A devilish brew in Tom’s new book

Tom Hubbard with his latest book. Pic: FPA
Tom Hubbard with his latest book. Pic: FPA

A local author has claimed his greatest achievement in life is his new novel.

Tom Hubbard’s latest book, ‘The Lucky Charm of Major Bessop’, is his most sustained work of imagination.

I try not think too much about research as I like characters to develop on their own

Tom Hubbard

Tom (65), who was born and bred in Kirkcaldy, is no stranger to the literary world.

His first dabble into poetry was in 1988 and saw his work released alongside three other Fife writers in a collection of poetry entitled ‘Four Fife Poets’.

It was soon followed by an academic book about Robert Louis Stevenson.

The semi- retired university lecturer has released 11 other books to date.

His three previous works of fiction have their history steeped in Fife, a theme that Tom wanted to continue in the present one.He said: “My latest book can be looked at as a follow on from my previous work, ‘Fringe of Gold’.

“You have the story, and the way that the mostly over the top characters relate to each other. I hope that there is a lot for the reader to explore and discover.

“There is so much history here in the Kingdom that’s just begging to be explored.”

The novel mixes story with poetry praising Fife landscape and its folk culture .

“The story is set mostly in a boys’ boarding school,” Tom continued.

“A wee lad, much bullied, disappears.

“It is mainly set in a bleak but beautiful part of Fife with one leading character coming from the American South.

“But then boarding schools and the Southern States are both great sources for sinister and eccentric characters.

“Mix them together and you get a right devilish brew!” he added.

Tom isn’t one to just enjoy a rest after a book has been published. He is already looking ahead to the next one.

He said: “I like to mix it up a bit and do a novel then do a much more academic-based book.

“After a short break, I will be looking at beginning to start work editing a book about the American-British writer, Henry James.

“I try not think too much about research as I like characters to develop on their own, but with a non-fiction book, you have to get your facts right!

“I’m looking forward to it because if I didn’t have anything to do, it would drive me nuts!”

A strange mystery in Fife...

‘The Lucky Charm of Major Bessop’ tells the tale of a vulnerable and bullied boy who suddenly vanishes from a boarding school in an austerely beautiful part of Fife.

Something isn’t quite right about the disappearance.

Is it a tragedy, a farce or both?

Tom’ Hubbard’s latest novel is available now.