R.S. (Rod) Belcher is 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.

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 with the Occult Crime Taskforce for the Virginia General Assembly’s State Crime Commission.

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

His story, ”Hollow Moments” is featured in the horror anthology Deep Cuts published by Evil Jester Press in 2013

Rod’s  first novel, The Six-Gun Tarot, was published by Tor Books in 2013.

He is working on a urban fantasy noir novel and a sequel to the Six-Gun Tarot in 2013. Final titles have not yet been assigned to these works.  Both novels are under contract to Tor Books.

He lives in Roanoke Virginia with his children: Jonathan, Emily and Stephanie, Three cats and two dogs.

18 thoughts on “Home

  1. Greg Steele

    Heya Rod,

    Just picked up the book. Super congratulations, by the way. Almost done reading it already. It reminds me so much of being in your games: the way so many different characters’ stories end up meshing together. Can’t wait to finish it and find out what happens!

    I had to drop you a quick line and tell you how thrilled Lynn and I are for you. We wish you all the success your creativity and drive deserve. I’ll just end by saying that I can’t wait to read the next book, which is about the highest praise I can give to any author. Take care. I hope you get so famous I can tell people “I knew him when…”

    Much Love,
    Greg (and Lynn)

    1. Rod Belcher

      Hi Greg! Thank you so much- I know yo and that is high praise indeed! I wanted to thank you and Lynn for the kind words about the book and I’m really glad you both enjoyed it. I’ll be up to Richmond a few times soon and I hope we can all catch up. Love y’all!

  2. Betsy Davis

    I just finished your book. Almost got in trouble since I couldn’t stop reading after lunch and that makes it a bit challenging to work. I had to look you up and see if I could tell you what a fun and satisfying experience I had reading your book.

    Thanks so much for the highly entertaining reading experience.

    I can only hope there is a second one.



    1. Rod Belcher

      Thank you so much Betsy! I’m really glad you liked it. Please don’t get busted at work! Yes, there is a sequel coming, and I’m working on it now. The great folks at Tor have purchased it. Thanks again. you made my day!


  3. Mark Simos

    Hello Mr. Belcher,

    Just finished “Six-Gun Tarot” and really enjoyed it, my first foray into what I guess is a genre unto itself, the “Weird Western”?

    I’m a songwriter, and teach songwriting at Berklee College of Music. I got some ideas for songs out of reading your book and would be interested in letting you have a look at them if you are interested. Feel free to email me at your convenience.

    Congratulations on some fine work. Ch’eng’s speech about gods and men on p. 311 is some surprising profound theology buried late in a surreal Western! It reminded me of John Mayer’s song “Belief” though it takes a far more optimistic view.


  4. joe

    Hi Mr. Belcher! Six-Gun Tarot was so fresh! I work at a library in Colorado and the art work caught my eye so props to Mr. Swanland too. I just wanted to thank you for writing such a fun novel and, please, keep them coming.

  5. Jonathan Matthews

    I just finished “Six-Gun Tarot” Great job!!! I am a digital Mgr. For B&N in Asheville, N.C. and read your book on my nook reader. I have been recommending it to my co-workers and customers. I hope you will write more about Jim,Mutt and the folks of Golgotha. I also want to say Great job to the cover art. Mr. Swannland’s artwork is what made me want to preview S-G T .

    1. Rod Belcher

      Hi Jonathan,

      Thanks so much! Yeah, Raymond Swanland’s cover is amazing and I really hope he can do the cover for the sequel. I was lucky to have him as the artist. he’s got me more than one sale , I’m pretty sure! If you guys ever want to do a book signing, please let me know, I’d be happy to do that for y’all.

      Thanks again and take care,


  6. patrick


    Just finished The Six Gun Tarot. Loved it. I’ll be looking for more of your work soon. Anyone who can mix it all up like that deserves to be read again and again.

  7. Keith

    I just finished reading “The Six-Gun Tarot”. I was COMPLETELY in love with this story! I cannot wait for another story from your brain! Keep them coming and keep them just as strong. Thank you for sharing the insight into your brain.

    1. Rod Belcher


      Thank you so much for the kind words. I’m really glad you enjoyed the book. I have two books in the pipe and one is a Six-Gun sequel. I hope you enjoy them as well.
      I’m am so honored for the support and the compliments. Thanks!

      Take care,

  8. Mikka

    Wow-yr book knocked my socks off!! Great depth & character development. As a Native American woman —really appreciated the balanced viewpoint; that is a fine line to walk in many ways. Only prob, the entire family is asking why I’m coming out of the bathroom crying. Guess we’ll need to get a few more copies. Awesome, thanks!

    1. Rod Belcher


      Thank you so much! I’m really happy you enjoyed the book. I’m sorry I made you cry! Ha ha ha!
      Thank you for supporting the book and I hope you enjoy the sequel that I’m working on now.

      Take care,

  9. Jessie Swink

    Oh, wow. Wow wow wow.

    I just finished your book, sir. Western Carolina University has it displayed on a top shelf – as a person who reads tarot, the title caught my eye and I checked it out on a whim. How pleased I am with that whim!

    My boyfriend was a witness to my laughter, on-the-edge thrill, and joy that came from your clever characters, artful metaphors (in particular I loved the description of Golgotha that introduces us to the town), and masterful weaving of cultures and cults. One thing I have to praise in particular was that you handled delicate things (like racism, rape, sexism, etc) in very tasteful ways, obviously for the intent of the story and making no one feel jaded by your portrayal – at least, as a woman and a victim of assault, I didn’t feel uncomfortable (or not in ways that were excessive, just enough discomfort for an effective story!) I’m not sure if that was intentional, but it was certainly appreciated, and I wanted to make sure I mentioned it.

    I think I might’ve buttered you up enough now, but rest assured that I’ll likely be buyin this book for my own collection, and that my face lit up with joy when I read about a sequel. Thank you for a riveting story and a thoroughly enjoyable world.

    Your newest fan,

    1. Rod Belcher


      Thank you so much for your kind words. It really means a lot to me. I try to treat my female characters as human beings, full of strengths and foibles, like all human beings, and with respect. I’m really glad you enjoyed the book and I hope you will let me know what you think of my next two books- The Shotgun Arcana ( the Six-Gun sequel due out in Oct 2014) and Nightwise ( due out in 2015).

      Take care and thank you again!


  10. wsfn

    I’ve owned my copy of The Six-Gun Tarot for some time. I took time starting it… it is not my genre, no part of it is my normal, preferred genre. It is not really a genre that I would ever have normally considered… but it was recommended by a friend I trust. Once I started, I was startled to discover that I not only did not want to put it down but I wanted to consume every word written by R.S. Belcher. Belcher’s command of the language is strong, inventive, and inspiring. I enjoyed each character as they are encountered. Each is discovered through the story and their own memories and I look forward to learning more about each in the next installment (Shotgun Arcana due out in October 2014). The characters range in appeal as they do in real life. The town of Golgotha is the strongest character of them all, strangely appealing and squalid, housing the inhabitants with measures of terror and comfort. The appeal for readers ranges from teens through to any age including at least two gay characters. There is a character to appeal directly to you. My personal favorite is a strong female who may have saved everyone (closely followed by the seeming central character, a teen boy). The story is full of thoughtful theology (encompassing several traditions), horror and mythos from all over the world, and a strong sense of the firm importance of humanity. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, no matter your interest in any one of these genres, give it a try. Note: a serious rape scene which is fine as long it is not a trigger topic for the reader.

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