Some think Billy the Kid was a bad man. Some think he was an unsung hero. I personally think that he was a kid with a good heart who got portrayed as a villain as he vainly tried to bring justice to the world he lived in. I remember when I became interested in Billy the Kid when I watched the movie Young Guns as a child. Yes, the its a movie of historical fiction (just like my book, Me and Billy the Kid, is) but it was enough to get me thinking. I started researching the young cowboy and found so many ‘holes’ in history that didn’t make sense to me. And of course, different books portrayed him in different lights, which gave birth to my quote:
“Even the History Books tend to favor one side of the story.”
As with so many things in life, you have to make a decision about what to believe and what to ignore. For me, the fact that Billy stood on the right side of the law and was seeking to avenge his friend’s death makes him quite endearing. Yes, he killed people. But war is war. Death is inevitable in such situations. If you are faced with a kill-or-be-killed situation, I know I would do what I had to do to protect myself and the people I care about. That was exactly what Billy was doing. So in my book, I did my best to stick to the facts that most history books agreed upon, but it was my goal to do that in a way where all my readers could see Billy how I saw him. As the good guy. And I found an easy way to fill those ‘holes’. With a girl. A girl that maybe the history books left out, even thought she played an important role in Billy’s life and the events of the Lincoln County War. A girl I called Angel. And with her help, I was able to put all the pieces of Billy’s life together, every last piece, to see the man he really was. A good man. A kind man. A man with a bad reputation he didn’t deserve. And thanks to Angel, I got to meet the real William H. Bonney, alias Billy the Kid.