Characters, storylines and inspiration with #RRBC spotlight author Kathryn R Biel

Characters, storylines and inspiration with #RRBC spotlight author Kathryn R Biel

Today I’m joined by Kathryn R Biel, Rave Reviews Book Club Spotlight Author and all round good egg.  She’s the author of Jump, Jive and Wail… Read on for an excerpt! It sounds great in my view, not least because of the title which appeals to the former modern jive/Ceroc dancer in me ! 
Over to Kathryn to tell us about inspiring story ideas, airport security and a heroine with an anger issue…

I always get a little nervous when someone asks me how I come up with my story ideas. The best I can come up with is Melanie Griffith in the movie Working Girl, defending herself in the elevator to Mr. Trask. She has to explain how she came up with the pitch that Sigourney Weaver is claiming was her idea. I feel the same way. It’s hard to explain. I usually start with a kernel of an idea. It’s a basic character or plot, but certainly not enough to carry a book. While I am mulling over that idea, something else comes to me. Something catches my eye, and then voila! I have the idea for a book. For my third novel, I’m Still Here, my friend called to tell me my email had been hacked and her husband had received a spam email from me. While discussing the content of the email, she read that even though it had my name on it, the address was or something quite horrid. I started laughing and said, “That would make a great character name!” And before I knew it, I had my main character, Esther Comely-Cox. It immediately occurred to me that Esther was a twin and her sister’s name was Aster. I was driving while telling my friend this, and I passed a bus stop in which, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a woman who reminded me of an acquaintance who had committed suicide earlier that year. It had taken months for her body to be recovered, and my friend and I also talked at length about that. Immediately, I knew that Esther would experience something like that with her twin sister Aster.  I can never predict where or when the ideas will strike, I just have to be open to them, and write them down before I forget!


I’d like to share an excerpt from my new novel, Jump, Jive, and Wail


I’ve been told I have an anger problem. Yeah, so what. You would too if you were living my life. Once destined for greatness—for gold—now my life is crap. Complete and utter crap. So, yeah, I’m angry. Angry all the flippin’ time. I also have a swearing problem. I’m working on that.

The focus of my anger at this moment is two-fold: the TSA and my brace. My stupid brace. Always that. If it weren’t for the brace, I’d only be mildly annoyed at the TSA right now. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’d still be annoyed. What kind of idiot puts a bomb in his underwear or shoe? Why’d he have to go and spoil it for the rest of us? That kind of imbecile deserves to have his frank and beans blown off. Okay, so my anger here is actually three-fold and includes the eejits who attach bombs to their privates to blow up planes.

Struggling to manage my overstuffed carry-on while holding my bulky winter coat, boots, and the brace, I finally manage to get through the security gates. Careful not to let my right toes drag on the ground, I step aside, drop my load, and set about donning it—that damn brace. Kirby. That’s its name. Or at least what I call it. Because having to wear a brace sucks more than an expensive vacuum cleaner. Shoving the bags off to the side and not wanting to sit down on the airport floor, I bend forward at the waist and precariously balance on my left leg while I lift my right one into the air. I’m out of the habit of squatting these days, since the plastic of my constant companion doesn’t let my ankle bend that way. Sliding Kirby beneath my dropped foot, I quickly get my limp, numb, useless right leg safely encased in its flesh-colored plastic tomb. It reminds me of a coffin because my foot just lays there for all to see—dead. One nylon Velcro strap across the ankle, another around the calf and I’m good to slide my useless appendage into my Ugg. Yes, I know; it is like the worst possible choice in shoes, other than flip-flops, which I’ll never be able to wear again. But I rationalize, like I do with so many other things, that my bad foot is fully supported in the brace, so the supportiveness of the shoe itself doesn’t matter. (I do completely ignore the fact that I have another leg and foot that is working, for the most part.) My physical therapist doesn’t buy my rationale but whatever. Let her walk—or limp—a mile in my shoes and see how she likes it. 

I am getting lightheaded from being bent over, and I’m sure my ass in the air isn’t the most flattering view, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. I’m sure the underwear bomber felt the same way, but I mean, who would ever think that that was a good idea?

The real reason I like the Uggs is that they hide the ugliness that is Kirby. I look pretty normal wearing them. They’re totally flat, which I need anyway, and they’re in fashion. Don’t know what I’ll do when they become passé but, like so many other things in my life right now, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. 

So here I am, keister in the air, just getting ready to lift my left foot up. Balancing on my right leg is always a bit dodgy so I have to mentally psych myself up for it. The brace gives me some stability, but it is still not a skill in which I excel. The last thing I want to do is fall down in the middle of a busy airport. I open up the mouth of the boot and as quickly as I can, slide my left foot in. When I put my foot down, my weight shifts back slightly and my rear end bumps into something.

Not something, someone.

A man, to be precise. A man’s crotch to be even more precise. 



Author Bio:

Telling stories of resilient women, Kathryn Biel hails from upstate New York and is a spouse and mother of two wonderful and energetic 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 clients’ 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 be found on her personal blog, Biel Blather. She is the author of Good Intentions (2013), Hold Her Down (2014), I’m Still Here (2014), Jump, Jive, and Wail (2015), and the short story, Fly Robin Fly (Part of Cupid on the Loose!: A Valentine’s Anthology of Short Stories, 2015).







Kathryn’s Social Media Links:






Helen Treharne

I’m Helen Treharne, fiction author an creator of The Sophie Morgan Vampire Series. I live in South Wales with my husband, young son and rescue cat.
My books are available at all major digital retailers with soft back copies also available from Amazon, Createspace and other stores.
When I’m not writing fiction, I blog at, sharing my experiences of being a busy parent jugging working, writing, and more. Follow me there for my personal insights.


  1. March 22, 2015 / 11:15 am

    Helen, thank you for giving me an excuse to visit, I mean, for hosting Kathryn today! haha 😀

    Kathryn, WOW! Excellent kick-off for your Spotlight Blog Tour! I can’t wait to read tomorrow’s post AND your book.

    • March 22, 2015 / 11:28 am

      Ha ha Liz ! Always a pleasure when you pop over and poke around! Kathryn’s book sounds great doesn’t it? Loved having her over today.Looking forward to what is in store for the rest of the tour. Being a spotlight author with Rave Review Books Club is great – I loved doing mine and such great support! More people should join the club 😫

  2. March 22, 2015 / 11:27 am

    Reblogged this on Liz Gavin's Blog and commented:

  3. March 22, 2015 / 11:29 am

    What an awesome post! I love how you come up with your story ideas, Kathryn, and after reading that excerpt I’ll be picking up a copy of Jump, Jive and Wail. Oh and I love the cover! Thanks for hosting today, Helen.

    • March 22, 2015 / 11:32 am

      Thanks for stopping by and supporting Kathryn, Michelle. I love the title and the cover too … Plus it sounds like a fun read! Another one for my growing TBR list … 😄

  4. March 22, 2015 / 12:05 pm

    Great post and I like how you come up with ideas. Have a wonderful day… both Kathryn and Helen!

  5. March 22, 2015 / 12:36 pm

    Thanks for hosting me and for all the encouraging comments. Sometimes I feel a bit like Dr. Frankenstein, piecing bits and pieces together to make one book. I just love the support of the Rave Reviews Book Club!

  6. March 22, 2015 / 12:49 pm

    Your book except made me laugh! What better way to treat anger management than to laugh at those things that irritate us. And you are so right. Ideas for plots, characters, scenes, etc. come from the strangest places.

  7. March 22, 2015 / 1:38 pm

    Great post Kathryn and good luck on the tour. Thanks, Helen for hosting.

  8. harmonykentonline
    March 23, 2015 / 2:41 pm

    What a post to kick off your spotlight week with! Love it! 🙂 Hope you have a lovely week in the spotlight, Kathryn 🙂

    Helen, thanks so much for hosting Kathryn today 🙂

    • March 23, 2015 / 3:41 pm

      Always happy to host #RaveReviewsBookClub authors 😃

  9. Shirley Harris-Slaughter
    March 23, 2015 / 2:58 pm

    Congratulations Kathryn Biel for making it to this awesome Spotlight! Sorry I’m a little late getting over here. It is amazing to me how authors like you come up with the stuff you write. You see, I’m not a fiction writer. My stories are based on truth and so I admire you. Your blurb seems like a very interesting story. Must check you out. Good luck! Helene you have an interesting blog. Kudos to you too.

    • March 23, 2015 / 3:41 pm

      Thanks Shirley. I’m glad everyone has enjoyed Kathryn’s spot today and shown her such fab support 👍

  10. March 23, 2015 / 4:08 pm

    Yea, Kathryn, it’s not always that one can explain how one gets story ideas. They come in many afferent ways. Mine sometimes when I am asleep, i see my story. 🙂 Is that possible? Thank you Helen for hosting.

    • March 23, 2015 / 5:35 pm

      Joy it is absolutely possible! I’ve dreamt wonderful ideas and while I may not capture everything they often provide great inspiration. Sometimes it’s just “kappow “, there’s an idea. It was lovely to get Kathryn’s experience today. It’s often so intangible.

      • March 24, 2015 / 1:14 am

        In the excerpt above, where she is bending over and someone runs into her–that came to me in a dream. The scene was so vivid that I had to figure out a way to incorporate it immediately.

  11. March 23, 2015 / 5:28 pm

    Congratulations, Kathryn! Enjoy your time in the spotlight! Helen, thank you for hosting and supporting this indie author.

    • March 23, 2015 / 5:33 pm

      It was a pleasure! Wonderful to see such a turn out in support for her !

  12. March 24, 2015 / 4:30 pm

    Great post! Looking forward to reading the other stops!

  13. March 26, 2015 / 11:57 pm

    I really enjoyed reading about your book idea process, Kathryn – great excerpt! Congrats on your Spotlight tour!

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