When it rains, it pours. The saying rings true for one Comanche novelist as he recently released his second book and is currently working on a third.

After fighting the uphill battle of becoming a published writer, Ron Goetz said the writing trail for him is downhill the rest of the way — in a positive way.

“Once you get published, it makes the next ones a lot easier,” Goetz said, before describing the early success of his first novel, “The Kid,” based on the early years in the life of Billy the Kid.

After releasing the first book, the manuscript caught the eye of a movie production company in El Reno. Goetz said he wrote the second book, “The Kid from Lincoln County,” to complete the story of the famous outlaw in a movie-script friendly manner.

“I was at a reception and book signing at the library for the first book. It was the end of the day so I started putting my stuff away. These three people wearing name tags walked in and said they wanted to talk to me. They were from Savage Entertainment out of El Reno, and they said they were interested in doing a movie about my book. They came over to my house and we stayed up ’til after midnight talking about it,” he said.

While still in the works, Goetz said the production company is looking to use nearby actors, except for an Irish singer to play Billy the Kid’s mother, herself an Irish woman. The company also wants to shoot some of the early footage in Ireland, where the first book begins, but, “I don’t really want to go to Ireland,” Goetz said.

The idea to write the book in the first place came seemingly out of nowhere, and Goetz said it is difficult to keep the topic of the outlaw who was originally from the East Coast off his mind. Several strange things have happened that combined to convince him to put the story down on paper.

For one thing, he said his vivid dreams about the Kid turned out to have some truth to them.

“I knew nothing about him other than TV shows and movies. I started writing what I dreamed about in longhand before my wife bought me a computer. That went on for about two years until I had about 15 short stories.

“The amazing thing was that some of those dreams were about him being on the Santa Fe Trail. There isn’t a lot of information about that part of his life, but when I finally found a map that listed all the trail stops, I found that all the locations were in the same order as I dreamed them. It made my hair stand up on end.”

Also, he said that in his Army days in New York, the city where Billy the Kid grew up as a rabble-rouser with intelligence, Goetz had a knack for finding his way around without the use of a map. In fact, he tells the story of a time he and a friend were trying to find Madison Square Garden without ever having been there. Goetz’s sixth sense got them to where he thought the site would be, but something didn’t look right.

“We went in to a cigar store and asked the clerk where it was, and he said the original one was right where we were, but it was moved to another part of the city long ago,” he said.

Goetz purposely ended his first book before the famous battle in Lincoln County, the same one that has been told over and over in history books, movies and television.

“There are hundreds of books about the Lincoln County battle. It’s too well-documented,” he said. “I thought, ‘Why not a book about the rest of his life?’”

Another strange occurrence happened while researching for his second book. Goetz took a trip to Lincoln City where the battle took place and wandered around the well-preserved town. He went to the upstairs jail cell where Billy was once held and touched the shackle loops in the floor that he is believed to have been fastened to.

“When I touched them, it felt like someone hit me over the head with a railroad tie. I started losing my breath and thought, ‘What is wrong with me.’ I can’t even describe what that felt like,” he said.

The second book picks up about where the first left off, and both are written in a narrative form designed to make the readers feel as if they are riding right along with Billy.

“I write in Old West and southern vernacular, and I write it like I was there,” he said. “If you read it in a history book, it’s hard to understand. I tried to make it make sense.”

Goetz’s own life is ideal material for a book in short-story form. He has fascinating tales from his own life that beg the question, “Why not write a book about your own life?”

He said he is hesitant to do so, preferring to tell his own stories in the vocal tradition.

Even though his novelistic success is somewhat recent, Goetz has actually been a writer for many years. He began his career as a magazine sports writer, then with Sunray Oil writing for a trade publication.

Goetz bought a convenience store on the outskirts of Terra Haute, Ind., and quit the trade publication shortly after. He added a gun store and a bait shop to his business, selling practically everything an outdoorsman would need while heading out of the city and into the wild, giving the store the true definition of “convenience.”

He moved to Phoenix, Ariz., and worked his way into the foreman position at a high school before making the move to Comanche about six years ago with practically no household furnishings. But the timing couldn’t have been better.

Goetz and his wife, Margaret, bought a house and began filling it the fun way — hunting for bargains in Duncan’s World’s Largest Garage Sale.

“About the only thing we had was a computer desk. It was right during the citywide garage sale in Duncan, so we got to completely furnish the house for about $800, including the carpet,” he said.

Some hints of his hobbies can be found in the list of things he wanted to do before dying, and the list is nearly complete. The things accomplished include crossing the Okefenokee swamp on foot, rafting the Grand Canyon rapids and driving a lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

One thing still on the list of things not yet done is shooting a grizzly bear with an arrow, but he has been close enough to touch one with bow in hand. Goetz said that goal will most likely remain unfulfilled.

“My attitude toward animals has changed. I will only kill an animal if I intend to eat it,” he said.

While probably not on his list of enjoyable pastimes, Goetz claims to have been bitten by nearly “every kind of animal around. I’ve been bitten by cobras, alligators, you name it,” he said.

Despite being more or less retired for 10 years, Goetz doesn’t seem to be slowing down any. Besides writing, he stays busy in the community as a member of the City Council, Oddfellows and various committees working on city improvement projects.

He is a main player in a gunfighting re-enactment group called Old West Production Company, a new outfit that is already getting booked for shows outside of the state.

His current writing project is a historical series featuring the early history of the Comanche city area, featuring the very first Chisholm Trail cattle drive.

But the number one hobby, almost to the status of utter infatuation, is researching and talking about his favorite hero, Billy the Kid.

“If he were still alive, I would have been a buddy of his,” he said.

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