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Billy Jackson: Debut Novel Captures Little Known Side of American History

Written by Ken Gomes, ‘Billy Jackson’ is a rich, complex and sprawling tale. Following the path of the titular character, Gomes’ novel takes the reader from the heartland of the United States to the coast of California and explores universal themes of class, abuse and above all, enduring love.


Lake Oswego, OR -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/13/2014 -- When Ken Gomes set out to write his first novel, he wasn’t interested in following the status quo.

“It seems like every book out there is written about the same subject, or the same era,” says Gomes, the author of ‘Billy Jackson’. “Of course fantasy novels or books about vampires are interesting to some, but I really wanted to stick closer to home and write about what I know, and what’s in my heart. My aim was to dig deep into my past and recall all of the stories and tales that have been passed down to me from generation to generation.”

‘Billy Jackson’ fits the bill. An intimate look at one man’s life, the novel takes readers on an epic journey from a small farm in the 1800s to the warm shores of San Francisco. Escaping from an abusive Uncle, Billy sets out to explore his country and by extension, the world. Ending up on the Shawnee Trail and soon, in Fort Kearny, Billy meets a motley cast of fascinating characters along the way and eventually, falls in love.

Emotionally written, splendidly told and with spare, elegant prose, ‘Billy Jackson’ is a debut novel from an author to watch.

A young Texas lad growing up on a small farm in the 1800’s, sets out to explore America when he decides it was time to “explore the world.” He leaves his abusive uncle’s farm and joins a cattle drive up, the Shawnee Trail (later to be named the “Chisholm Trail”).

He then heads north to Fort Kearny to join with a wagon train where he meets and befriends a young boy and seasoned, well-known scout and entrepreneur named Jim Bridger.

His long journey eventually finds Billy in San Francisco where he bonds with a spoiled rich son of an old California family, who takes him under his wing and they travel south to the man’s massive hacienda near Monterey.

This is where he meets the love of his life, the daughter of a rich “hidalgo” or “Don” and together after they have fallen in love, their lives then forever change and take a totally different turn.
As Gomes explains, when it came time to classify his book to publishers, he found it difficult.

“It’s just such a varied book,” says the author. “It has both real and fictional characters, action, intrigue, a fully realized love story and a historical element. Classifying it was almost impossible! But in the end, what I wanted to do was create a novel with heart and soul, and I’m confident I’ve accomplished that.”
‘Billy Jackson’ is available now from Amazon: http://amzn.to/1iPEMhb

About Ken Gomes
Ken Gomes is a fifth generation Californian with additional Texas roots. He attended high school and college, but is self-taught when it comes to writing. Gomes has had a successful career in sales and management and has published several trade manuals. Following the settings of his book, Gomes has lived in the valleys, mountains and hills of America where events described in Billy Jackson actually occurred.