Please welcome R.S. Belcher to The Qwillery. The Night Dahlia, the 2nd novel in the Nightwise series, will be published on April 3rrd by Tor Books.
The Night at the Edge of the Road: Where the Nightwise and Brotherhood of the Wheel Series Intersect
When you write multiple series there are always questions popping up about which of them connect and which don't. Authors like Brandon Sanderson and Stephen King have had a lot of fun interconnecting their worlds and their fans love the little cross-over Easter eggs that they drop in their stories. I grew up on Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion series which had many crossovers between very different series within the overall cycle as well.
So, when it comes to answering the question of cross-over in my books, here's the straight dope. My Weird Western Golgotha series currently stands alone in its own universe while the Nightwise series (which includes my novel, The Night Dahlia, which is being released in April from Tor Books) and the Brotherhood of the Wheel series are set in the same world, but are very different series. I had a person at a convention this past weekend ask about a character in the Golgotha books and ask if they were members of the Brethren from the Brotherhood series. I had to explain that while that was a great idea, it was two different worlds. My main reason for splitting Golgotha from the other books is the cosmology in the series just developed differently, even though the theme of belief being crucial to the creation and survival of gods is present in all three of my series.
My main protagonists in the Nightwise and Brotherhood series— Laytham Ballard and Jimmie Aussapile— met in the pages of Nightwise back in 2015. Jimmie was a character I had bouncing around in my skull for a long time, he even made an appearance in a World of Darkness RPG I was the storyteller for back in the late 90s. My agent, Lucienne Diver encouraged me to explore Jimmie's world more and from that came the Brotherhood of the Wheel. In Brotherhood I've gone out of my way to mention Laytham Ballard a few time and other denizens of the occult underworld known as “the Life” he rubs elbows with, Like the Anti-matter Buddha, and Jingles the psychic exorcist who happens to be a cat. In The Night Dahlia, I also reciprocated with a few Brotherhood references for the reader to catch related to “the Road,” the as-of-yet not fully explained supernatural aspect of the American highway system that attracts demented personalities and monstrous creatures from other places.
Laytham Ballard's world is noir, filled with criminals, capers, and alternate lifestyles. I've always equated “the lifestyle” of BDSM with magic and secret societies. They have a lot in common. Ballard's world is definitely NC-17.
Jimmie's world, however, is a pretty different place in some very fundamental ways. Brotherhood is “southern fried Urban Fantasy.” I wanted Jimmie to be a very, very different person than Laytham, and I wanted his world, while full of horrific, nightmarish personalities and entities, to carry a ray of hope with it, to show that you don't always have to lose your soul to fight evil in the world.
If I am fortunate enough to continue to have the opportunity to write both series, I have a story arc that I'm planning that would begin in a Nightwise novel but reference a past event in Brotherhood and would bring the two worlds crashing into one another for one hell of an adventure. I also have kicked around the notion of writing books based on characters in the shared universe, including a certain demonic entertainer with a heart of gold and a chap named Synn who works for an agency known as the Horror Show. It's a big old abandoned playground with overgrown weeds and rusty dangerous equipment. I'd love to keep playing in it.
Thank you to all the friendly, devoted readers who have wandered into my worlds and who help grow them, keep them going, and keep them weird. I love you folks and I am very grateful for your support. I also wanted to thank Sally for her kind invitation to come on her site once again and chat. You're the best, Ms. Qwill, thank you.
The Night Dahlia
Tor Books, April 3, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
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?
Tor Books, January 16, 2018 (New Cover & Additional Content)
Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Trade Paperback, September 20, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, August 18, 2015
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 Brotherhood of the Wheel
Brotherhood of the Wheel 1
Tor Books, March 21, 2017
Trade Paperback, 416 pages
Hardcover and eBook, March 1, 2016
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.