vehicle—a 120mm cannon on Pike’s DEVASTATOR versus a new 25mm cannon on the HURON. Still, the vehicles are going to end up dueling out in the rain-slogged gravel pits out beyond the city limits.
The fighting nuns of the West Side Apostolate, and Bob the 1950’s gas station attendant zombie, also makes another appearance.
And there is an Undead assassin pursuing Billet.
What makes your zombies different than everyone else’s?
First, there are a lot of writers who write different zombie material. They (the zombies) are an exciting lot to write about as they offer so much versatility depending on where, when and how you write them.
I feel what makes MY zombies different is that I introduce their presence as everything is in a POST-Post zomb-pocalypse state. The viral pandemic that “created” them was in 2013, and the storyline in the series is set in 2025-2026. We’re still here, and rebuilding. They (the Undead) are still here. They are like one of those INVASIVE SPECIES…you don’t like them but kind of live with them.
Until you can eradicate them, or try without getting arrested, fined and possibly jailed. The local zombies who are held in the city’s retention area on the west side of town are protected by law, from harm. They are fed doped “meat byproducts” and cared for within the enclosure. When the military has to go in there (a shitty job for sure), they have to be careful not to run over, shoot or damage these poor shambling folk as they are “the poor, afflicted family and friends of the city.”
Yeah, it’s an effed up POST-Post Apoc world for sure.
The “Feral” ones outside city limits are kind of your usual Undead fare. They’ll bite your face off if you let them.
You have a lot of military jargon, military acronyms and such in your books, and thankfully give us a glossary at the back of the book for us non-military types. Have you served?
I have been asked that before. No, I have never served, but I have family and friends, and many, many books and reference material I utilize for my information. My first TRANSPORT editor, before I submitted it to a publisher, had served and was kind enough to straighten me out if I was making things FUBAR’d. I know several military folks, either currently serving or those who had served, who have read and enjoy the books. And so far, no one has said, “Um, Welmerink, you’re going a little bit out of bounds there.”
Considering the TRANSPORT series is fictional, I try to shoot for some technical authenticity.
Do you consider the TRANSPORT series a Horror series, or what?
There are definitely Horror elements in the storyline obviously, but I have always viewed the whole thing as a Military Action-Adventure, or a Military Thriller I guess you would call it. I even think of it as kind of an Alternate History tale. I don’t expect the story events to actually happen so I am seeing the city and areas in the series (most of them actually, in reality, exist) as portrayed in a future Alt History light.
Who is your favorite character in the series?
I love all the characters, but I have to say Rebecca Regan, daughter of the leader of Reganshire, was a grotesquely entertaining character to write. The young woman is rotting from the inside out and you are not quite sure if she realizes it or not the way she often with, say, Captain Billet. She is a nasty character that makes me cringe and chuckle (insanely) at the same time.
Any current projects you are working on you can share with our readers?
I have a short Action-Adventure novella out, RETURN TO STRANGE HOME, by a local (Michigan) publisher, and the third and final book in the TRANSPORT series is out now. I am hoping to begin work anew on the Viking berserker novel, BEDLAM UNLEASHED, with author Stephen Shrewsbury, and may have some other shorter TRANSPORT-related pieces in the near future…between day job, family and breathing.
Where can people find out more about you?
www.peterwelmerink.com and www.grandrapidsaltered.blogspot.com are the best online spots. I also support other authors and Creatives via www.darkheroicfantasy.blogspot.com.