Thom’s stroke of inspiration

Thom Cross with his new book 'The Scottish swimmer of Columbia'
Thom Cross with his new book 'The Scottish swimmer of Columbia'

WELL-travelled author Thom Cross has drawn on some of his own experiences for his new book ‘The Scottish Swimmer of Colombia’.

Originally from Kirkcaldy, 68-year-old Thom, who now lives in Carluke, spent 35 years living in the Caribbean and travelled to the impoverished South American country to watch his son Andrei, who competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, compete in a swimming event.

His experiences inspired him to write the book described as an adult thriller.

Thom said: “I went to Colombia to watch Andrei compete in a city called Medellín (home of notorious drug baron Pablo Escobar).

“I found it extraordinary; I lived in Kingston in Jamaica which was violent but had never seen anything like this.

“This is my first novel and it draws on my own experiences and is autobiographical at times.

“It tells the story of a young man, from Kirkcaldy, named Willie Henderson who goes to Colombia with his girlfriend to coach swimming.

“She gets killed over there and he has to find out who the perpetrators are; it’s a classic ‘Whodunnit?’

“The lead character is a little naive at the start of the novel and he has to fight his way through the lawlessness of Colombia to find out who assassinated his girlfriend.”

Thom spent 35 years in both Jamaica and Barbados where he was a drama teacher and playwright.

He returned to Scotland in 2007 and has enjoyed being back home.

“I always wanted to come back home and have had to rediscover the Scottish tongue,” said Thom.

“I love spending time with my two grandchildren who live in Law and I am now a member of Carluke Bowling Club.

“I have always enjoyed writing and can write up to three hours every morning.”

>> The book is available at