I forget exactly how much I spent on this 2nd Draft thing at Writer's Digest, it helped a lot, I believe he was helping me with my query letter as well about a year ago, I think it was maybe $40 or so, and I got some really good feedback from this person, who was a writer as well, except for the fact that he had my name down as Eric Cochran, instead of Erin, (I don't actually go by Erin, except for business type things and when I was in school, because I didn't want the teachers to have that sort of power over me, better to be sort of away from it all) I guess I should take it as a compliment, maybe, that they thought that I was a guy after reading my novel, and even at writer's conferences, when some people didn't look at the name on the stories, they thought that my work was that of a man's, which I loved :) but it really does irritate me when someone I am paying makes the mistake like at "Proofed to Perfection" the one editor had me down as Eric, as well. And if I hadn't paid, well, if my father hadn't paid so much for the edit of my novel, I wouldn't have been so upset, but when you pay a certain amount for something, you expect them to get your name right, and your gender right.
Not long ago I went to this sephora store at Robinson Mall, and when I told the girl behind the counter that my name was Erin, and I even started to spell it for her because the most common spellings for certain names, can now be so complicated, I'm sure there's an "Eryn" out there somewhere. I started to say "E,R--" and then she cut me off and was like "A-a?" And I mean, I know I wasn't wearing makeup or anything and I was pretty beat from running around all that day, but I'd like to think I didn't look like a guy. It just seriously bothered me. :)