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Advice from IR Approved Author Tim Holden: I believe there is real benefit in letting your subconscious slow cook the plot while you’re not writing.”

Spirals of Fate received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Tim Holden.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

Spirals of Fate. November 2019

What’s the book’s first line? 

Robert Kett preferred to gamble only what he was willing to lose.

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”. 

The question at the heart of the book is why did Robert Kett, a man with much to lose, do what he did? Aged 57, he led a very large rebellion in Tudor England. What began as a peaceful protest against various injustices, including land enclosure (an activity Kett also practiced), swelled into a violent expression of discontent against the ruling classes. Basically stuff got way outta hand!

The real reasons for Kett’s participation are lost to history, but in the book I offer a working theory on the assumption that his motivations will have been emotional, complicated and subject to various internal and external influences.

I also like exploring the challenges of leadership; specifically why the main protagonists on either side of the confrontation were unable to impose order and control on the events they oversaw. Their agendas were subject to interference and manipulation by those whose who had their own interests to consider. Likewise it shows the impact on the leaders as the events spiral out of hand, and the stakes get higher and higher.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event? 

I had wanted to write a book for some time and had endured various false starts, yet my heart kept saying you need to do this. I enjoyed reading historical fiction as a genre and have always had an interest in the past, so I thought I’d start by seeing if I could find any interesting events that had occurred in my locality. It was then I chanced upon Kett’s rebellion, which I’d never even heard of. As I learned about it, I can remember vividly thinking ‘wow, this is it – the story I’ve been looking for ’. Some of the events  recorded, you couldn’t make up. I thought, more people need to know about this episode in our past. I believe if you know about the past, the environment takes on a richer feel to it, as you can imagine the events taking place where you now stand. Makes places seem more alive, to me anyway.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book? 

Great characters, real people. This is a really character based story. I was determined to make history the outcome of individuals’ actions, as opposed to a set of events in train, that the characters were washed along with. It’s from multiple points of view so you get to see all sides of the events. You’ll be rooting for some characters and against others, which I think makes it a real page turner as you see who comes out on top and who doesn’t.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character?  Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?

The main character, Robert Kett, makes a small, impulsive decision early on and then, as a result of his actions, finds himself placed in increasingly challenging circumstances. More tough decisions lead him down a path to which there is no turning back.  At each juncture, he’s trying to do the right thing by others, which increasingly places himself further in harm’s way. Something that deep down he always suspected might be the case, yet did it anyway. For many years history painted him as a villain, but my contention is he was motivated by trying to stick up for others less fortunate than himself.  I’d prefer not say who he reminds me of…

If they made your book into a movie, who would you like to see play the main character(s)?

Mark Rylance.

When did you first decide to become an author?

When I was 14, my history teacher made a throwaway remark about my ‘having a book in me one day’. That seed took root, and my subconscious kept telling me you need to try this. 25 years later, I got it done!

Is this the first book you’ve written?


What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

I run my family business, a group of car dealerships.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

Not as much as I’d like. 1 day a week, with other chunks of time snatched here and there, whenever possible.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?  

Best: creating a world in your imagination filled with characters that after a while become very real in your mind.

Worst: poor suppliers. You pour so much energy and effort into your work, when you have to pass it to others to edit, format, etc and they don’t respond in a professional manner, that is frustrating.

What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?

When I was learning, lots of people said: make sure write every day, even if its rubbish, it’s the habit that counts. I disagree. This creates a burden and pressure which can be unhelpful. Just carve out some regular time and write then. Anything on top is a bonus. I believe there is real benefit in letting your subconscious slow cook the plot while you’re not writing.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling?  If so, why?  

Don’t know. Would be a nice problem to have!

Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)

The joy is in the work. Flexing your creativity. A positive outcome for the work, is a welcome bonus.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

Ken Follett. Love his characters. Love his historical attention to detail.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

Pillars of the Earth (by Ken Follett). How he had the foresight to make a book about a cathedral so interesting, is really impressive.