Meet the Author Monday: Suzan Holder

Suzan Holder

It’s Meet the Author Monday! Each week we meet a new author and get to know a little about them, their writing process, publishing experience, and tips for other writers. Today we’re talking to Suzan Holder, author of Rock ‘n’ Rose.

About Suzan Holder:

Real rock wife Suzan, wife of former Slade frontman Noddy Holder, has written another ‘rock n’ roll rom-com’ to follow her Beatles themed debut ‘Shake It Up, Beverley’.

Journalist and TV producer Suzan once again weaves her love for music into a hilarious and heart-warming story that is uplifting and laugh-out-loud funny.

Suzan says: “I love that my books celebrate music and have been inspired by my own life experience of living in a slightly crazy, rock ‘n’ roll, rom-com world…some of the weirdest and funniest stories in the books really have happened to me!”

Suzan Holder trained as a newspaper journalist and worked on regional and national newspapers before moving into TV. She produced a variety of television news and lifestyle programmes and was executive producer of ITV’s daytime network show ‘Loose Women’. She is a monthly columnist for Cheshire Life Magazine and appears regularly on radio.

Suzan has one son, two step-daughters and two step grand-children. Originally from the West Midlands Suzan now lives with Noddy Holder in Cheshire, they have been together for 32 years.

About Rock ‘n’ Rose:

In the summer of 1960, eighteen-year-old Rose Featherstone took a trip to Memphis that changed her life. Now, Rose confesses to her granddaughter, Daisy, that she returned home with more than just memories all those years ago – she was carrying Elvis Presley’s child!

Daisy is sure the claim can’t be true, and yet, what if it is? When her grandmother passes away soon after her startling revelation and leaves Daisy with a ticket to Memphis, Tennessee, Daisy decides it’s time to discover the truth. She’s always struggled to fit in but this trip might just show her the benefits of being born to stand out. And especially when she meets Joe Cody, aka Officer Blue Eyes…

Author Interview with Suzan Holder:

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  1. What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

After reading ‘Labyrinth’ by Kate Mosse I felt compelled to visit Carcassonne, the ancient walled city in France where her historical books are set. 

‘Letters From New York’ by Helene Hanff, author of ‘84 Charing Cross Road’ made me desperate to see New York and I re-read the book on the plane over to get myself in a New York state of mind.

When my son Django moved to Liverpool to go to university I was visiting him a lot and the city inspired my first book ‘Shake It Up, Beverley’ about a Beatles fan looking for love.

A trip I made to Memphis when I was 25 totally inspired my latest book ‘Rock ‘n’ Rose’. I wanted to capture the music and excitement of the place in a story and take readers behind the Music Gates of Graceland. I needed to return to the Southern States before I could write the book so my husband and I went on an incredible trip to Memphis, Nashville and New Orleans and then ended up in Vegas. I think I’ve got enough material for another book out of all that!

  1. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I signed a 2 book deal with One More Chapter, Harper Collins with an option on the third. My editor said with my first two books I’ve written a couple of ‘rom-coms for rock chicks’ and I’m thrilled with that! My first book ‘Shake It Up, Beverley’ is about a middle-aged Beatles fan who gets into trouble looking for love. My latest book ‘Rock ‘n’ Rose is set in Memphis and has a young woman trying to solve a mysterious family connection to Elvis and falling in love with a Memphis hunk. With both books I’ve woven my own love for music in and around the story. They are both very separate stories but they are connected in the way they celebrate music. My third book will be in the same style, about another musical icon, but I’m keeping their identity secret for now. 

  1. What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?

My characters have traits and quirks all inspired by a wide variety of people but no one character is based on one real person. The real people I DO owe EVERYTHING to however are the real-life musical icons that I have written about as part of the stories. If Elvis was still alive I would sent him a copy of ‘Rock ‘n’ Rose’ to Graceland. As it stands I have sent one to Priscilla. It’s important to me that Elvis’s friends, family and fans know that I have written a book to honour his music and his memory and it’s been written with love and respect. 

Similarly my first book had a backdrop of The Beatles and I was absolutely overwhelmed with the support I had from The Beatles community. My book launch was held at The Liverpool Beatles Museum on Mathew St which is owned by Roag Best, brother of original Beatles drummer Pete Best. Mike McCartney, Paul’s brother came along with his wife Rowena and then … and I still can’t believe I am typing this … Paul McCartney himself asked me for a copy and offered me a £20 note for it!! I declined of course. That man has given us enough! 

  1. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

My first two books have included a lot of things I already THOUGHT I knew a lot about before I started. But, as a former journalist I know how to research and cross check my facts. I don’t just trust Google and where possible I visit locations, speak to people and read as much as I can about any places, people and events I want to write about. 

Time wise it simply takes as long as it takes. I’m currently doing my background research for my next book and I have no idea when I will feel ready to stop researching and start writing. When it feels right I will know. 

  1. What are the ethics of writing about historical figures?

As I have included The Beatles and Elvis Presley in my first two books I have been very conscious that I wanted to write with love and respect. I have read books in the past, particularly about Elvis, that have been really nasty and hurtful. I don’t understand why anyone would do that? Who is it for? People who don’t like the artist wouldn’t want to read the book anyway and those fans who do love them would never want to read anything like that! 

I have tried to stick to the accepted, true versions of stories about them and if I have taken any artistic license here and there when my own characters have ‘interacted’ with them I wanted them to appear true to their personalities and behave as people would like to believe they would. 

  1. If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?

I have always worked in jobs that involved writing one way or another. 

I began my career as a newspaper journalist then moved into TV production writing scripts. When my son was small I stepped back from television and started teaching drama to kids. That led to writing play scripts that sold all over the world to theatre companies.

I have written a play and I would like to do more of that, maybe write a film or TV screenplay also as well as more books.

  1. Does your family support your career as a writer?

My husband has been in the music business for many years. He is Noddy Holder, former singer with the rockband Slade. He has been an incredible support. He believed I could do this more than I believed it myself. I didn’t think I would ever get a publishing deal but he says he always thought I would do it. I’ve been so busy writing for the last couple of years I don’t think I would have hardly eaten anything if he hadn’t kept bringing me snacks, cups of tea and cooking the dinner! He is great at giving me advice on interviews and appearances on TV and radio.

My son Django is my go-to sounding board. He doesn’t mind me bouncing ideas off him or reading bits out as I’m working things out. Noddy likes to wait until it’s finished before he reads anything but together they are a dream team. 

  1. Describe your writing space. 

I do have a lovely, messy little office but I do like to take my laptop and write in all sorts of different places. I don’t mind background noise or people milling about so working in cafes works well for me. My office is crammed full of all sorts of crazy things from our travels with pictures on every inch of the walls. It overlooks the garden and is so small I can sit on my chair and pretty much reach things on every shelf around me without having to get up from my desk.

  1. Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say? 

When I published my first book ‘Shake It Up, Beverley’ HarperCollins advised me to start up a Facebook Author Page. I had no idea if anyone would join me there but actually it’s turned into a lovely, friendly little community where I am getting great support and feedback for my books.

I seem to get as many men as women talking to me about my books. I think the musical connections pull them in but they also enjoy a romantic comedy as much as anyone! 

I am honestly staggered by the lovely things people say about how much they enjoy the books and how much my writing makes them laugh! I mean … I can never hear that enough! It’s Brilliant!! 

  1. Where can readers purchase your books? 

The links below link to Amazon:

If readers want to support an independent bookshop they can use this link:

Signed copies are also available from this shop – Simply Books – but you have to call or email the shop to order those

To learn more about Suzan Holder, here’s where you can find her:

Facebook: Suzan Holder Author
Twitter: @HolderSuzan
Instagram: @SuzHolder15

Meet the Author Book Promotion

Published by Kelly Schuknecht

Kelly Schuknecht is a marketer with a background in the publishing industry. She is passionate about all things related to books and loves helping authors navigate the world of social media for book promotion. She recently launched the course Marketing Your Book on TikTok.

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