A Delicate Subject

We heard today that Billy Connolly the great comedian and actor, has had an operation for prostate cancer. Thankfully it seems he will fully recover and that the cancer has been treated early but it reminded us of a time back in July 2012 when one of our authors, Michael Cameron, surprised us somewhat when he wrote a rather unusual posting on his blog  (www.michaelcameron.co.uk). We’d juts published his psychological thriller Billy Christ and we knew that he was working on a comedy that we’d also commissioned, so we naturally expected that his blog postings at that time would be along the lines of his then current pre-occupations – promotion for Billy Christ and the ardours of writing comedy –after all that’s what authors do, isn’t it? They blog about their books. That’s the only reason they have  a blog, surely?

So back in July 2012, when we thought he was writing about  a dysfunctional family – at that time called the Cohens, subsequently called the Brinkmeyers – it seemed way off-track to suddenly be writing about ill-health – specifically that curse of the middle aged man – prostate health!

OK – so a lot of you just stopped reading!  The word prostate has that effect – you can talk about breast cancer, ovarian cancer even testicular cancer but very few of us like to talk about prostate cancer or the diseases that small, well concealed gland can be prone to. As parts of the body go and their related illnesses, it’s about as popular a subject for dinner-table talk among the chattering classes as discussing dog poo or religion – both of which are definitely out of vogue right now. But here was Michael writing not one but three posts on a subject related to what his daughter called, ‘men’s dangly bits.’

It was puzzling. We had to ask why. After all, being one of our authors we like to keep an eye on his blog and we like to help promote his posts whenever we can – as we do for all our authors. But this seemed a little ‘off’ message, you might say.

It turned out that there was a reason – actually several reasons for what became a three part series of posts: first, the provocative side of Michael liked the idea of writing about a disease most men shy away from discussing – even though a surprisingly high proportion of them might have to face up to a prostrate related illness when they are over the age of fifty, especially if they smoke or are over-weight; second, for such a common illness there is surprisingly little written about what you might call the lesser prostate diseases – the non-cancerous ones; and finally he’d been ill with chronic prostatitis for some time – and was shocked at his own ignorance of the illness when it was diagnosed and at the lack of  information available on the subject.

So he wrote about his experiences, what he learnt from being ill and above all about the fear that ignorance can lead to. And in writing about it, he found a bizarrely humorous aspect to it all.

If you’re a man who’s had prostate problems you may find his posts interesting -and even if you haven’t had prostate problems you may find these posts informative – so might you also if you’re a woman who knows a man with prostate problems… hey, even if you’re a woman who simply knows a man, there’s some interesting stuff to find out in these posts. We recommend taking a look. Here’s the link to the first post:  http://michaelcameron.co.uk/?p=223

Anyway, we thought it was nice to find a writer who didn’t just post about his own books… Well, up to a point – turns out Hymie Brinkmeyer the main protagonist in Michael’s new novel –  is fat, over fifty and unfit…and guess what? Yep, he has chronic prostatitis but in our opinion, if anyone can make that part of a romantic comedy and get away with it, they deserve to have a hit on their hands.

Perhaps you might like to read the posts and the book. We do hope so.


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