I love history, particularly about people, how they lived, loved, and died and what they did to earn a place in the archives of life. I learn about people from the past by reading books and watching movies and TV. The facts and truths are there, documented by stories handed down through generations or recorded by historians and writers.
|Available at Amazon|
Here’s what I tell them.
I was fascinated by the legend and knew I had to use it in a story someday.
“But,” I reminded myself, “you don’t write westerns.”
That’s true. I don’t. Not that I won’t someday, but for now, I write contemporary mystery stories. That meant I had to come up with a contemporary story incorporating the Hico legend.
It took a while, but I eventually came up with a story about a modern day skip tracer named Jack who travels from Philadephia to Hico to bring back a young bail jumper named Billy Joe Raynor. Piece of cake, thinks Jack, until he discovers he has a tail. The chief bonebreaker for a New Jersey mobster has followed Jack to Hico. Is it because Jack beat up the mobster’s brother, or because of something young Billy Joe did before he skipped town? Jack only knows he’s tangled with the hulking bruiser before and will have to again. Jack doesn’t know he’ll also get tangled up in Hico’s legend about another young outlaw named Billy and that the past and present will merge in a surprising conclusion. Three different legends surrounding Billy’s life and death are mentioned. One of them saves Jack from his predicament in Texas and fixes his marriage problems back in Philadelphia.
If you have an opportunity to read “Where Billy Died,” I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Available at Amazonand at Smashwords
Are these legends true or merely fanciful variations of the truth born and nurtured over the years? I don’t know and, as a writer, I don’t care. To me, they are more of the tempting nuggets in the gold mine of history begging to be written. I hope I live long enough to write more of them.
Read two stories for free at: http://earlwstaggs.wordpress.com/
“The Day I Almost Became A Great Writer” – Loaded with laughs and a message to writers.
“White Hats and Happy Trails” – About the day I spent with a boyhood idol, Roy Rogers.