Fife-based singer-songwriter James Yorkston has announced the publication of his second fictional novel.
The High and Lonesome Blues of Tommy the Bruce will be released via London-based crowdfunding publisher Unbound, and follows on from the publication of the acclaimed biographical It’s Lovely to be Here – The Touring Diaries of a Scottish Gent in 2011 and his debut novel Three Craws in 2016.
He is also well known to locals via his regular Tae Sup Wi’ A Fifer evenings held at the Adam Smith Theatre.
The High and Lonesome Blues... is precise, chilling and all too believable – scored throughout with a genuinely unsettling menace, belied by the ease of James’ storytelling – it’s a shot of southern Gothic poured out in the Southern Highlands of Scotland.
Tommy Bruce is washed-up already, marooned in a ramshackle hotel he inherited from his parents in the wilds of North Perthshire.
His life is far too off the main tourist trail to be viable – he’s too young to be middle-aged, but too old to be called young.
Saddled with debt, grotty premises that are falling down around him, and loneliness, Tommy’s slowly but determinedly drinking himself and his business out of existence.
Until one evening into the lounge-bar and out of the blue walks Fiona McLean. And before long she’s moved behind the bar, into the hotel, and into Tommy’s bed.
Fiona blows into Tommy’s life and through the hotel, and with the light she brings, Tommy’s fortunes might just be turning around; but in her wake has also slipped in darkness – names and faces from the past who mean Tommy no goodwill at all, criminal forces that threaten to ruin him, the hotel, and what little happiness he’s managed to cobble together.
In Tommy himself we’ve an antihero as unlike his historical namesake as could be imagined – shoulderless, very nearly spineless, until you push him too far.
The novel is available for pre-order now. Supporters can pledge anywhere between £10 to £750 and more, to receive either a digital or hard copy of the book, together with additional perks ranging from limited edition drawings and screenprints by James to a bottle of rare whisky.
All supporters will see their name printed in every edition of the book.
Go to James’ website www.jamesyorkston.co.uk.