As the author of several books, including The Timecrack Adventures series, and another two due for publication later this year, I’m frequently asked: ‘How did you ever come to write a book so late in life?’
The answer from other authors when asked the same question, sometimes lies with the fact they were avid readers since childhood and the urge to write probably started there. Others, however, were only triggered to write their book by an unforgettable event that occurred in their lifetime. One example, is that of someone who fought through a terrible war and needed to write about their experience of fighting futile battles. There are countless other examples, of course, and mine was certainly a mixture of the two: as a childhood reader and later in life, my cancer experience.
My first book An Unexpected Diagnosis was set in motion by the news given to me by a consultant urologist, that my most recent PSA test had confirmed the presence of prostate cancer. As I’d experienced no symptoms before the test, to say I was shocked by the diagnosis, would be a massive understatement on how I felt.
During my post-op time in hospital, I reflected on the notes I had made on the course of my treatment, before and after the course of my prostatectomy, which is the removal of the whole of the prostate. What I recollected were some unexpected moments, humorous and serious, which I thought would make for an interesting story; perhaps, for other men facing the same diagnosis.
When I finished the story, it was picked up by my surgeon’s secretary, and after reading it, she passed it on to other members of the medical staff. As it was a, somewhat, tongue-in-cheek tale of my experience, it apparently appealed to the readers, with requests for more copies to pass on to friends. There were also suggestions it should be published.
The idea of publication appealed to me. However, it was still essentially a short story. So, after searching through some fictional Irish short stories I had written, I decided on a selection and added them to An Unexpected Diagnosis as the lead story and the title of the book. The additional collection of short stories would add more content, I thought, and be more appealing to readers.
As it turned out, it was reviewed and well received. The collection is now available as an eBook: https://williamlongbooks.co.uk/books/an-unexpected-diagnosis/