Using actual historic individuals in your historical fiction

In my series ‘The Soiled Dove Sagas’ I am planning to integrate actual Old West characters into my stories. Is there a hard and fast rule in Historical Fiction Writing for this? After seeing Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, I am thinking NOT, but just wanted to throw the question out there. My girls will be in Abilene, Kansas, Dodge City, Kansas, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Prescott, Arizona. They will be interacting with some of the famous inhabitants of those places like Thomas ‘Bear Creek’ Smith, Wild Bill Hickok, Bat Masterson, and the Earps. All of these men have been fictionalized; even during their lifetimes. I would just hate to be sued by some distant relative for defamation because I had one of them consorting with prostitutes. If anyone has any input I would love to see your comments. Thank you all so very much.

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