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Cover Revealed - King of the Road by R. S. Belcher


The cover for the 2nd novel in The Brotherhood of the Wheel series by R. S. Belcher has been revealed! King of the Road will be published in December by Tor Books.

You may read a Guest Blog by R. S. Belcher - The Night at the Edge of the Road: Where the Nightwise and Brotherhood of the Wheel Series Intersect - here.





Previously

The Brotherhood of the Wheel
Brotherhood of the Wheel 1
Tor Books, March 21, 2017
Trade Paperback, 416 pages
Hardcover and eBook, March 1, 2016

Cover Revealed - King of the Road by R. S. Belcher
R.S. Belcher, the acclaimed author of The Six-Gun Tarot and The Shotgun Arcana launches a gritty new urban fantasy series about the mysterious society of truckers known only as, The Brotherhood of The Wheel.

In 1119 A.D., a group of nine crusaders became known as the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon--a militant monastic order charged with protecting pilgrims and caravans traveling on the roads to and from the Holy Land. In time, the Knights Templar would grow in power and, ultimately, be laid low. But a small offshoot of the Templars endure and have returned to the order's original mission: to defend the roads of the world and guard those who travel on them.

Theirs is a secret line of knights: truckers, bikers, taxi hacks, state troopers, bus drivers, RV gypsies--any of the folks who live and work on the asphalt arteries of America. They call themselves the Brotherhood of the Wheel.

Jimmy Aussapile is one such knight. He's driving a big rig down South when a promise to a ghostly hitchhiker sets him on a quest to find out the terrible truth behind a string of children gone missing all across the country. The road leads him to Lovina Hewitt, a skeptical Louisiana State Police investigator working the same case and, eventually, to a forgotten town that's not on any map--and to the secret behind the eerie Black-Eyed Kids said to prowl the highways.





And while you're waiting for the second novel in The Brotherhood of the Wheel series, check out the Nightwise series and the Golgotha series.


Nightwise

Nightwise
Nightwise 1
Tor Books, January 16, 2018 (New Cover & Additional Content)
Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Trade Paperback, September 20, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, August 18, 2015

Cover Revealed - King of the Road by R. S. Belcher
R.S. Belcher, the acclaimed author of The Six-Gun Tarot and The Shotgun Arcana launches a gritty new urban fantasy series set in today's seedy occult underworld in Nightwise.

In the more shadowy corners of the world, frequented by angels and demons and everything in-between, Laytham Ballard is a legend. It's said he raised the dead at the age of ten, stole the Philosopher's Stone in Vegas back in 1999, and survived the bloodsucking kiss of the Mosquito Queen. Wise in the hidden ways of the night, he's also a cynical bastard who stopped thinking of himself as the good guy a long time ago.

Now a promise to a dying friend has Ballard on the trail of an escaped Serbian war criminal with friends in both high and low places-and a sinister history of blood sacrifices. Ballard is hell-bent on making Dusan Slorzack pay for his numerous atrocities, but Slorzack seems to have literally dropped off the face of the Earth, beyond the reach of his enemies, the Illuminati, and maybe even the Devil himself. To find Slorzack, Ballard must follow a winding, treacherous path that stretches from Wall Street and Washington, D.C. to backwoods hollows and truckstops, while risking what's left of his very soul . . . .



The Night Dahlia
Laytham Ballard 2
Tor Books, April 3, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Cover Revealed - King of the Road by R. S. Belcher
Laytham Ballard once protected humanity as part of the Nightwise, a secret order of modern-day mages dedicated to holding hellish supernatural forces at bay, but that was before a string of sadistic ritual murders shook everything he believed in—and sent him down a much darker path. One that has already cost him most of his soul, as well as everything he once held dear.

Now a powerful faerie mob boss has hired Ballard to find his lost-lost daughter, who went missing several years ago. The long-cold trail leads him across the globe, from the luxurious playgrounds of the rich and famous to the seedy occult underbelly of Los Angeles, where creatures of myth and legend mingle with street gangs and sex clubs, and where Ballard finds his own guilty past waiting for him around every shadowy corner. To find Caern Ankou, he will have to confront old enemies, former friends and allies, and a grisly cold case that has haunted him for years.

But is Caern still alive? And, perhaps more importantly, does she even want to be found?





Golgotha

The Six-Gun Tarot
Golgotha 1
Tor Fantasy, March 25, 2014
Mass Market Paperback, 480 pages
Hardcover and eBook, January 22, 2013

Cover Revealed - King of the Road by R. S. Belcher
Six-Gun Tarot is the first book in the twisted weird west world of the Golgotha series by R.S. Belcher.

Nevada, 1869: Beyond the pitiless 40-Mile Desert lies Golgotha, a cattle town that hides more than its share of unnatural secrets. The sheriff bears the mark of the noose around his neck; some say he is a dead man whose time has not yet come. His half-human deputy is kin to coyotes. The mayor guards a hoard of mythical treasures. A banker’s wife belongs to a secret order of assassins. And a shady saloon owner, whose fingers are in everyone’s business, may know more about the town’s true origins than he’s letting on.

A haven for the blessed and the damned, Golgotha has known many strange events, but nothing like the primordial darkness stirring in the abandoned silver mine overlooking the town. Bleeding midnight, an ancient evil is spilling into the world, and unless the sheriff and his posse can saddle up in time, Golgotha will have seen its last dawn…and so will all of Creation.

R.S. Belcher’s The Six-Gun Tarot is “an astonishing blend of first-rate steampunk fantasy and Western adventure.” (Library Journal, Starred Review)



The Shotgun Arcana
Golgotha 2
Tor Books, October 20, 2015
Trade Paperback, 400 pages
Hardcover and eBook, October 7, 2014

Cover Revealed - King of the Road by R. S. Belcher
R. S. Belcher's debut novel, The Six-Gun Tarot, was enthusiastically greeted by critics and readers, who praised its wildly inventive mixture of dark fantasy, steampunk, and the Wild West. Now Belcher returns to Golgotha, Nevada, a bustling frontier town that hides more than its fair share of unnatural secrets.

1870. A haven for the blessed and the damned, including a fallen angel, a mad scientist, a pirate queen, and a deputy who is kin to coyotes, Golgotha has come through many nightmarish trials, but now an army of thirty-two outlaws, lunatics, serial killers, and cannibals are converging on the town, drawn by a grisly relic that dates back to the Donner Party...and the dawn of humanity.

Sheriff Jon Highfather and his deputies already have their hands full dealing with train robbers, a mysterious series of brutal murders, and the usual outbreaks of weirdness. But with thirty-two of the most vicious killers on Earth riding into Golgotha in just a few day's time, the town and its people will be tested as never before-and some of them will never be the same.

The Shotgun Arcana is even more spectacularly ambitious and imaginative than The Six-Gun Tarot, and confirms R. S. Belcher's status as a rising star.



The Queen of Swords
Golgotha 3
Tor Books, June 27, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
Trade Paperback, November 27, 2018

Cover Revealed - King of the Road by R. S. Belcher
1720. Escaping the gallows, Anne Bonney, the infamous pirate queen, sets sail in search of a fabulous treasure said to be hiding in a lost city of bones somewhere in the heart of Africa. But what she finds is a destiny she never expected . . . .

1870. Maude Stapleton is a respectable widow raising a daughter on her own. Few know, however, that Maude belongs to an ancient order of assassins, the Daughters of Lilith, and heir to the legacy of Anne Bonney, whose swashbuckling exploits blazed a trail that Maude must now follow—if she ever wants to see her kidnapped daughter again!

Searching for her missing child, come hell or high water, Maude finds herself caught in the middle of a secret war between the Daughters of Lilith and their ancestral enemies, the monstrous Sons of Typhon, inhuman creatures spawned by primordial darkness, she embarks on a perilous voyage that will ultimately lead her to the long-lost secret of Anne Bonney—and the Father of All Monsters.

Oneof the most popular characters from The Six-Gun Tarot and The Shotgun Arcana now ventures beyond the Weird Weston a boldly imaginative, globe-spanning adventure of her own!

Spotlight on R. S. Belcher


R. S. Belcher's most recent novel is The Queen of Swords, which is the 3rd novel in his Golgotha series. The Golgotha series is wonderful steampunky Weird Western. The Queen of Swords is set outside of Golgotha and if you haven't read the first two books in the series, jump in here (then go back and read books 1 and 2).

Nightwise is a gritty noir urban fantasy and has the most imaginative use of fountain pens I've ever read about. It's the 1st novel in the Laytham Ballard / Nightwise series.

Belcher has also written The Brotherhood of the Wheel, the 1st novel in an urban fantasy series that deals with the paranormal along the U.S. Interstate Highway System. The Brotherhood of the Wheel is set in the same world as Nightwise. Television rights to The Brotherhood of the Wheel have been picked up by ITV Studios America with Little Engine producing. Note that this does not mean the series will appear on TV, but one can hope!

I highly recommend all of R. S. Belcher's novels.



Golgotha

The Six-Gun Tarot
Golgotha 1
Tor Fantasy, March 25, 2014
Mass Market Paperback, 480 pages
Hardcover and eBook, January 22, 2013

Spotlight on R. S. Belcher
Nevada, 1869: Beyond the pitiless 40-Mile Desert lies Golgotha, a cattle town that hides more than its share of unnatural secrets. The sheriff bears the mark of the noose around his neck; some say he is a dead man whose time has not yet come. His half-human deputy is kin to coyotes. The mayor guards a hoard of mythical treasures. A banker’s wife belongs to a secret order of assassins. And a shady saloon owner, whose fingers are in everyone’s business, may know more about the town’s true origins than he’s letting on.

A haven for the blessed and the damned, Golgotha has known many strange events, but nothing like the primordial darkness stirring in the abandoned silver mine overlooking the town. Bleeding midnight, an ancient evil is spilling into the world, and unless the sheriff and his posse can saddle up in time, Golgotha will have seen its last dawn…and so will all of Creation.

R.S. Belcher’s The Six-Gun Tarot is “an astonishing blend of first-rate steampunk fantasy and Western adventure.” (Library Journal, Starred Review)



The Shotgun Arcana
Golgotha 2
Tor Books, October 20, 2015
Trade Paperback, 400 pages
Hardcover and eBook, October 7, 2014

Spotlight on R. S. Belcher
R. S. Belcher's debut novel, The Six-Gun Tarot, was enthusiastically greeted by critics and readers, who praised its wildly inventive mixture of dark fantasy, steampunk, and the Wild West. Now Belcher returns to Golgotha, Nevada, a bustling frontier town that hides more than its fair share of unnatural secrets.

1870. A haven for the blessed and the damned, including a fallen angel, a mad scientist, a pirate queen, and a deputy who is kin to coyotes, Golgotha has come through many nightmarish trials, but now an army of thirty-two outlaws, lunatics, serial killers, and cannibals are converging on the town, drawn by a grisly relic that dates back to the Donner Party...and the dawn of humanity.

Sheriff Jon Highfather and his deputies already have their hands full dealing with train robbers, a mysterious series of brutal murders, and the usual outbreaks of weirdness. But with thirty-two of the most vicious killers on Earth riding into Golgotha in just a few day's time, the town and its people will be tested as never before-and some of them will never be the same.

The Shotgun Arcana is even more spectacularly ambitious and imaginative than The Six-Gun Tarot, and confirms R. S. Belcher's status as a rising star.



The Queen of Swords
Golgotha 3
Tor Books, June 27, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

Spotlight on R. S. Belcher
1870. Maude Stapleton, late of Golgotha, Nevada, is a respectable widow raising a daughter on her own. Few know that Maude belongs to an ancient order of assassins, the Daughters of Lilith, and is as well the great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Anne Bonney, the legendary female pirate.

Leaving Golgotha in search of her daughter Constance, who has been taken from her, Maude travels to Charleston, South Carolina, only to find herself caught in the middle of a secret war between the Daughters of Lilith and their ancestral enemies, the monstrous Sons of Typhon. To save Constance, whose prophetic gifts are sought by both cults, Maude must follow in the footsteps of Anne Bonney as she embarks on a perilous voyage that will ultimately lead her to a lost city of bones in the heart of Africa—and the Father of All Monsters.

One of the most popular characters from The Six-Gun Tarot and The Shotgun Arcana ventures beyond Golgotha on a boldly imaginative, globe-spanning adventure of her own!




Laytham Ballard / Nightwise

Nightwise
Laytham Ballard 1
Tor Books, January 16, 2018 (New Cover & Additional Content)
Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Trade Paperback, September 20, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, August 18, 2015

Spotlight on R. S. Belcher
R.S. Belcher, the acclaimed author of The Six-Gun Tarot and The Shotgun Arcana launches a gritty new urban fantasy series set in today's seedy occult underworld in Nightwise.

In the more shadowy corners of the world, frequented by angels and demons and everything in-between, Laytham Ballard is a legend. It's said he raised the dead at the age of ten, stole the Philosopher's Stone in Vegas back in 1999, and survived the bloodsucking kiss of the Mosquito Queen. Wise in the hidden ways of the night, he's also a cynical bastard who stopped thinking of himself as the good guy a long time ago.

Now a promise to a dying friend has Ballard on the trail of an escaped Serbian war criminal with friends in both high and low places-and a sinister history of blood sacrifices. Ballard is hell-bent on making Dusan Slorzack pay for his numerous atrocities, but Slorzack seems to have literally dropped off the face of the Earth, beyond the reach of his enemies, the Illuminati, and maybe even the Devil himself. To find Slorzack, Ballard must follow a winding, treacherous path that stretches from Wall Street and Washington, D.C. to backwoods hollows and truckstops, while risking what's left of his very soul . . . .



The Night Dahlia
Laytham Ballard 2
Tor Books, April 3, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Spotlight on R. S. Belcher
Laytham Ballard once protected humanity as part of the Nightwise, a secret order of modern-day mages dedicated to holding hellish supernatural forces at bay, but that was before a string of sadistic ritual murders shook everything he believed in—and sent him down a much darker path. One that has already cost him most of his soul, as well as everything he once held dear.

Now a powerful faerie mob boss has hired Ballard to find his lost-lost daughter, who went missing several years ago. The long-cold trail leads him across the globe, from the luxurious playgrounds of the rich and famous to the seedy occult underbelly of Los Angeles, where creatures of myth and legend mingle with street gangs and sex clubs, and where Ballard finds his own guilty past waiting for him around every shadowy corner. To find Caern Ankou, he will have to confront old enemies, former friends and allies, and a grisly cold case that has haunted him for years.

But is Caern still alive? And, perhaps more importantly, does she even want to be found?





Brotherhood of the Wheel

The Brotherhood of the Wheel
Brotherhood of the Wheel 1
Tor Books, March 21, 2017
Trade Paperback, 416 pages
Hardcover and eBook, March 1, 2016

Spotlight on R. S. Belcher
R.S. Belcher, the acclaimed author of The Six-Gun Tarot and The Shotgun Arcana launches a gritty new urban fantasy series about the mysterious society of truckers known only as, The Brotherhood of The Wheel.

In 1119 A.D., a group of nine crusaders became known as the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon--a militant monastic order charged with protecting pilgrims and caravans traveling on the roads to and from the Holy Land. In time, the Knights Templar would grow in power and, ultimately, be laid low. But a small offshoot of the Templars endure and have returned to the order's original mission: to defend the roads of the world and guard those who travel on them.

Theirs is a secret line of knights: truckers, bikers, taxi hacks, state troopers, bus drivers, RV gypsies--any of the folks who live and work on the asphalt arteries of America. They call themselves the Brotherhood of the Wheel.

Jimmy Aussapile is one such knight. He's driving a big rig down South when a promise to a ghostly hitchhiker sets him on a quest to find out the terrible truth behind a string of children gone missing all across the country. The road leads him to Lovina Hewitt, a skeptical Louisiana State Police investigator working the same case and, eventually, to a forgotten town that's not on any map--and to the secret behind the eerie Black-Eyed Kids said to prowl the highways.

Interview with R. S. Belcher - October 3, 2014


Please welcome R. S. Belcher to The Qwillery. The Shotgun Arcana, the sequel to the The Six-Gun Tarot, is out on October 7th from Tor Books.



Interview with R. S. Belcher - October 3, 2014




TQ:  Welcome back to The Qwillery. How has your writing process changed (or not) from when you wrote your first published novel, The Six-Gun Tarot, to The Shotgun Arcana?

RSB:  Hi! Thank you so much for having me back! Shotgun Arcana is my third published novel, the sequel to my first, The Six-Gun Tarot. I think my process as a writer has increased in speed. I wrote Shotgun in the same year that I wrote my second written (and third published) novel, Nightwise. The demands of deadlines, means you have to buckle down and produce material you are proud of on a much quicker schedule. I wrote Six-Gun on and off over a few years and now I'm trying to average two novels a year. I must say though that the more you write and the more you enjoy that process, the quicker you get by nature. You get excited to tell your stories and you simply write more. I'm happier with my writing process now than I was the last time we chatted.



TQ:  In a January 2013 interview you described The Six-Gun Tarot as "...a genre-bending fantasy set in the wild west of 1869. It has horror, steampunk and black humor. It’s been likened to “Buffy meets Deadwood”. How would you describe The Shotgun Arcana?

RSBThe Shotgun Arcana is a sequel to The Six-Gun Tarot and it has all those elements of horror, steampunk (more so than Six-Gun, in my opinion), and gallows humor that readers enjoyed in Six-Gun, with, I think, even more action and character development than its predecessor. It's a story I'm very proud of.



TQ:  Please tell us something about The Shotgun Arcana that we won't find in the book description.

RSBShotgun Arcana has a a lot more historical characters in it than Six-Gun did. I think history buffs will have fun picking out the little Easter eggs I tried to drop for them in the novel. Also readers get to see an amazing map of the town in this book that I think will blow them away. I was so impressed by the artist's rendering of Golgotha and I think fans of the series will be as well.


TQ:  Which character in The Shotgun Arcana surprised you the most?

RSB:  This time around, I think it was the character of Auggie Shultz. Auggie's story arc is very surprising and very human. I also like the journey that Malachi Bick makes in this story. This story has a lot to do with Bick and his growth as a character.



TQ:  What's the interest in Tarot cards? Do you have a deck or decks?

RSB:  I own several and collect decks where I admire the artwork. I think Tarot touches on so many aspects of the human experience—psychology, sociology, Jungian archetypes, mythology and the collective unconsciousness.



TQ:  Why do you believe that the Western genre blends so well with other genres / subgenres?

RSB:  The western speaks to a part of us that yearns for the frontier, for freedom, and exploration, to make our own way and to command our own destiny. Those ideas are so essential to being human, in my opinion, and they work so well cloaked in so many different forms- be it Star Wars and Firefly, or Star Trek, or Blood Meridian or No Country for Old Men, to name just a few. The western embodies the human desire for boundless exploration and freedom.



TQ:  Please give us one or two of your favorite lines from The Shotgun Arcana.

RSB:  I'm my own worst critic, so here area few that have popped up while talking to folks and on Goodreads:

        “It's a shame really. So many genuine villains out west these days, real hard cases, and a shave-tail like you come along with a fine Idea like robbing trains. Irony.”

        “...What things do you think the Almighty was whispering in my ear all those countless eons? Words of endearment? Of joy and peace and love? No. He dipped his tongue in the blackest blood and he whispered to me of slaughter, of death of torture and atrocity. That is your creator, Biqa. He built this entire lovely, lovely playground so that he could tear it apart, abuse and neglect his toys and listen to the terrified screams of the monkeys as they tried to understand...”

        “Where did payback end exactly? Charlie Upton had murdered Jim's Pa. Jim killed Charlie. One day Jim might get shot or hanged for what he did to Charlie and someone like Mutt or Jon Highfather might seek revenge in his name. How far back did the blood flow? When was it enough? Could anything ever get square?”



TQ:  What's next?

RSBThe Shotgun Arcana releases October 7. Then I have my occult noir novel, Nightwise release in August of 2015. I'm currently working on a novel— first in a series for Tor—called The Brotherhood of the Wheel. It's about truckers, outlaw bikers, the occult mysteries of the U.S. interstate highway system, secret societies, serial killers and urban myths. Brotherhood is supposed to release in 2016.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

RSB:  Thank you, Sally! It's always a pleasure to talk with you. I hope we can do it again very soon.





The Shotgun Arcana
Tor Book, October 7, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

Interview with R. S. Belcher - October 3, 2014
R. S. Belcher’s debut novel, The Six-Gun Tarot, was enthusiastically greeted by critics and readers, who praised its wildly inventive mixture of dark fantasy, steampunk, and the Wild West. Now Belcher returns to Golgotha, Nevada, a bustling frontier town that hides more than its fair share of unnatural secrets.

1870. A haven for the blessed and the damned, including a fallen angel, a mad scientist, a pirate queen, and a deputy who is kin to coyotes, Golgotha has come through many nightmarish trials, but now an army of thirty-two outlaws, lunatics, serial killers, and cannibals are converging on the town, drawn by a grisly relic that dates back to the Donner Party…and the dawn of humanity.

Sheriff Jon Highfather and his deputies already have their hands full dealing with train robbers, a mysterious series of brutal murders, and the usual outbreaks of weirdness.  But with thirty-two of the most vicious killers on Earth riding into Golgotha in just a few day’s time, the town and its people will be tested as never before—and some of them will never be the same.

The Shotgun Arcana is even more spectacularly ambitious and imaginative than The Six-Gun Tarot, and confirms R. S. Belcher’s status as a rising star.




The Six-Gun Tarot
Tor Fantasy, March 25, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 480 pages
Published in Hardcover, January 22, 2013

Interview with R. S. Belcher - October 3, 2014
Nevada, 1869: Beyond the pitiless 40-Mile Desert lies Golgotha, a cattle town that hides more than its share of unnatural secrets. The sheriff bears the mark of the noose around his neck; some say he is a dead man whose time has not yet come. His half-human deputy is kin to coyotes. The mayor guards a hoard of mythical treasures. A banker’s wife belongs to a secret order of assassins. And a shady saloon owner, whose fingers are in everyone’s business, may know more about the town’s true origins than he’s letting on.

A haven for the blessed and the damned, Golgotha has known many strange events, but nothing like the primordial darkness stirring in the abandoned silver mine overlooking the town. Bleeding midnight, an ancient evil is spilling into the world, and unless the sheriff and his posse can saddle up in time, Golgotha will have seen its last dawn…and so will all of Creation.

R.S. Belcher’s The Six-Gun Tarot is “an astonishing blend of first-rate steampunk fantasy and Western adventure.” (Library Journal, Starred Review)





About R. S. Belcher

Interview with R. S. Belcher - October 3, 2014
R. S. (Rod) Belcher is an award-winning newspaper and magazine editor and reporter.

Rod has been a private investigator, a DJ, a comic book store owner and has degrees in criminal law, psychology and justice and risk administration, from Virginia Commonwealth University. He's done Masters work in Forensic Science at The George Washington University, and worked with the Occult Crime Taskforce for the Virginia General Assembly.

The Grand Prize winner of the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Anthology contest, Rod's short story “Orphans” was published in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds 9 published by Simon and Schuster in 2006.

Rod’s first novel, The Six-Gun Tarot, was published by Tor Books in 2013. The sequel, The Shotgun Arcana, is scheduled for release by Tor on October 7th 2014. His novels, Nightwise, and The Brotherhood of the Wheel are to be released in 2015 and 2016, also by Tor Books.

He lives in Roanoke Virginia with his children, Jonathan and Emily.

Website   ~  Facebook  ~  The Six-Gun Tarot Facebook ~ Twitter @AuthorRSBelcher


Interview with R.S. Belcher, author of The Six-Gun Tarot - January 21, 2013

Please welcome R.S. Belcher to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Six-Gun Tarot will be published tomorrow, January 22nd. You may vote for the cover by Raymond Swanland in the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars for January here



Interview with R.S. Belcher, author of The Six-Gun Tarot - January 21, 2013



TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery.

RB:  Thank you; I love what you've done with the place.


TQ:  When and why did you start writing?

RB:  When I was a kid, I would have to go to work with my mom and she would buy me a pad of paper. I'd spend the day writing and drawing comic stories. I'd fasten them together with a wire twist-tie from a loaf of bread and sell them for a quarter to her customers. So I guess I've been a paid writer since I was about 9 years old.

I started writing short fiction when I was 12 or 13. It was God-awful stuff, mostly rip-offs of Moorcock and Zelazny and these supernatural noir detective stories. I took a creative writing class in 6th grade and the teacher, who had been a literature major poo-poo’ed, my stuff as weird, scary trash full of monsters and guys with magic swords. Apparently I was supposed to be writing about my feelings and snowflakes and such. I was so down I stopped writing for a few years. My mom, bless her heart, bought me a Sears’s electric typewriter with auto-correct (no more liquid paper!!!) and I took off writing again.

Writing has been a big part of my life since I was able to write.


TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

RB:  I am king of the one sentence paragraph and I am a fragment fiend.


TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

RB:  Yes. I do both. With Six-Gun I found it was very helpful to do a rough summary of the chapter just before writing it. It helped keep me on topic. However often the chapter didn’t end up exactly the same way I had outlined it. With short fiction, I am so a pantser.


TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

RB:  I love weird, obscure, byzantine stuff and it is sometimes hard for me to narrow my focus and not throw too much stuff at my reader at once.


TQ:  Describe The Six-Gun Tarot in 140 characters or less.

RBThe Six-Gun Tarot is a genre-bending fantasy set in the wild west of 1869. It has horror, steampunk and black humor. It’s been likened to “Buffy meets Deadwood”.


TQ:  What inspired you to write The Six-Gun Tarot?

RB:   I got the germ of an idea back in the late 90’s. I had this idea of a little western town in the middle of nowhere where everyone had a weird, dark secret. I tinkered with it wrote a few draft chapters, but nothing came of it until about 2007 when I started writing it in earnest.


TQ:  What sort of research did you do for The Six-Gun Tarot?

RB:  It was a great excuse to watch lots of great westerns and some cheesy ones too. Read some books: Larry McMurtry’s western epics- very poetic and powerful and beautiful; reread some Tony Hillerman- great books! Jon Krakauer’s “Under the Banner of Heaven” gave a less mainstream view of Mormonism, and Marc McCutcheon’s Everyday Life in the 1800’s was a treasure trove of slang, tidbits about life and the folks living it in the era.


TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

RB:  This is a hard question, because I really try to make my characters as real as I can and I end of liking all of them. It bothers me to do the awful things to them I do! I actually felt very sorry for the character of Holly. I didn’t want her to suffer the fate she did, and she didn’t deserve it. I am a bastard (ha ha ha). I also hope I was able to give Harry and Ringo a fair shake in regards to their relationship. I wanted to make it feel real and not forced or token. I tried to just let the love come through and hope it seemed authentic.


TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in The Six-Gun Tarot?

RB:  I think the chapter called “The Lovers” is pivotal to the readers getting to know more about the cast of characters. I love writing action sequences. I like to try to make people reading them feel the way I felt the first time I read the dueling scene in Goldman’s “The Princess Bride”. So I like Mutt and Jon’s first encounter with Ambrose and I am very proud of the resolution. I am also very happy with all the Maude parts. Maude’s role was expanded a lot in the editing process and Greg Cox, my editor, was both patient and kind in helping me with that.


TQ:  What's next?

RB:   I’m at work on a Dark Urban fantasy, with a working title of “The Greenway”. It’s set in the present and I’m describing it as Raymond Chandler, John D. McDonald and Jim Butcher mashed up with “The Story of O” and “Pulp Fiction”. It’s dark-ity-dark-dark, and chock-full-o weird fun.

I’m also at work on a Six-Gun follow-up that I’m very excited to be writing. I crossing my fingers there is some demand for it when Six-Gun comes out (ha ha ha). But I’ll write it either way- I still have a lot of stories to tell in Golgotha and I’m writing them.


TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

RB:  Thank you so much for inviting me. It’s a privilege.





About The Six-Gun Tarot

The Six-Gun Tarot
Tor Books, January 22, 2013
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages

Interview with R.S. Belcher, author of The Six-Gun Tarot - January 21, 2013
Nevada, 1869: Beyond the pitiless 40-Mile Desert lies Golgotha, a cattle town that hides more than its share of unnatural secrets. The sheriff bears the mark of the noose around his neck; some say he is a dead man whose time has not yet come. His half-human deputy is kin to coyotes. The mayor guards a hoard of mythical treasures. A banker’s wife belongs to a secret order of assassins. And a shady saloon owner, whose fingers are in everyone’s business, may know more about the town’s true origins than he’s letting on.

A haven for the blessed and the damned, Golgotha has known many strange events, but nothing like the primordial darkness stirring in the abandoned silver mine overlooking the town. Bleeding midnight, an ancient evil is spilling into the world, and unless the sheriff and his posse can saddle up in time, Golgotha will have seen its last dawn…and so will all of Creation.





About R.S. Belcher

Interview with R.S. Belcher, author of The Six-Gun Tarot - January 21, 2013
R.S. (Rod) Belcher has been an award-winning newspaper and magazine editor and reporter. He has been a freelance writer for over a decade. He has written for local, state and international publications.

In 2006, he won the grand prize in the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds contest. His story, “Orphans” was published in Strange New Worlds 9, by Simon and Schuster.

His first novel, “The Six-Gun Tarot” is being published by Tor Books in January of 2013. It is a weird western that has been described as “High Noon meets H.P. Lovecraft”.

Rod has been a private investigator, a DJ, a comic book and game store owner and has degrees in criminal law, psychology and justice and risk administration, from Virginia Commonwealth University. He has done Masters work on a degree in Forensic Science at The George Washington University, as well as worked on the Occult Crime taskforce for the Virginia General Assembly’s State Crime Commission.

He lives in Roanoke Virginia with his children, Jonathan, Emily and Stephanie, as well as two dogs and three casts.

Author Facebook : The Six-Gun Tarot Facebook Page



The View From Monday - January 21, 2013

Happy Monday!  Again a small number of books, etc. are out this week. There is one debut out on the 22nd: The Six-Gun Tarot by R.S. Belcher, which I am enjoying very much. There is an interview with R.S. Belcher today.


The View From Monday - January 21, 2013



January 21, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Nobody's Angel (e) Stacy Gail PNR - Earth Angels 1
Claws Bared (e) Sheryl Nantus PNR - Blood of the Pride 2
Threads of Desire Eleri Stone PNR - Spellcraft 1



January 22, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Six-Gun Tarot (D) R. S. Belcher F/WW
The Red Knight Miles Cameron F - Traitor Son Cycle 1
The Old Man and the Wasteland: Updated Edition (e) Nick Cole PA
Moonlight Masquerade Jude Deveraux PNR - Moonlight 3
Seconds David Ely SF
Shadows Will Fall: The Spear of Destiny (e) Trey Garrison AH - Far Ranger Adventures 3
Ever After Kim Harrison UF - Rachel Morgan 11
The Khitomer Accords Saga (e) David R. George III
Una McCormack
SF - Star Trek: Typhon Pact
The Reckoning (h2tp) Alma Katsu SuTh - The Taker Trilogy 2
Imager's Battalion L. E. Modesitt F - Imager Portfolio 6
Zero Hour (ri) S.D. Perry SF - Resident Evil
Haunted Sanctuary (e) Moira Rogers PNR - Green Pines 1
Jill Kismet: The Complete Series Lilith Saintcrow UF - Jill Kismet
Walk the Plank (e) John Scalzi SF - The Human Division 2
Blood of the Sorceress Maggie Shayne PNR - Portal 3
The Sixth Station Linda Stasi Th/GB
The Dark Hunger Joelle Sterling H - Eternal Dead 2


D -Debut
e - eBook
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint

AH - Alternate History
F - Fantasy
GB - Genre Bender
H - Horror
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF- Science Fiction
Su - Supernatural
Th - Thriller
UF - Urban Fantasy
WW - Weird Western

2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January 2013

It's time for the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars for January 2013!



Since Cover Wars was so much fun as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge, we're doing it again for the 2013 Debut Author Challenge. Each month you will be able to vote for your favorite cover from each month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2013 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is released in the US.








Cover Art: Raymond Swanland





Cover Art: Argh! Oxford










Cover Art: Gregory Manchess






Cover Artist: Larry Rostant







Cover Revealed - King of the Road by R. S. BelcherSpotlight on R. S. BelcherInterview with R. S. Belcher - October 3, 2014Interview with R.S. Belcher, author of The Six-Gun Tarot - January 21, 2013The View From Monday - January 21, 20132013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January 2013

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