Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Nacogdoches or bust!

Well, it's official and can now be shared (although a year ago I'd have laughed at the very idea): I am a presenter at the East Texas Historical Association's fall conference, September 27-29, in Nacogdoches.

Don't feel too bad if you didn't see that coming. Academic/historical conferences aren't really in my wheelhouse, and I'm riding a bit of a steep learning curve here. These conferences differ in significant ways from the literary science fiction conventions I'm familiar with.

I'm scheduled to present during Session V, 9 a.m. Friday, September 28. The session title is “The Yellowest of Texas’ Roses: Prostitution in the Lone Star State.” My paper is titled "The Last Madam: The Unexpected Life of the Chicken Ranch's Edna Milton (1928-2012)." Presentations are limited to 20 minutes, with a short Q&A follow-up, so obviously I'm going to have to be judicious in what I include and what I discard. An expanded journal article might be worthwhile in the future, but at the moment I've got to focus on getting through the second draft revisions of the Chicken Ranch book.

There are two others presenting during my session, Beverly Rowe of Texarkana with "Texarkana's Prostitution District, Swampoodle," and Jennifer Bridges of the University of North Texas with "The Katy's Ladies: Prostitution in Early Denison, 1872-1880." Needless to say, I'm looking forward to both of these presentations as well as making more people aware of my upcoming book. I just wish I had a publisher lined up!

I also confess to a wee bit of trepidation going into this conference. These folks in attendance are hard-core historians and academics. I, at best, am an interloper with a one-off history book. My background is in journalism and science fiction, neither of which are likely to bolster my street cred with this group. If I get out of the session without having anyone throw rotting vegetables at the podium, I believe I'll count it as a success.

Now Playing: Mussorgsky Pictures and an Exhibition
Chicken Ranch Central


  1. Having been to a few academic conferences, I think you'll fit right in. Just don't wear your Klingon costume.

  2. I don't have a Klingon costume, Bill. All I've got are vests!