SpecMusicMuse – Interview with Peter Welmerink
How did you come up with the idea for your Transport trilogy?
I’d been writing Fantasy material for quite a while, and wanted to do something in my second favorite genre/theme which is Military Action-Adventure.
I had also wanted to write a locally-based fictional adventure, change things up a bit by having the towns, cities, buildings-—and even people—-be different. Basically, an alternative future look and history. I wanted fighting men and women in it as the protagonists, and the world in which they were involved somewhat overall antagonistic.
I have not read a lot of alt-history and/or fictional adventures set in Michigan, and definitely not Military action-adventure…with zombies, so I created a not-so-far-flung-future Michigan, mainly West Michigan (where I grew up as kid and adult, and still love dearly) in which a great global calamity had occurred (viral pandemic caused by the avian flu strain of 2013) and cast the region in turmoil and zombotic chaos.
I also have a love for all those big, armored military vehicles. The big ground vehicles, tracked and wheeled. I liked the look of the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier and AAV-7 Amphibious Assault Vehicle, and with inspiration by the fictional Warhammer 40K Crassus, my fictitious M213 Heavy Transport Vehicle was born. I made it a wheeled AND tracked vehicle because… don’t know… just because. LOL
What is Hunt for the Fallen about?
The Spring rains of 2026 have brought the Grand River several feet above flood stage, and those waters and the stormy weather has greatly affected the local zombie populace. Part of the enclosure collapses and five UCRAer’s go into the fast-moving, churning waterway. Billet and crew get sent out to “retrieve” them. They are joined by a TC (tank commander), Jeremy Pike, his crew and Abrams tank, The Devastator, who appear to have their sights on one of the big local zombies.
And Pike may have ideas of going AWOL with the tank, which Billet is bound and determined to not let happen, though the HURON only has a popgun of a new 25mm cannon while Pike’s rig sports a very lethal 120mm.
Lettner or anti-zomb loyalists, or Reganshire agents, appear to also be moving against the big city as communication lines are down, which Billet, crew and the mighty HURON will go up against.
All this AND a undead assassin is stalking Captain Jake Billet, “Hero of Grand Rapids.”
What parts of the Zombie Apocalypse subgenre fascinate you?
I think mainly the versatility of what one can do in a apocalyptic setting, or in this case, my Post-POST zomb-pocalyptic setting.
As I have had the good fortune of discussing zombies and zombie apocalypse storylines with other very cool authors, it seems there is no end to what one can do in this ZOMBIE REALM. There are books about what it’s like to be infected and turning into a zombie, books about the zombie population becoming so large that they become the dominate… er… race? species?…on Earth. You have zombies by VooDoo, and Snow White zombies, and…
You get my point.
Plus, to me, it’s always about SURVIVAL. How do we survive in a world with the Undead amongst us?
The whole gist of the zombie-infested world I created was to go beyond the initial “apocalypse,” the initial event, and play with how we, the living, survive with THEM still in our midst. Actually more so how my military characters endured the rigors of dealing with both—the Living and the Unliving.
That is one cool APC in that book.
Thanks. It is actually a HTV, a Heavy Transport Vehicle, as mentioned above. I have a 1/18th scale mock-up of what I am calling a PROTOTYPE M213 HTV, as the actual HURON (and her four other sister vehicles: Lake Michigan, Superior, Erie and Ontario) is wider, larger, heavier than the rendition I’ve created.
Have you ever had a story idea inspired by a song you were listening to, and/or have you used music in the background while you write?
WALK by Foo Fighters inspired my SIGNAL IN THE DISTANCE short story (soon to be released via Peninsulam Publishing). The story is about a soldier from the Korean War, in an altered post-war America that has suffered nuclear devastation and everyone is living in underground bunkers, though they can venture out into the ruins to acquire things from their neighbors, etc. The main character, Capt. Rylan Jenkins, suffers from PTSD and guilt from losing his squad during the war and often has nightmares about his lost men calling to him from the Beyond. WALK is a great song about having lost one’s way and deciding to stand up and keep moving forward no matter what.
Unfortunately, a massive Cthulhu-esque creature rises out of the depths of Lake Michigan and threatens Ryss’s forward momentum… just a little. LOL
SHE BUILDS QUICK MACHINES By Velvet Revolver inspired me during some of the HURON’s driver, LCpl Loutonia Phelps, action scenes. Mainly during their confrontation with the giant mutated bull in TRANSPORT (Book One).
And Shinedown’s CYANIDE SWEET TOOTH SUICIDE: I listened to that several times as the sadistic and psycho Rebecca Regan (from the TRANSPORT Series) was created and written.
Um, so, to answer your question, YES.
Who are your favorite authors, and who are your favorite musicians?
If we’re talking newer school: Glenn Cook (Military Fantasy), David Drake (Military SciFi), Cherie Priest (Steampunk), Chuck Wendig (Urban Fantasy). Other currents I enjoy in the mid-to-small press forums: Steven Shrewsbury (Hardcore Epic Fantasy), our own Stephen Zimmer (Epic Fantasy), Russell Slater (Michigan-based Thriller/Alt History Intrigue), Tim Marquitz (like…everything), Aaron Rocheleau (YA SciFi), Jake Elliot (Epic Fantasy). Those are the ones I’ve read anyway within the last year.
Musicians: David Grohl, Chris Cornell, Glenn Danzig, Angus Young & the lads (their new album ROCKS!), Joe Walsh, and to mix it all up, a little Johnny Cash when the mood strikes.
Depending on my mood, I read and listen to many styles and subjects. Variety is the spice of life as they say.
What future literary endeavors are you planning?
I am hoping Steven Shrewsbury’s and my BEDLAM UNLEASHED, an epic fantasy Viking berserker novel, will come to fruition and back into readers’ hands. (Previously published, we know it is in much more capable hands with Seventh Star Press.)
There may be a TRANSPORT short story collection consisting of some pre-series Captain Billet, crew and HURON stories though SSP.
I am also working with another publisher (Peninsulam Publishing) on some further specific material, and a new TRANSPORT World mini-series featuring a new character: Joe Cross, Urban Salvage Engineer. He works in Reganshire, for Rebecca Regan and her old man. His main job is to go out and “salvage” goods and bring them back to Reganshire. He’s a good guy caught in a bad position, and his “salvage” operations usually land him in some sort of intense situation.
Peter Welmerink’s Hunt for the Fallen Virtual Tour
About the author: Peter Welmerink was born and raised on the west side of pre-apocalyptic Grand Rapids, Michigan. He writes Fantasy, Military SciFi, and other wanderings into action-adventure. His work has been published in ye olde wood pulp print and electronic-online publications. He is the co-author of the Viking berserker novel, BEDLAM UNLEASHED, written with Steven Shrewsbury. TRANSPORT is his first solo novel venture. He is married with a small barbarian tribe of three boys.
Find out more about his works and upcoming projects at:
Captain Jacob Billet
Journal Entry – Sunday April 5, 2026
It’s raining, it’s pouring, the undead are roaring…
Amassed at the UCRA east end enclosure, the dead strain the fence line while soldiers keep watchful eyes, the survivors on the opposite side of the rising river about to lose their minds.
It’s a crazy time: nonstop precipitation; everyone’s up in arms; paranoid city council members with an asshat City Treasurer. Water, water everywhere. Zees dropping into the churning drink. Troops afraid of being stitched up and thrown back into the fray as Zombie Troopers. Tank commanders getting itchy to head out on their own after drug-laden shamblers. Reganshire insurgents trying to extract our west side civvies for some unknown reason, possibly pushing the city into taking heavy-handed action against them.
Then there’s some black-haired dead dude staring at me through the fence, grinning like he’s off his meds.
And I thought Lettner was a headache.
All this sh*t might give me a heart attack.
Hunt for the Fallen is Transport Book Two
Tour Schedule and Activities
9/21 A Work In Progress Interview
9/21 I Smell Sheep Guest Post
9/21 Beauty in Ruins Guest Post
9/21 shells interviews Guest Post
9/23 Book in the Bag Interview
9/23 Sheila Deeth Book Blog Guest Post
9/24 Bee’s Knees Reviews Review
9/25 WebbWeaver Reviews Guest Post
9/26 Vampires, Witches, & Me Oh My Top Tens List
9/26 fuonlyknew Review
9/27 Coffintree Hill Guest Post
9/27 Armand Rosamilia, Author Guest Post
eBook and Print Links for Hunt for the Fallen
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