Please welcome R. S. Belcher to The Qwillery.
, is out on October 7th from Tor Books.
: 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
: 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
: The 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.RSB
: Shotgun 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
, 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
: 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?RSB
: The 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.
About R. S. Belcher
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
~ The Six-Gun Tarot Facebook