Today I am excited to finally share an interview with the lovely Maggie McNeill aka The Honest Courtesan. McNeill lives in the Seattle area, where she is a whore for hire and outspoken advocate of sex worker rights. She writes a popular blog, which you can find here, where you can also buy a copy of her book, Ladies of the Night.
In July 2015, McNeill took time out of her trip to visit a gentleman in Sandpoint to chat with me about the topic of sex work, morality, and politics. This topic has received a lot of attention in the time since we talked. McNeill and her Seattle colleague Mistress Matisse were featured in a widely-read and controversial New York Times Magazine article, “Should Prostitution Be A Crime?” for example.
Unfortunately, my talk with McNeill didn’t make it into my book, since my initial readers thought it didn’t really “fit” with the rest of the story about Wallace, although she does weigh in on the Silver Valley’s brothel-based model toward the end of the interview… McNeill calls herself “an overeducated whore who talks too much,” but I enjoyed our discussion very much and hope you will, too. I’ve excerpted the highlights below.
Come see me at the Sixth Street Melodrama this Saturday from 2:00-4:00 pm! I’ll be reading with three other authors after the Founder’s Day parade. We will all be selling and signing books as well. For more information about this Saturday’s big event, click here: https://www.wallacefoundersday.com/events.
In the Spokane Public Radio studio holding a copy of the book
After the show, I met up with a guy who told me an interesting story about Dolores… I’m still getting some new stories and so pleased that you all are writing in to share your own experiences. I’ll post them here in the next few weeks. In the meantime, keep sending them in. You can email them to email@example.com if you have something you’d like to share.
I’m working on a follow-up book that will add to the history of the houses but focus mainly on the story of the FBI Raid in 1991 and the history of federal intervention in the Silver Valley. I’ll write more about this soon, but welcome your stories about this subject area as well…
I keep selling out my copies almost as soon as the publisher can ship them out to me, but I just got another bunch of books in yesterday, so if you still haven’t snagged your own copy yet, you can order a signed copy for $22.00 by clicking the “Buy Now” button below, where you can pay using your PayPal account or a credit card. They ship via Media Mail, which means they arrive very quickly if you’re near me, but can take up to a week to travel the country…
Melissa Luck’s four minute story about the book and the town broadcast on the channel four evening news last Friday.
Before the interview, I was a little worried that the show would inevitably go the direction of either romanticizing or sensationalizing sex work in Wallace. But talking with the journalist/producer turned out to be easier than I anticipated. She somehow made me feel comfortable, like we were just having a conversation, despite the big camera lens and lights in my face.
Talking with Melissa Luck at the Oasis Bordello Museum (photo taken from her blog)
I thought the resulting show was professional, multi-faceted, and intimate in tone. But you can judge for yourself by watching it here.
Also, Melissa posted a review of my book on her Blogger site, where she is documenting her resolution to read a book per week this year. Check it out! P.S., her other book reviews are worth your time to read as well — her perspective is funny and feminist, too (imagine that).
More books finally arrive later today! Just in time for my reading and signing event at the Wallace District Mining Museum Thursday, June 8 at 6 pm, if you want to join us.
I just wanted to spread the word on a few local reading and signing events coming up. My first event will be in the Wallace Brewing Company‘s tasting room on Bank Street, Friday, May 19 at 7 pm. Please join us for a reading, question and answer session, and signing/meet-and-greet. Plus, there will be delicious craft beer! [Update on 5/15/17: There will be a wheelchair-accessible event at 6 pm at the Wallace District Mining Museum on Thursday June 8–please encourage older readers to attend this event, or the one at the Sixth Street Melodrama I listed below.]
There will also be an event on Wallace’s Founder’s Day, at the Sixth Street Melodrama, a building that used to be home to the Lux Rooms brothel upstairs. This reading will take place at 2:45 pm on June 24th, after the parade. I’ll be the opening act for local writer and publisher, Tony Bamonte, who will be reading from his new book on Colonel Wallace.
The Fainting Goat A Wine Bar, one of my favorite restaurants here in town, will be hosting an event called “Dinner and a Book” on July 15, starting at 6:30 pm. We are going to have to take reservations for this one–call the Goat between 11:00 am and 7:30 pm to reserve your spot…
I’m still working on setting up more events and I’ll update this site to announce them as they are finalized.
The interest and level of enthusiasm for this project have been humbling. If you would like your own signed copy from me, please click the “buy now” button on my website to pay with a credit/debit card or you can also PayPal me: findheatherlee at gmail.