Today, The Writing Garnet is taking part in the book tour for Kathryn R.Biel’s latest novel ‘Live for This’! How exciting! To celebrate the release, Kathryn has written a guest post, which means I now get to put my feet up! But before the guest post, take a look at the blurb of the book, where you can get your paws on a copy and even some information about the author herself. Enjoy!
‘Samirah Lundgren is living the party girl life. While she’s trying to forget about her past and put off having a meaningful future, her lifestyle catches up with her, leaving her in a wake of personal destruction. Alone and homeless, she encounters Michael Salinger, a man carrying his own baggage in the form of a spinal cord injury, not to mention his former fiancé is marrying his former best friend. Can a man with a broken body and a woman with a broken soul help each other find the redemption they need to become whole again?’
About the author:
Kathryn Biel hails from Upstate New York, and is a spouse and mother of two wonderful, but exhausting kids. In between being Chief Home Officer and Director of Child Development of the Biel household, she works as a school-based physical therapist. She attended Boston University and received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The Sage Colleges. After years of writing countless letters of medical necessity for wheelchairs, finding increasingly creative ways to encourage the government and insurance companies to fund her client’s needs, and writing entertaining annual Christmas letters, she decided to take a shot at writing the kind of novel that she likes to read. Her musings and rants can also be found on her personal blog, Biel Blather.
Visit the other tour stops:
Enrayn –https://enrayn.wordpress.com/ – Book Review/Promo
Hello Beautiful Book Blog – http://hellobeautifulbookblog.com – Book Excerpt
Book Lover in Florida – https://bookloverfl12.wordpress.com/ – Book Review/Promo
Sweet Little Pretties – sweetlittlepretties.com – Book Review/Promo
I Read What You Write – https://ireadwhatyouwrite.wordpress.com – Book Review/Promo
Hello Chick Lit – http://hellochicklit.com – Book Excerpt
The Writing Garnet – https://thewritinggarnet.wordpress.com – Author Guest Post
Chick Lit Central – http://chicklitcentral.com – Promo Post
ItaPixie’s Book Corner – https://www.facebook.com/itapixiesbookcorner/ – Book Excerpt
Around the World in Books – https://aroundtheworldinbooksblog.wordpress.com/ -Author Guest Post
Book Groupies – http://bookgroupies2.blogspot.com/ – Promo Post
Now you have found out all the information you need, NOW it is time for me to put my feet up as I hand you over to Kathryn R.Biel!
In addition to telling stories of resilient women, my writing has taken on a different sub-genre. I’ll be totally honest—it was unplanned. I write about people with disabilities. This became a natural progress in terms of “write what you know”. My other career (the one that currently pays the bills) is as a physical therapist. You may see that as a recurring theme throughout my books. It started off because I was, well, lazy. I wanted to be able to write careers and fields that I knew about without having to do too much leg work. Plus, I’m afraid of getting it wrong. I know personally that when I read a book that mis-describes my chosen profession, it doesn’t matter what the rest of the book has to say. I’m done. I found, starting in this comfort zone, forced me to step out of it. It forced me to do the research I thought I could avoid. And, in doing so, I’ve written several books where the main characters had some kind of disability. This became important for me to talk about. Especially the unseen disability, mental illness. The stigma and discrimination still attached to most forms of disabilities, but especially mental illness, is rampant in society.
Why? Why is it so wrong for someone not to be perfect? Well, in writing, if your characters are perfect, they are boring. There’s no story. So, what if instead of just having a tortured past or unrequited love or great loss, the characters have some physical imperfection with which they have to deal? We are not all born with perfect bodies. Our bodies do not stay perfect. It does not mean we are not deserving of love and happiness. For me, it adds another layer of character development. A realistic one. For some of my characters, like Michael in Live For This, it’s merely a descriptive term. He has dark hair, a good sense of humor, and is a paraplegic. Sure, it’s shaped some of who he is, but it is not who he is. Contrast that with Kaitlin in Jump, Jive, and Wail. Her disability—nerve damage in her leg—has colored her whole perception of herself, and therefore how she sees the world. Those two characters come from entirely different places, and faced entirely different challenges. Michael wanted to be loved despite his disability, whereas Kaitlin used hers to refuse love.
In books, on TV, and especially in Hollywood, people with disabilities are significantly underrepresented. Most often, able-bodied actors are cast to play the roles of people with disabilities. In researching to find a model for Michael in Live For This, I was dismayed and disheartened to find basically only three American actors who had spinal cord injuries. For the record, they are Mitch Longley (he was on soap operas and Judging Amy), Daryl “Chill” Mitchell, and Michael Patrick Thornton (Private Practice). That’s it. I did end up finding an Irish soap opera actor, Peter Mitchell, who I used as my muse. I don’t pretend to know what living with a disability is like. But I hope, through my writing, to make the last stigma acceptable. To give a voice to an underrepresented portion of the population.
Because we’re not all perfect. Why do our book characters have to be?
Such a powerful guest post written for us by Kathryn, don’t you agree? If you can relate to her book, links are above for Amazon so you can get yourself a copy.
Thank you again to Kathryn for taking the time to join us on The Writing Garnet, and a huge thank you to Aimee at HelloChickLit for inviting me on the tour!