Artistic transport and 147 shell casings!

Peter Welmerink Featured Book Release: Transport June 23 to June 29 , 2014
  I'm delighted to welcome author Peter Welmerink to my blog today, and to transport you with the art of his exciting sci-fi novel, Transport. If you've ever wondered what goes into those images on those great science fiction covers, or between the covers in case of great artistic publishers like Seventh Star Press, here's where you'll find all about it. Welcome to my blog Peter, and thank you so much for letting us enjoy the art and the journey!

Hello all, and thanks for having me here, Sheila.

I was asked to talk about the stunning artwork of TRANSPORT. What’s within those hallowed frames of artwork? What and how was the process of working with two very talented artists? When everything was drawn and done, what was my reaction to how it all came out?

First, I have to bring to light the two gents that went above and beyond (besides Stephen Zimmer at Seventh Star Press) when it comes to the TRANSPORT series artwork.

Jason Conley: cover artist.

Tim Holtrop: interior artist.

Those two guys rock da house when it comes to artistic talent.

Tim’s black and white interior pieces are fairly self-explanatory. I asked that he do character sketches on all four main characters to begin with, that is, Captain Jake Billet, Sgt. James Stokes, LCpl. Loutonia Phelps and LCpl. Eddie Mulholland.

 There are three books in the series. Each book has two B&W illustrations within the book. After the four main characters, it left two illos remaining. I chose supporting character Sister Mary Mirose, the BIG battle-hardened nun who runs operations at the West Side Apostolate, for the fifth. And for the sixth, an action sequence which will appear in Book Three with a rather mussed and tussled Captain Billet, an undead assassin and Bob the 1950’s zombie gas station attendant. (Yeah, Book Three is going to be damn… well… interesting.)

As I do not want to give away too much of the other books (though obviously a few beans have been spilt now regarding Book Three), I can tell you what is going on with the interior shots in TRANSPORT Book One.

Book One has an illo of Sgt. James Stokes, front gunner on the HURON. (The HURON is the massive Heavy Transport Vehicle which he is a crew member.) His scene is when he, Billet and crew are rolling through downtown Grand Rapids trying to quell a small riot that has broken out. You know those zany fanatics: anti-zombie, anti-military protestors versus people who actually want to be protected and don’t mind the neighborhood of undead across the river.

Tim informed me, after he was done with the Stokes piece, there are 147 shell casings flying in that one illustration. (There are actually more shells than seen in the book as Tim’s book illo was cropped to fit the page.) I trust him. I didn’t count.

The second interior illo in Book One is of Captain Billet and a Feral zombie friend. The Feral is trying to get a free ride on the HURON, perhaps wanting to replace Billet in his commander’s hatch. Then again, probably not.

Cover art for BOOK ONE, as with the entire 3-part TRANSPORT series, was done by the very talented Jason Conley. It depicts the M213 Heavy Transport Vehicle, the HURON, barreling through the west side of town with a few local Zees none too happy for its presence. In the background, is the Grand Tower Hotel, er, tower, which is located on the east side of the Grand River… on the safer side versus the west side.

Jason actually did a triptych piece. Once you have all three books, you can slide them together…1, 2, 3… and see all the chaos in one big colorful piece of fantastic artwork. It’s very very cool.


I have read somewhere that a writer should leave the cover art and such to the artists. Our job is to write. Their job is to do the artwork.

Correct. But if you have the opportunity to work with the artist(s) and they are able to capture the true essence of what your written word is about, how much better is that for everyone?

And all it takes is a vision and communication.
I can say, quite simply, THAT is how it worked with Jason and Tim. I had some idea of what I wanted to see both in the cover and the interior pieces, and through a volley of emails and sketches, got the TRANSPORT idea in visual form. I knew what I would like to see, and they did it. And if it wasn’t quite correct here or there, but if it still worked and looked great, I had no issue with them taking a little license to do their own thing.


Then and now, IT’S ALL EFFIN AMAZING!!

Jason’s triptych (3-part) cover art piece is purely awesome enough for poster size printing. Heck, billboard size printing. It is that eye-popping and way beyond cool.

Tim’s interior black and white’s are crisp and eye-poppin’ themselves, enough so that when I walked a few finished pieces of Sister Mirose into a business place, iPhones came out and pictures were taken along with many Ooh’s and Ahh’s.

I feel very blessed in having these talented artists and the great publisher (Seventh Star Press) rolling along with me on this TRANSPORT ride. They all do and have done some very fabulous work.


Tim Holtrop

 Thank you so much Jason. I love what they did with your drawings, and I can't wait to see the whole triptych. It sounds great. Looking forward to reading the book too! Thank you for letting me join in celebrating its release.

WelmerinkAuthorPhoto_BW 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:

TransportBookOneFinalCover1200X800About the Book: The HURON, a 72-ton heavy transport vehicle and an army of four; tracked, racked and ready to roll, to serve and protect the walled metropolis of Grand Rapids—both her living and her undead. Captain Jacob Billet and his crew patrol the byways, ready for trouble.

William Lettner, the North Shore Coalition High Commissioner, has enemies from the mainland to the lakeshore and needs to be covertly transported home after his helicopter is shot down en route to Grand Rapids. He has no love for a city that give unliving civilians the right to survive. Lettner’s venomous outbursts assaults Billet and his crew along every mile travelled as they are assigned to safely bring him through the treacherous landscape outside the city back to his hometown.

The HURON and her crew will have to face domesticated zombies and the feral undead; marauders holding strategic chokepoints hostage; barricaded villages fighting for survival, and a group of geneticists who've lost control of one of their monstrous experiments if they want to complete their mission.

The crew will need to stay strong and trust one another in order to finish the mission and bring their “precious” cargo home, even knowing, all the while, the terrible deeds Lettner has done.
Travelling through West Michigan was never so dangerous.

Author Links:
Twitter: @pwelmerink
Tour Schedule and Activities
6/23 The Rage Circus Vs. The Soulless Void Review
6/23 The Tiffany Apan Blog Interview
6/23 Beauty in Ruins Guest Post
6/24 Come Selahway With Me Character Post
6/25 Deal Sharing Aunt Excerpt
6/25 Sheila Deeth Post on Art of Transport
6/27 Bookishly Me Review
6/27 fuonlyknew ~ Laura's ramblins and reviews Top Ten’s List
6/28 Bee's Knees Reviews Review
6/28 Alexx Momcat's Gateway Book Blog Top Ten’s Llist
6/29 L. Andrew Cooper's Horrific Scribblings Review

Amazon Links for Transport
Print Version
Kindle Version


Peter Welmerink said…
Thanks again for having me, Sheila. If you look at the pencil scratchings next to the actual art here on this blog page, you will be happy to know that THAT would have been the artwork if Seventh Star had let me do it. YUCK! LOL I can draw mean stick figures...that's about it.
Sheila Deeth said…
It's fun to see the stick figures brought to life in the art and the writing :) And thank you again for visiting my blog.

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