An Interview with Drew Gomber: History in New Mexico

Aug 7, 2011 by

Michael F. Shaughnessy
Eastern New Mexico University
Portales, New Mexico

1) Drew, you are both a writer and a historian. What is your particular area of interest?

Outlaws and lawmen

2) How did you first get started writing?

I complained so much to the Ruidoso News, where I was working, that there was no one writing about the local history (I.e.: the Lincoln County War) that they finally had me start writing just to shut me up. They thought there was no interest, but in a survey done a few years later, it accounted for 1/3 of their subscribers.

3) The Lincoln County Wars, and of course Billy the Kid seem to continue to have a good deal of interest- why do you think this is so?

I think that the interest in the Lincoln County War, for the average guy, is really more of an interest in what Billy the Kid was up to at the time. Billy’s story grabs people because he was so young and there is what many see as an element of betrayal in his relationship with Pat Garrett (I am not one of them, though).

Either way, it makes for a great story. Billy is a romantic figure who died young, and that is always a draw, historically speaking. He was brave and loyal and there is much to like about him. People respond to that.

4) There apparently are a number of buildings that remain standing of historical interest in your neck of the woods. Do you ever conduct tours or write about these buildings?

I am available for tours of Lincoln and Lincoln County itself. I can be reached at As to writing about the numerous historical buildings in Lincoln, I suppose I write more about the events connected with them more than the buildings themselves.

5) Do you have a web site and what would our readers find there?

It’s been a while since I checked it, but the readers should be able to find me at What the readers would find would be some information about me and what I do. If the website is no longer in operation (I didn’t run it) anyone is more than welcome to contact me at the email address listed above.

6) Are there historical artifacts that inspire you in Lincoln County, and can you tell us a bit about them?


The most inspirational artifact in Lincoln County is the town itself, where I live. It’s difficult NOT to think of the history, just walking down the street! It is easily the best preserved old west town in America!

We tell people that if Billy were to ride in today, he would recognize it instantly, and that is true. He’d probably wonder about that strange yellow line running down the middle of the street, though…

7) What are you currently working on ?

I’m currently working on a chronology of the Lincoln County War as well as a chronology of all the events before and after. It will start in about 1816 and end around the turn of the century. There will also be biographies and tales of those who fought.

8) Do you assist the state of New Mexico or the Federal government in any way?

I’ve never been asked to assist the Federal government, but would be happy to. As to New Mexico, I have worked hand-in-hand many time with the folks from the state.

9) What have I neglected to ask ?

As far as what you’ve neglected to ask, I can’t think of a damn thing!

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