Interview with Lee Aaron Wilson

Straight into Wildflower Junction rides Mr. Lee Aaron Wilson, a western author who sprung from a long line of storytellers. His roots go plumb back to the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock. His great-great-grandmother was a princess in the Iroquois Nation. Now don’t that beat all. And not only that, some of his kinfolk were Indian fighters, outlaws, and lawmen. So I reckon Lee Wilson knows a thing or two about the West and the people who lived here.

His third book, “Billy Killdeere,” was nominated for a Spur award at Western Writers of America. Shoot, I could look at the cowboy on this cover all the blessed day long and not get tired of it!

Now, Lee Wilson is going to tell us a tad about his book and himself. Hope you enjoy the interview. Leave a comment if you want.

Billy Killdeere is Western romantic historical fiction, ain’t that right?

Billy was raised in an outlaw clan. At twenty-one he quit riding with the clan and began running the family ranch with his lady, Jenny Baxter.

 

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 whorehouse 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 gets your imagination all fired up?

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.”

 

Do you have the know-how on any certain subject that deepens your writing and makes your language more authentic?

In more ways than one. I’m a psychologist with over 20 years experience working with criminals. I grew up on the stories of older male relatives from the West and later minored in American History, which makes it easier to anchor a story in time and place. Finally, I have read just about everything written by Zane Grey, Max Brand, Luke Short, Louis L’Amour, and others like them.

 

How do you develop and research a story?

Ideas hit me from the slightest comment all the way down to a hard news item. I let the idea grow and decide what place and time would best demonstrate the concept. Then I check my sources to assure that my tale is authentic to a given time or place. If certain weapons lend credibility or excitement to a story, I use them, checking my files to make sure my memory is accurate. Sources include books from my personal library, articles I’ve collected, and novels I know to be historically accurate.

 

Who are your favorite Western authors?

Zane Grey, Louis L’Amour, Max Brand, Luke Short, Jack Shaeffer, Earnest Haycox, to begin with. My current heroes are Elmer Kelton, Matt Braun . . . I guess I’ll stop here. The list could get long.

 

Do you have a hankering for other characters and gunslingers? 

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.

 

 

How can we contact you and follow your upcoming work?

Visit me at www.leebaldwinonline.com

and www.trebleheartbooks.com

 

Email me at leelawman@aol.com.

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When I'm not keepin' all these Fillies in line, I'm practicing my roping so I can catch me a cowboy. Me and Jasper (my mule) are two peas in a pod. Both of us are as crotchety as all get-out.

16 thoughts on “Interview with Lee Aaron Wilson”

  1. Wow is all I can say he is HOTTTTTTTTTTT!! I am with you Felicia I could look at him all day too. Maybe I should print him off and put him up at work maybe it would chill everyone out and not be so stressed. LOL

  2. Hi Lee! Welcome to P&P! Your background as a psychologist is fascinating. I bet it adds depth to your characterization. Your novel sounds great, with lots of adventure and excitement, and of course, his relationship with Jenny. 🙂

    Some of your favorite Western writers are mine, too. I have to add Elmore Leonard to the mix, with some of those great Clint Eastwood scripts he wrote before writing the contemporaries he does now.

    Great cover, must agree!

  3. Hi Lee,

    We’re so thrilled to have you here at P&P! Hope you enjoy your stay.

    I love the cover of “Billy Killdeere!” It sure makes me want to read the story. I like to read about gunslingers and outlaws who reform so to speak.

    Louis L’Amour and Elmer Kelton are two of my favorite western authors. Their stories really depict what the old west was like.

  4. Hello, Lee! Welcome to Petticoats & Pistols! I truly admire your background in the Old West. Your ancestors were quite a bunch. Wow! I’d love to hear the stories your grandaddies could tell.

    I, too, love to bring characters back from previous stories and bring them alive again in new ones. Oh – and congrats on your nomination for the Spur Award. Impressive!

  5. Hi Lee,

    Congratulations on your nomination. You seem to have quite a family and I bet you have tons of great research behind your books! Thanks for being here today. I enjoyed your interview!

  6. Hey, Gals,
    Thanks for the comments and the welcome. I knew when I read Kate’s Levi’s article, I knew this was a great place. PamT, you’re a great gal to team with. Not only did the stories of my ancestors inspire me, I put pieces of them into my novels, sometimes mmodified as if my heros did them.
    This is fun!
    Lee

  7. Brenda, when you get your copy of the book, let me know. I’ll send you a large label with a personal message you stick inside the fron cover. I wonder what if I’d dare send a copy of the cover. I’ll check with my publisher. (She sent me a poster about 9 by 14 of the cover to put up at signings.)

  8. If anyone orders a book directly from me, you know it will be autographed, with a personal note to you. Just give me a hint what you’d like it to cover, since I haven’t met you. And what I told Brenda. order from the publisher or Amazon, and I’ll put together a note with my autograph that you can peel and stick inside the front cover. Oh, Killdeere Way, is also out. It follows Billy’s cousin Ty, as he breaks from the outlaw game, with the faith of schoolmarm to encourage him when things are darkest.
    Lee

  9. Wow Lee that would be kool if you could send a copy of the cover. I was wondering I guess I missed how to order from you for the book, is that on your web site? Because I have to have that book.

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