Me and Billy the Kid

As most of you know, one of my books was selected for publication last year through Tate Publishing and Enterprises LLC. Me and Billy the Kid is a YA historical western about Billy the Kid’s girlfriend, Angel.

For the next two months, I’ll be working with my editors, cover designers, and deciding on a layout. I don’t have a publication date for the novel yet, but I think it will be in November. So over the next few months, I’ll be posting excerpts, updates, and hopefully, sneak peaks of the cover.

So for those of you who know a little bit about Billy the Kid, or for anyone who is curious to know more, I’m going to be posting questions and quizzes, as well as asking you what you’d like to know. (Does that even make sense? Hmmm….)   

Anyway, I’m going to start out by asking your opinion on a matter that is very important to me: Was Billy the Kid a bad guy? Explain why or why not.  


28 thoughts on “Me and Billy the Kid

  1. I have no idea. Honestly, all I know about Billy the Kid comes from Bill and Ted’s Most Excellent Adventure.

    Don’t hurt me.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you have to say!

    • Not to worry! I never saw that movie, so I can’t separate fact from fiction here.
      Billy the Kid was an outlaw in the New Mexico area from 1877 until his supposed death in 1881, aged twenty-one. Billy worked for a man named J. Tunstall who was in a feud with fellow merchant and rancher, L. Murphy. Murphy had Tunstall murdered, which started the Lincoln County War. Billy, and the rest of Tunstall’s employees wanted to get revenge for their friend’s death, and were deputized. Somewhere along the way, the men went too far (possibly when they killed the corrupt sheriff of the county) and found themselves on the wrong side of the law.
      In my opinion, Billy was not a bad man. He had the deck stacked against him from day one since Murphy basically controlled the whole town.
      And in 1881, Billy was supposedly murdered by Sheriff Patrick Garrett.

  2. I know very little beyond him being played by Emilio Estevez in Young Guns. From the little I know, he was an outlaw, but there’s a sense of him not being ‘bad’ in the traditional sense.

    • That is my favorite movie! πŸ™‚
      And I whole-heartedly agree with you; he was not ‘bad’. He did some bad things, but with the best of intentions. (That sounds very clichΓ©.)

    • No, not really. Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Billy was a rustler and a thief, that is how he made his living after being branded an outlaw and being refused amnesty from Governor Wallace of the New Mexican territory (Long story, but Billy was promised amnesty in return for testifying against Murphy’s business partner, and was tricked by Wallace and forced to start running again.) But he did have a soft spot for the poor and children.

    • The first Young Guns is sort of true (the main plot, anyway), but for the most part, the second one wasn’t even close.
      The big things they changed in the first movie were the ages of people (for example, Tunstall was only in his 20s but in the movie, he was more of a father figure), the way people died, (like Murphy, Billy shoots him at the end of the movie, but in real life, he died of cancer), and relationships (Doc marries a Spanish woman and died of old age.) etc.

    • I think so, too.
      Another thing, they made Billy act like the leader and challenge Richard, but really Billy and Richard ‘Dick’ were friends and Billy didn’t want to be in charge. And there were lots more ‘regulators’ and they came at different times.
      So that being said, I guess the first movie wasn’t very true, either. πŸ˜‰

  3. As a kid I was often glued to the television on a Saturday afternoon watching Westerns. I think Billy the Kid’s reputation went before him. All I know is that he was born William Bonney and was said to have killed 21 men, one for each year of his life, by the time he was tracked down. People want to believe in a hero, I expect his real life was pretty gruesome.

    • Billy’s surname was actually McCarty, (it was his mother’s maiden name, as his father’s name is not known) and he took the name Bonney from a family who saved him after Indians stole his horse and left him for dead in the desert. And the number of people his killed is somewhere between 4 and 9, most of which was in self-defense or while he was trying to get revenge for the murder of his former employer and friend, John Tunstall.

  4. The simple answer. No. Billy was not a bad guy. He has gotten a rep of infamy for defending himself and his family. He loved his mother deeply and he got an education in real life way too early. The decisions he made reflected the desperate life situation he found himself in and much of what has been said about him being a ruthless killer was made up/and or/expanded upon with lies of people who always want to make things bigger than they are. Gossip is a killer.

    Did he really perform a great escape from jail on multiple occasions? Maybe. Did he really get shot by someone he once trusted? Maybe. As with all historical incidents, we weren’t there. This is why fiction is fun, right?

  5. I honestly don’t know much about him! I reserve to give you an opinion once I’ve studied a bit! I don’t like tell something if I don’t know at least a bit! But fair play to you, it’s good choosing someone as particular as main character!

    • Well thank you!
      I think I’ve gone through every website that is about Billy the Kid, watched several movies about him, and read books and magazine articles about him. I have a copy of the book Sheriff Pat Garrett wrote after supposedly killing Billy, but I can’t bear to read it. I’m afraid of what might be hiding in those pages. So for now, the book is just for show, along with the pictures, posters, and other Billy the Kid paraphernalia that’s in my room.

  6. Was Billy The Kid a bad person? I’ll be honest. He wouldn’t be on the top of the list of men I’d want my daughter – if I had a daughter – to date. On the other hand, I’d gladly have a coffee with him.

    • Well, I believe it is a matter of separating fact from fiction. He didn’t kill 21 men like some rumors imply, and he wasn’t the leader of the regulators. He was easy-going, fun to be around, and kind to women, children, and the poor. He was loyal to his friends, and the Lincoln County War was started because Billy’s friend and employer was murdered. Billy and his friends set out to revenge his death and pull down the corrupt law officers on the town. So in my opinion, Billy was a something of an old west hero. But of course, this is my opinion.
      …and coffee does sound good!

  7. Having read the above comments, I now know that I’ve got at least one of the questions on the vote wrong 😦 I didn’t ask hubby though! And I have realised that I know absolutely nothing about Billy the Kid… Oh well – will just have to read your book!

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