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International Women’s Day 2022: Supporting and Fighting for a Gender Equal World #BreakTheBias #IWD2022

It’s #InternationalWomensDay, or #IWD2022, and people around the world are celebrating women and the unique and important gifts they give this world. I’ve been proud to promote this day for about fifteen years in some shape or form, and each year builds momentum as it’s utilized as a catalyst for change year round instead of only awareness. However, I’ve been a supporter of women’s issues in various ways for even longer.

In essence, International Women’s Day is the marker to honor the Women’s Rights Movement and all those who came before us who were spit on, jailed, starved, ridiculed, and more as they fought for women to have the rights to vote, own land, have a bank account, and not be locked away in asylums. I was humbled and astounded when I was able to experience the “Rightfully Hers” 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and Women’s Suffrage Movement exhibit at the National Archives in Washington D.C. in 2019 before the pandemic truly hit. It was wonderfully done and you can find information about it here and even see some exhibits virtually!

Just as women did then, I’m happy to see women banding together now too, with help from male allies, and continuing to make progress on so many issues.

The theme this year for IWD is #BreakTheBias, and they ask us: ”Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated.”

I can imagine that, and if not for myself, for my two daughters at least, who are now 18 and 14! As my daughter makes choices in the next couple months or so on what university she’ll attend for marine biology, I hope for the end of gender bias in STEM, tech, and science-related careers! I want my daughters to know their work is as valuable as any man’s and be able to earn appropriate respect for their hard work no matter their gender or race.

As I am a creative, I hope for more inclusion of all women in this field, especially in certain genres. As always, I will work myself to raise female voices and elevate women in the publishing field of all races, ethnicities, and orientation.

Above: Me and my daughters hiking together.

On my site here, you’ll find many great articles on women in history and making history, both on the page dedicated to that series, as March is also Women in History Month, but in interviews and book reviews as well. I’m currently taking articles about women in history or women making history, and as it’s now women in horror month, women in that category as well! Please contact me to arrange! I would love to learn about some amazing women.

In the past, I’ve also often interviewed and reviewed books by women on this site and you’ll easily see that if you take a quick perusal through the archives. In fact, in 2020, 2021, and so far in 2022, I’ve read all women as far as books go (with one exception in 2020 for a book I pre-read for a male friend, some short stories or stories by men and in anthologies edited by men, and books of my wonderful male editing clients). I didn’t really do this on purpose either, so I’m not boycotting men, and I am sure I will read a man’s book again soon, but this only goes to show the increasingly stellar offerings from women of all backgrounds! In my editing career, I’ve worked with many women and I try to elevate them by offering yearly discounts and promoting their work and voices. This year, women who schedule with me in March 2022 for editing work anytime of the year I’m available will receive 35% off.

Outside of publishing, I’ve spent decades fighting for women’s causes, from when I was senior news editor at my college paper and I fought against campus rape and it not being reported properly only to be quieted from the higher powers, to when I worked in healthcare public relations and became the Young Careerist representative for Ohio at the national Business and Professional Women’s organization’s annual conference where I spoke about making strides for heart health in women. I’ve sat on a sub-committee for women’s health education, primarily in regards to those underprivileged, of the board of the Ohio Governor’s Office for Women’s Initiatives (a much needed department and program that Republican Governor Kasich did away with when he took office) and assisted with statewide events to empower women. I’ve raised funds through events I’ve put on for women’s health, women’s shelters, and those battling cancer. I was the chair of the board for several years at our local mental health center which also oversees our local rape crisis and domestic violence shelter. In all of these situations, I battled men in the workplace who wanted to keep me down, lower my voice, halt my efforts, and belittle my achievements even to the point of threatening me. I even battled other women who preferred patriarchy. All while battling and/or healing as a domestic violence survivor. But I persevered.

In my writing, I fight against domestic violence, rape, assault, healthcare bias, and confinement with my words. My poetry and short story collection Breathe. Breathe., my short story within the anthology Hardened Hearts, and my short story in We Are Wolves have all tackled these themes. In fact, the entire We Are Wolves anthology tackles this theme of women fighting back and proceeds have gone and still go to women’s organizations in the UK and US.

There is always more to do. I’ll keep doing it. I’ll make time to write more essays so my own voice is heard. I’ll keep those women in history alive, those marginalized, those without a platform. I’ll keep serving those crying out in need and the disadvantaged who need our support. I’ll share news for women, cheer them on, hear their voices, read their words. I’ll keep helping women out however I can.

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.” – Gloria Steinem

Join me? Let’s break the bias for good.

– Erin


Filed under Book Services, Editing, Feature Articles, Uncategorized, women in history, women in horror

A Top Fave Book: Hell Hole, a Western Supernatural, Publishes Today from Hunter Shea

My very good friend Hunter Shea (www.huntershea.com), who has been launching his Kensington/Pinnacle book The Montauk Monster this summer (and I’ve had fun being publicist), has already published a new book with Samhain Horror today (July 1, 2014), called Hell Hole! I read Hell Hole about a year and a half ago as his first draft first reader, to lend any development editing suggestions or concerns. It certainly didn’t take me long to read through it, though nothing else got done that day.

I think he kicked up the sand with this book right from the start. His writing style reminds me of his whole personality, which is pretty high-octane. It isn’t a dull moment being Hunter’s friend and in helping him with his publicity and his books. He’s got mad skills, but he works awfully hard for it and at it, yet I never know what he’s going to say. I try to compete by making off the wall comments, but nothing stirs this guy! He’s a magnet for the creepy tales, so I suppose I should expect his writing to mirror things that will make my arm hair stand on end. He’s written a whole library set of books as of now and all are different, but all excellent.

Not knowing always what might come out of his head though, I wasn’t completely sure about the whole “western horror” books that a few of these guys were going to publish with Samhain (i.e. Dust Devils by Jonathan Janz came out in Feb. 2014–I ended up LOVING it). I certainly didn’t know what to expect when I dove into reading Hell Hole.

hell hole

I think this cover is so cool!! Right?

However, as with most Hunter Shea novels, and even though this one is completely different from anything else he’s ever written, I was completely immersed! He’s a GREAT writer, rarely needs copy editing, knows how to keep the action going, and he brings out the most in characters so that they really excel and are totally dimensional. I always immediately feel connected to his characters as if I know them personally. Not only that, they stay with me and are memorable–his stories never leave me, even with as many books as I read a year. He’s very visual and I can see the entire story running in my head, which normally is very hard for me.

With this one he also added the element of history (another fave of mine) by setting it during the time of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, when New York City cop Nat  is given an assignment in the mysterious. This gritty, sandy, dusty feel came through in his novel as Nat heads out west to Wyoming, and to a basically different world in this turn of the century time period, in search of finding out what is happening to the people going missing. Nat seems like Matthew McConaughey, his sidekick for-hire Teta, like Johnny Depp, and the lovely lady who’ll make an appearance, like Selma Hayek. Together, they’ll take on mysterious creatures and black eyed children….YEP, I’ll never enter a mine again. Well, I probably wasn’t going to anyway, but still, you know what I mean.

Hell Hole is scary good fun and IT MADE THE LIST AS  ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS OF ALL TIME in the horror genre, especially since it had a touch of history. I have a very hard time comparing his work to anyone else as I feel he is so original. But quite probably, I loved it as much and in the way I have loved Stephen’s King The Gunslinger since the first time I read it back in the early 90s.

Here’s the synopsis~

Deep in a Wyoming mine, hell awaits.  

Former cattle driver, Rough Rider and current New York City cop Nat Blackburn is given an offer he can’t refuse by President Teddy Roosevelt. Tales of gold in the abandoned mining town of Hecla, in the Deep Rock Hills, abound. The only problem–those who go seeking their fortune never return.

Along with his constant companion, Teta, a hired gun with a thirst for adventure, Nat travels to a barren land where even animals dare not tread. But the remnants of Hecla are far from empty. Black-eyed children, strange lights and ferocious wild men venture from the deep, dark mine…as well as a force so sinister Nat’s and Teta’s very souls are in jeopardy.

There’s a mystery in Hecla thousands of years old. Solving it could spell the end of the world.

Sounds pretty entertaining? It’s highly recommended for any reader who likes a good historical with a clever mystery, some supernatural altercations, and the use of haunting enemies that are original and unique to what most writers are using. If you like Ghost Mine or Tales of the Unknown mixed up with the movie “Desperado” and some Larry McMurtry writing, this one is for YOU! It’s spooky, but for my readers who say no to blood and gore, no worries. This one is for the mainstream reader who like thrills and chills. I hope you check it out!


Samhain Horror (and you get 30% off new titles for 30 days)


Barnes and Noble

Hunter Shea, Biography:

hunter shea photoHunter Shea is the author of paranormal and horror novels Forest of Shadows, Swamp Monster Massacre, Evil Eternal, Sinister Entity, which are all published by Samhain Horror. The June 3, 2014 release of his horrifying thriller Montauk Monster is published by Kensington/Pinnacle.

He has also written a short story to be read prior to Sinister Entity, called The Graveyard Speaks (it’s free, go download!), and a book of stories called Asylum Scrawls. His next book from Samhain Horror, titled HellHole, came out July1, 2014 and is his first western horror.

His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Dark Moon Digest, Morpheus Tales, and the upcoming anthology, Shocklines : Fresh Voices in Terror. His obsession with all things horrific has led him to real life exploration of the paranormal, interviews with exorcists, and other things that would keep most people awake with the lights on.

He is also half of the two men show, Monster Men, which is a video podcast that takes a fun look at the world of horror. You can read about his latest travails and communicate with him at www.huntershea.com, on Twitter @HunterShea1, Facebook fan page at Hunter Shea or the Monster Men 13 channel on YouTube.


Filed under Book Reviews