Hi friends! Welcome to the final day of July and the final post in my weekly countdown to the release of Start Your Engines. Cue the confetti!
As the release of Start Your Engines draws near, I want to take a few moments to talk about the real-life heroines who inspire my fictional heroines. To begin with, as a white, male I know I have built-in advantages in life simply because of my skin color and gender. Because of that, it’s important for me to write stories that feature strong women in places often dominated by their male peers.
Maybe it’s also because I have five older sisters or because I watched my mom keep herself together and go back to full-time work after my dad died when I was sixteen. Regardless, I’ve always believed in a world where the person who is most qualified for a job deserves it. Skin color, gender, religion shouldn’t matter.
What should matter more than anything is whether or not someone can get the job done.
Unfortunately, the real world doesn’t align with the world I believe in, so every day women have to fight to participate, and thrive, in a male-dominated world. A few weeks ago, I wrote a post saluting Pippa Mann, the woman who inspired me as I worked to bring Start Your Engines to life. Today, I want to shine a spotlight on a few other women kicking butt and taking names in careers traditionally filled by those with a Y chromosome.
This woman is totally amazing. In addition to being an astronaut, she’s has a chemical engineering degree, is a physician, and now teaches at Dartmouth. She even appeared in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. To learn more about this incredible and inspiring woman, check out this article from Biography.com.
Another woman at the top of her game in a male-dominated world is Lzzy Hale, singer, songwriter, and leader of the metal band, Halestorm.
While women have always been a key part of rock n roll, I think it’s fair to say the majority of rock musicians and singers have been, and continue to be, men. This is especially true in the world of heavy metal, where bands like Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and Avenged Sevenfold have often ruled the day. Lzzy hasn’t let that stop her, and since forming Halestorm with her brother, has topped the charts and won awards, a Grammy in 2013 for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance.
Her song “Dear Daughter” is a gorgeous and powerful message of female empowerment. If you’ve not familiar with the song, check it out here.
A final shero I’d like to spotlight is only twenty years old and is already a Nobel Laureate–Malala Yousafzai.
You probably know Malala’s story about how extremists tried to murder her in 2012 simply because of her belief that girls deserve an education. I think we can agree the world is a better place since the attempt to take her life failed. Today, she is a human rights advocate working to ensure that girls all over the world, and especially those in her native Pakistan, are given an opportunity to get an education.
These three women are just a tiny sample of the female difference-makers in the world. Every day, there are literally billions of women who make the world a better place without fanfare or accolades. Yet, they persist, minute by minute, in changing their world for the better, even when the odds are against them. To paraphrase Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, these are the women who get “stuff” done.
So to all the mothers and daughters, grandmothers and granddaughters, sisters and aunts, and especially my amazing wife Nancy, thank you for inspiring me to write strong women in my books and for your tireless work to make our world a little bit better, each and every day.
Start Your Engines, published by Crimson Romance, arrives in ebook format one week from today, on August 7. You can order your copy by going here. Thanks for reading, and until next time, wishing you smooth roads and sunny skies!