R S Belcher: Double Barreled Sequel


Shotgun Arcana cover picMy second novel, The Shotgun Arcana, releases on October 7th from Tor Books. Shotgun is the follow-up to my debut novel, The Six-Gun Tarot and takes place in the same weird western fantasy world—the tiny frontier town of Golgotha, Nevada, in 1870.

Shotgun Arcana takes up a year after the events of Six-Gun, and follows my ensemble cast of characters that were introduced in that novel—Maude Stapleton, Deputy Mutt, Jim Negrey, Sheriff John Highfather, Auggie Shultz, Clay Turlough, Jillian Proctor, Mayor Harry Pratt and Malachi Bick. Everyone has changed and grown a bit from the first book, some in good ways, others, not so good.

I also introduce a few new characters this time around, like the infamous pirate queen, Black Rowan, from the Barbary Coast, and her loyal, and pedantic, manservant, The Scholar. Another new addition to the cast is Emily Rose Bright, a young woman who comes to Golgotha on a mission of discovery about her own past, and ends up.

I think my favorite new addition to the citizens of the Golgotha is Kate Warne, a woman with a murky past and exceptional ability. Kate is a historical figure, based off a really remarkable woman who made a powerful impact on American history but is not exactly a household name.

I don’t want to say too much about the bad guys, I’d rather the reader get to experience them first hand in action, but I will say I worked very hard to create a horde of very, very bad folk to give my capable heroes a run for their money. Several of my heroes meet bad guys every bit as capable and dangerous as they are, if not more so, and that leads to some very exciting and fun actions scenes. I’d say this book has a lot more action than Six-Gun did, and it starts that trend right at the jump.

Still, it’s not all just action. Six-Gun has developed a reputation for some rather weighty sixguntarotcoverphilosophy in it as well. I swear that was not my intent when I was writing it, I was just having fun—it just seems to be part of my style, whether I like it or not, I wax philosophical. That continues in Shotgun Arcana. The discussions mirror some of my own struggles internally to reconcile the nature of good and evil, right and wrong and fairness and unfairness we all face daily in our lives. It’s me thinking out loud through my poor characters, but if you enjoy those kind of discussions, I hope you will enjoy them in this novel.

Shotgun Arcana is my first sequel, I’ve never written a second anything ( Hell, I’ve hardly written a first anything, if you consider this is only my second published book) and I wanted to try very hard to let it stand on it’s own, like Six-Gun Tarot. Though I did leave a few dangling plot threads in this one, more than last time, which I’d love to address in a third novel if my readers enjoy this one and want more stories from my little imaginary town. But if this is my last ride to Golgotha, I’m very proud of it. I think it has a lot of things in it I’d enjoy reading about and that I find fun and interesting. I hope that is your experience too. Please let me know if you are kind enough to give it a read; I’d love to hear what you think.

I’d like to thank Misty Massey, and all of the great folks at Magical Words for giving me the opportunity to chat with you and share some ideas about writing. I’m very honored to have been asked. I want to thank Misty for being so patient and understanding for all of the craziness that has been ongoing in my family life as of late. I hope we get the chance to talk again soon. Take care.

Rod RT pic 1R.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.


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