Boss of family car firm writes his first novel
A boss of a family car firm has just seen his first novel published – writing much of it while travelling to business meetings.
Tim Holden, CEO of the Holden Group which last year celebrated its 90th birthday, has written Spirals of Fate, a story focused on the 16th century Ketts Rebellion. But, juggling writing with his busy day job, it's taken him six years to do it.
Mr Holden, 40, who took over as head of the car business in 2007, always wanted to write a book since school and has created a tale focused around real-life Norfolk character Robert Kett which attempts to investigate his motive for the famous rebellion he sparked in Norfolk 1549 over the enclosure of land.
It marks a completely different venture for Mr Holden, whose grandfather, the late Ernest Holden, set up the car business based in Heigham Street, Norwich, as an apprentice in 1928.
Mr Holden said: "I had a history teacher who told me something when I was in school which just sort of stuck; he said: 'Holden, you've got a book in you.'
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"It was just one of those itches I just wanted to scratch. But it took a long time and a lot of failed efforts, at least six years writing and probably two-three years before that coming up with ideas. I was interested in doing something historic and then I thought it would be great if it was local too, and the Ketts Rebellion was a massive deal, so what was a pipe-dream became a reality.
"It wasn't clear why Kett did what he did, and it seemed like it was an impulsive decision, the book attempts to answer that question, I give a theory why but no one really knows."
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While writing the book Mr Holden, who is married, came off social media and found time to write whenever he could, often while travelling to meetings. "I did a lot of writing on planes, trains and in hotel rooms, I also took a week's holiday to write which was really nice, not having a deadline for the book meant it had time to really be 'slow cooked.'"
However, when it was finished, Mr Holden decided to self-publish rather than use an agent with a Kindle version and available to buy in paperback on Amazon for £10.99.
"It was a weird feeling letting go, I felt so worried if people would like it, but it was such a worthwhile thing to do, the process of writing was so rewarding, you don't get that creative input from the car industry, you don't get to have a piece of work judged creatively, so it was very novel to experience that."
Mr Holden reckons he'll definitely write a sequel, expanding on some of the fictional characters he created in Sprials of Fate - but he's taking a break first.