Saturday, February 08, 2014

Chicken Ranch report no. 48: SAWG

La Grange Chicken Ranch brass token (fake)Thursday night's presentation at the San Antonio Writers Guild went very well, thank you for asking. Despite the wintry weather and threat of ice, turnout was fantastic. My official topic was to speak on the research that went into my Chicken Ranch history book, and while I fear I spoke more about what I discovered rather than how I discovered it, the audience seemed fully engaged. If I give this particular talk again, I'll have to bring along note cards to keep myself on track. Some of the greatest interest seemed to be in my choice to pursue traditional publication with my Chicken Ranch history (and all the frustrations that entails) whilst simultaneously pursuing the self-publishing route with Ghosts of the Chicken Ranch and the drawbacks of that approach. Publishing is changing, and a good number of people in the audience were discouraged and/or dismayed by some of my experiences. But you know, I'm not sugar-coating any of it. Many publishers these days are more interested in how many Twitter followers you have rather than the quality of your writing. That's a sad truth, but a truth nonetheless.

Some folks shared stories about the Chicken Ranch they'd heard from relatives with me. Others asked how the place got its name (I told them the popular version, then followed up with the less-glamorous truth) and the brass tokens so often seen on eBay (they're fake--all of them). I also touched on the ill-fated Dallas restaurant and the brothel in Nevada that was the target of arsonists, thereby giving rise to the rumor that the La Grange brothel had burned down. I sold some books, passed out a lot of business cards and generally had a great time. A bunch of folks said they really, really wanted to see my history book in print. Hopefully, I'll be able to make a return visit with that very book in the not-too-distant future!

Now Playing: Christopher Franke Babylon 5 vol. 2: Messages from Earth
Chicken Ranch Central

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