3 more days to launch!!!

1974 summer sandbox-small

Only 3 more days to launch!!!
And yes, I do feel as pumped and ready for adventure as I did all those years ago when I created castles and sand cakes in my little sandbox.

As if the book odyssey isn’t exciting enough yet, something fantastic happened two days ago:
A Book Awards Committee from the US contacted me!
Each year, the LGBT Round Table of the American Library Association (ALA) honors current books of exceptional merit with significant gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender themes for its Stonewall awards.
They have chosen Paralian to be one of the books they will consider for the awards this year.
I am so delighted (and tempted to put hundreds of exclamation marks into this message!!!) I’ll send out review copies to the ten jurors soon……… then you’ll all need to start keeping fingers crossed until January 2017… which is when the winners will be announced!

Only 7 More Days

Hellooo, good morning, and a resounding whoop from the geographical center of Europe! Only 7 more days until the official launch of Paralian. Just sayin’😀

2013 mohammeds coffee on kuredu

A Captivating, Powerful Story

“This is a fascinating and inspiring memoir from a man who has faced life head on and lived it to the full. Liam Klenk was adopted, had an unconventional childhood and as he became an adult, his differences made him search for answers. Klenk describes himself as being born into a female body, yet this memoir explores many other avenues, as the title says – this novel is ‘Not Just Transgender’. Klenk writes with a raw honesty, he has a matter of fact way of describing the adversity he has lived with, which makes the story even more intensely powerful. Klenk has become a strong, independent, thoughtful man, who is very self aware. ‘Paralian: Not Just Transgender’ gives you the chance to hear a captivating story, I marvelled at Klenk’s mental strength, willed him to overcome the difficulties he faced, and I appreciate very much indeed, that I’ve had the chance to read his story.”

Great review by Liz Robinson of Lovereading.co.uk. Thanks very much! The photograph is courtesy of my good friend Gaby who’s recently been enjoying Paralian at the ocean. The perfect place to read it:)

gaby hafner

Countdown and Another Excerpt…

1977 sylt lighthouse with mom

In exactly 14 more days Paralian will be launching!
Nothing earth-shattering will happen when it does…
Our planet won’t stop spinning.
The sun will rise and set just like on any other day.
I won’t get a phone call from Robert Redford or Ang Lee that they’d love to turn my book into a movie.
Stephen Fry won’t want to meet up for a coffee…
Still, it’s an important, uplifting story to be told. A tale about overcoming difficulty and the power of optimism. Moreover, Paralian is the fulfilment of a life-long dream and, no matter what happens or doesn’t happen, that’s more than enough.

“For years, I had puzzled over being the only dark-haired, darker-complexioned person in our family. My emotional make-up and character didn’t quite seem to fit with the rest of my family either. I had kept searching for similarities between my parents and me, as every child does, and had found none. But my mom Hildegard had been very convincing as to our shared blood. She had scared me with stories of how her multitude of hereditary afflictions would manifest themselves in me as I grew older. She had a large goiter on her neck as well as suffering from acute asthma. I had inherited both from her, she insisted, and would suffer as she did eventually. No matter how unpleasant the knowledge, no matter how lost I felt, and whatever life threw at me while growing up, at least I had always been secure in the knowledge of who my family was. It proved to be quite dysfunctional at times, but it was a family. But now, with my dad’s revelation, the truths on which I had based my life shattered into a million pieces.” (Excerpt from Paralian, Chapter 1)

Available for preorder on Amazon, Troubador.co.uk, Apple ibooks store, Waterstones and WHSmith.

Never Just Transgender

Liam Klenk, author of Paralian: Not just transgender, examines the public’s view of transgender people in the wake of the toilet debate in America… (Thanks to Vada Magazine!)

Immersed

2009 last snorkel with nico

“I finally reached the shore, out of breath and delighted, longing for more and feeling intensely alive. I had glimpsed boundless strength and passion within myself. For just an instant out there, in the arms of the Atlantic Ocean, I had felt beautiful.” (Excerpt from Paralian, Chapter 7)

I remember seeing the ocean for the first time when I was around four years old. Discovering the ocean changed my young life. It was a revelation. I threw myself into the cold churning waves, balloon-like arm floats encircling my tiny arms. Goose bumps quickly covered my entire body as I savoured the taste and the sensation of a living entity enveloping my body. My soul felt rested and at home while at the same time sensing danger and fragility. Whatever might happen to me in the years to come, I would always draw solace and strength from the ocean.

Gently lapping waves, roaring rapids or anything in between, any body of water has an immediate impact on my emotional state – I change, grow stronger, more focused. My heartbeat slows to a steady, comfortable rhythm. Even just dipping my toes, I am home, respectful of my environment, yet fearless, vivid, and at one with myself.

I love the power and unpredictability of this life-giving element. I love its beauty, it’s million hues of turquoise and blue, the way the sun’s rays break when trying to penetrate deep below. Like a million sparkling stars the warm reflections dance in tune to their own ballet of life.

Especially gliding weightlessly underwater, I feel in tune with this blue symphony. Clumsy on land, stumbling, unsure of myself, and perpetually awkward within my own body, I transform as soon as I am in the powerful arms of my blue home. Underwater I am graceful. I feel self-assured, handsome, completely at ease with the world and with my entire self. As I glide along the reef, I watch the interactions of the sea creatures amongst each other. I surrender to the waves and currents, working with them rather than against them to get where I want to go. As I let the ocean move me along, I glimpse answers, verve, serenity, awe, happiness… and, as my every day worries fall away from me one by one, life is put into perspective. I find myself with a twinkle in the eye (both eyes really), breathing deeply, doing somersaults underwater, glad to be alive.

A Maldivian Evening

2009 riding shoulders boat crew dinner

Here another little taste of Paralian, just for you… only 20 more days until official launch!

“It was a glorious evening. Everyone was touched. Captain Ismail had whittled a beautiful scale-model dhoni for me, so I would never forget my life on the remodeled Maldivian fishing boats. Anecdotes were exchanged, most rather unfavorable of me – such as the full-day trip when I had decided to take a dump in the dhoni’s head just as we stopped to pick up a group of divers. My turds had floated right by them, creating a memory to amuse boat crews for years to come.
After dinner, the boat crews broke out in song and carried me on their shoulders. For an instant, I was concerned they might be able to feel the absent penis between my legs. Then I told myself to stop being silly, relax, and enjoy the moment. After all, I had always been safe in their capable hands. We shared tea and ate more delicious reef fish, celebrating our mutual respect until very late.” (Excerpt from Chapter 27 – Noonu Atoll)

Paralian is available for preorder from Apple iBooks store, Troubador.co.uk, Amazon.co.uk (and other countries), Waterstones, and WHSmith.