Tuesday, December 23, 2014

HUNT FOR THE FALLEN (TRANSPORT Book 2) BLASTS IN...and 5 QUESTIONS ANSWERED

 
 
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.
 
 
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1. TRANSPORT (Book One) takes place in September 2025, in and around Grand Rapids, Michigan, 12 years after a viral pandemic has changed life...and unlife...as we know it. To protect and help rebuild some of the larger grottos of humanity "post apocalypse," the military has been restructured and dispersed to remaining large metropolis like Grand Rapids. The series is centered around Captain Jake Billet, his wily crew and their massive M213 Heavy Transport Vehicle, the HURON.
 
Where does HUNT FOR THE FALLEN...well...fall in the scheme of things?
 
Crazed author: HUNT takes place about 7 months AFTER the events in Book One. Billet and crew are back in the West Michigan area after avoiding the place for a while. The covert mission details of the late NSC High Commissioner William Lettner have gotten out to the media, the mission and those involved is not longer a secret, and Billet, the GRCC (Grand Rapids Central Command) and Grand Rapids are seen as both heroes and villians.
 
Though Captain Billet is seen as more a hero for doing what he did to bring Lettner to justice, he doesn't like that kind of spotlight. He wants to keep his head low.
 
And with loyalists of the Lettner out and about, still pushing for the eradication of Zombiekind, causing whatever kind of annoyance to people who do not think in those terms, as the man seen responsible for delivering Lettner to his execution, it might be a good idea for Billet to keep his head low.
 
Oh, and it is April 2026, and has been raining nonstop for weeks. The Grand River, running between the big city and the area where her local undead are retained, is heading to major flood stages.
 
2. What's introduced in HUNT FOR THE FALLEN?

Insane writer: We see more of the GRCC, namely in another big military vehicle and its commander, a Abrams MBT (Main Battle Tank), the DEVASTATOR, and its TC (Tank Commander) Major Jeremy Pike.

We are introduced to the illegal drug trade of the times where you can buy any mind altering chemical you want, just have you handheld tracking device and search for the dead creature with your substance of choice sown into its empty abdominal cavity.

We get to peek inside the workings of the Butterworth Test Facility where mortally wounded soldiers are stitched up and brought back into service as ZiTs, Zombie Troopers.

The HURON has gotten an upgrade: a 25mm remote-controlled cannon and turret AND a new navigator who may not survive their latest excursion.

Oh, and Billet is feeling severely under the weather, both psychologically and physically, which may not bode well for his future functionality.

3. Would you classify the TRANSPORT Series as a Military Thriller or a Zombie Horror fest? L. Andrew Cooper, one of the reviewers for TRANSPORT Boon One, expressed it more as "zombie fantasy."

Twitchy Word Scribe: I would probably call it a nice mash-up of both, with leanings more towards Military Thriller and/or Action-Adventure.

TRANSPORT was always intended to be a story about the soldier and his/her armored vehicle dealing with the "new" world around him/her, about how they cope and maneuver in what I call this POST-post zombie apocalypse world the series takes place within. The zombies are there, in the background, shambling and lurking, while it seems the real menace is Humankind who struggles to get back on their feet...and pursuing it any way possible, often times not for the good of others.

Perhaps it should be called a Survival story wrapped in Zombie Fantasy sticky paper.

4. How long did it take you to write HUNT FOR THE FALLEN? Do you consider yourself a diligent and focused writer?

Non-diligent, non-focused writer: I started writing HUNT FOR THE FALLEN roughly May 2013 and, with a poppin' re-write I decided to do, capped it off June 2014.

The thing with TRANSPORT, I have a fairly good idea of where I want each book to go. It is easy to write, an easy map to follow, when you have a good idea of the route. In this way, I guess you could say I am a focused writer.

Diligent? No. Where TRANSPORT Book One was very easy to write because everything just flowed, Book Two sometimes slogged along for me writing-wise like the torrential rain and soggy lands within Book two's landscape. Book One hit me so hard and fast, Book Two was like OH SHIT, UMM, NOW WHAT?

Thus the re-write, self-re-polishing of HUNT FOR THE FALLEN after the initial writing. I feel the re-writing made Book Two really stand up on its own, shift into overdrive, and spin a big rooster of mud, action and zombie guts into the air. It POPS, enough so that when my editor (Rodney Carlstrom) got his hands on it finally, he said (in a good way): WOW!

5. What's the deal with the book covers? They seem to link together. And is the cover art and interior art done by the same artist?

Happy-as-a-clam author when seeing cover and interior art: I was very fortunate when my publisher, Seventh Star Press, hooked me up with Jason C Conley. I gave him the gist of the series, what it was all about, what I slightly foresaw on the covers, and next thing I know he does this FAN-EFFIN-TASTIC triptych cover montage that hit the thing wa-ay out of the ball park. The colors, the atmosphere, the pandemonium within the frames... Jason killed it in the best way possible.

The triptych cover pieces, all together, make a kick ass 24 x 36 poster.

Seventh Star Press typically works with one cover artist and interior artist who are one in the same. Again, I got extremely lucky to work with a separate cover artist and separate interior artist.

The very talented Tim Holtrop did the black and white interior illustrations. This was definitely a one-on-one work relationship where we dialed things in and, mainly, got great illos of Billet and his crew, and a few key scenes, fleshed out. I wanted to make sure the reader had good imagery of the main story characters, in some form of action pose, to bring them (the characters) to life.

Like Jason hitting it out of the ball park on the covers, Tim made another home run, crushing the ball over the stadium roof and miles above the city with his fantastic interior illustrations. (Again, kick ass poster quality work.)

6. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us.

Unstable author: No problem. I'm Batman.

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HUNT FOR THE FALLEN: TRANSPORT Book Two is available currently in all ebook formats via all prominent online booksellers. The paperback will be available very soon.


TRANSPORT Book One is available in ebook and paperback formats at all booksellers. Ask for it by name and author, or go here to purchase: