Billy Killdeere is Western romantic historical fiction, right?
Is Billy Killdeere an outlaw, a lover, or both?
He was raised an outlaw and becomes the best gunman in his gang, but he also respects women and treats them like ladies. Part of the story has him helping a young woman in a whore house where the gang hides out. There’s gunplay and then later when he’s on the run, he’s remembered as the man who rescued a woman from prostitution. Billy is considered a friend and hero to the “soiled doves” with whom he comes in contact. “Good” women enjoy his pleasant demeanor and charming smile, and he takes lovers until he meets Jenny. He can’t marry Jenny, but no other woman fills the ache in his heart.
What is it about Killdeere’s story that attracts you as a writer?
Billy is a young man with the deck stacked against him, but he drives forward, determined to stop “hurting people what never hurt him.” He fights no matter the odds. When Jenny is abducted, he is forced to ride on a dangerous and lucrative job. Despite lawmen, gang members and citizens who believe he’s turned, he saves Jenny. Billy just isn’t a quitter. He embodies a theme that seems to creep into most of my stories. “You ain’t beat, no matter how many times you git knocked down, until you don’t git up again.”
What other characters and gunslingers interest you?
Will you be writing about any of them in the future?
Both real and fictional characters appeal to me. Matt Dillon played by James Arness comes to mind. The Sackett boys in the novels by L’Amour, and the way the actors Tom Selleck and Sam Elliott played them come to mind. I loved Have Gun, Will Travel, but I like my own characters better. Billy Killdeere and his cousins Ty and Davy are as real to me as family members. Charles Ritter from my upcoming novel, Prairie Rose, will show up in other stories, as well Cal Massey, a bad guy who has had enough and rides away. To me, the James boys and Billy the Kid were just criminals, although folk tales have grown up around them. The Earps and the Clantons were outlaws, warring factions. I follow them to study the writers’ ideas, just as I do fictional heroes.
“Billy Killdeere will keep you turning pages. Against the wishes of his family and to the disbelief of the law, he tries to leave the outlaw life. Billy quickly learns that riding the other side of the fence can be as tough as playing poker against a stacked deck.” –Douglas Sharp, Publisher, Western Digest
“Lee writes a solid story, with his characters and plot well developed and filled with action.
You couldn’t spend a better evening than curled up next to the fireplace immersed in the story on the high lonesome trail with Billy Killdeere.” –Thom Nicholson, Colonel, U. S. Army Special Forces (Ret.)
Author, 15 Months in SOG: A Warrior’s Tour (Presidio Press/Random House)
“Billy Killdeere is the second edition of Lee’s first book. Get it. It’s another great read about the Killdeere outlaw clan by Lee.” –Kat Martin, New York Times Bestselling Author