Monthly Archives: April 2016

Intensely Alive

2008 el nido to sabang

“Balanced on top of a pile of baggage, wind and dust whipping into our faces, we held on for dear life as our bus plummeted along rarely-traveled mountain roads and on through countless valleys. Never before had my ass had to endure such a continuous beating. Even low hanging branches and power lines became a threat. Every so often, we would warn each other to duck, just in time to avoid being garroted or beheaded. Every minute was worth it, though – and infinitely better than sitting in the sweltering bus, fighting for space with local school children and chickens.
All three of us endured the entire nine hours atop the bus. I felt intensely alive. I savored the moment, secretly hoping our trip would never end. It was one of the best journeys of my life.”

From Paralian, Chapter 26 – Philippine Sea, page 319

I am Liam


“As for the lingering psychological femininity, the successful surgeries had strengthened my resolve even further to embrace the person I had started out being. I would integrate my female side into the male adult I was becoming. I was Liam, and something inside my soul knew with absolute certainty he was who I had been all my life. More than ever, I was confident to not let my life be controlled by clichés and abstract societal constructs. I had just escaped one prison and saw no reason to voluntarily admit myself to the next one. I knew I was a man – not by anyone else’s standards but by my own.”

From Paralian, Chapter 10 – River Limmat, page 130

Great 1st Reading


Last week in London… I had the best audience I could wish for. Thanks so much to the Boston Consulting Group team for the warm welcome and genuine support! If this is how every book presentation will be then I want to give a whole flood of them 🙂

First Reader Comments and The Bookbag Review

Like a magic literary carpet, Paralian has traveled around the world and found its first one hundred readers. So far I am being showered with positive feedback. Many say, “I’m staying up ’till 2am each day ever since I started reading. Just can’t put it down.” (which really is the best compliment a writer could ever receive…)

Also Paralian has just been awarded 4.5 out of 5 stars by The Bookbag. Luke Marlowe has written a beautiful review. My favorite part: “Refreshing, enlightening, and a darn good read, Paralian covers difficult life situations with an optimism and grace that will surprise the coldest of readers, and as such is a read I can heartily recommend to all – I imagine, like me, you’ll come out of the book uplifted and positive by the read.”

Have a click here to see Luke’s entire review!

Here some more reactions I received so far (My dear enthusiastic reader, if yours is amongst these, I hope you don’t mind. You made my day… no, my entire year!)

“My God! What a story…!!!  My God….”

“I have spent the last two weekends absolutely engrossed! Yours is a life of adventure, endurance, persistence, optimism, beauty, love and inspiration. These are the key messages that flow through, despite the very real challenges and difficulties that you have had to navigate, and I love that.”

“Had a quick read of three or four chapters and wow………………..well done sir ! To say that it’s not easy to write a book of this magnitude must be the understatement of the year.”

“I collected the book from my post office this morning and started reading it on the ferry on way to work…. CANNOT PUT IT DOWN NOW! What a FANTASTIC read.

It is a very special book written by a very special person. When I started reading it brought tears of joy to my eyes. Not just because of your writing, but because I know the journey you have taken getting to this point.”

“….. I JUST LOVE IT!!!!!”

Thank you to all! xoxoxo

Paralian is launching on May 28, 2016! It is open for pre-order on Amazon, Troubador, Waterstones, WHSmith, and the Apple ibooks store.

London and Hogwarts

2016 liam in potterland

When my wife and I arrived in London one week ago, we hit the ground running. As soon as we touched down, we sprinted to the studios of Talk Radio London for my first radio interview ever.
I was all nerves but adapted quickly.

We then spent a lovely weekend with old friends, exploring corners off the beaten track and feasting on international delicacies until we felt close to bursting.

On Monday, the 11th, I attended a workshop from The Author School. The day was a fireworks of great advice, inspiration, and an abundance of good-humoured conversation with fellow authors.

This was followed by a marvellous second radio interview on Tuesday – this time with BBC Radio Ulster. Unfortunately not all parts of the pre-recorded interview were aired on the Arts Show that same evening. Marie-Louise Muir quoted some wonderful passages from Paralian. But even though what she said was in effect far better than my comments, the studio decided to keep my input rather than hers. I’m honoured, yet I do regret our listeners not having a chance to listen to Marie-Louise’s smart and compassionate insights as well.

My short visit to London Book Fair convinced me of letting it go for this year. Instead of exhausting myself while facing rejection after rejection, I opted for the joy of the moment and for living life to the fullest. So my spirited soul mate and I ventured into the creative land of MUSE. Their concert at the Millennium Dome rejuvenated and energised us to a point where we still find ourselves humming “they will not control us, we will be victorious” five days later.

Other discoveries proved to be just as enchanting: The land of Vietnamese pho in London’s Chinatown. And a trip through the land of Harry Potter at Warner Bros. studios. J.K. Rowling’s quote “No story lives unless someone wants to listen” in the tour entry hall made my heart skip a beat and set my pulse to a marathon runner’s speed. Thus engaged, the love and detail that went into every element of bringing Rowling’s Potter books to the big screen touched every fibre of my being. Especially standing in front of this 1:24 scale model of Hogwarts Castle gave me several lifetimes’ worth of energy to keep following my dreams.

Then, on Thursday, BCG London opened their doors for me to present Paralian. I am still touched by the warm welcome my wife and I received and by their genuine support. If this is how every book reading will be then I want to give thousands of them.

On Friday, sadly, it was time to leave.

What an unforgettable, successful first week of book promotion though. A week of happiness and content – professionally as well as personally. I am looking forward to heading back to my ‘United Kingdom of Literary Adventures’ beginning of June!

Paralian will be launching on May 28, 2016. It is available for pre-order on Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmith, Apple ibooks store, and Troubador.

A Brief Visit

2016 liam at LBF

I did briefly stop by at this year’s London Book Fair. Just as last year though, it was rather disheartening. How paradoxical to feel more unwanted as an author here in this haven of books than anywhere else on the planet…
Nevertheless, as a passionate book lover it felt great to be there for just a moment. As I gazed upon the impregnable walls around the big publishers’ stands and admired the posters of coming bestsellers, I dreamed that maybe some day one of my books will be promoted alongside them…

My Interview on The Arts Show, Radio BBC Ulster

Yesterday I had the honour to become an active part of the respected BBC Radio Ulster Arts Show. Marie-Louise Muir and I had an inspiring, in-depth chat. Her questions were informed, smart, compassionate, and to the point. It was a real pleasure and I’m delighted to be able to share the link to the interview with you. It’s just 10min, so don’t be shy and listen in. It’s just 10min, so don’t be shy and listen in 🙂

Interview with Yasmeen Khan, Talk Radio London

A friend of mine – in Berlin no less – alerted me to the link through which you can re-visit the radio interview I gave on Friday for Talk Radio London. Just click on 18:00-18:30, then fast-forward a little. A few minutes in you’ll find me talking to Yasmeen Khan. Turn up the volume. I was tad bit too soft-spoken I guess 🙂

My 1st Radio Interview Tonight!

Heading to London for an adventurous week of interviews, book promos, and – of course – the London Book Fair. TONIGHT, I’ve got my very first radio interview (ever) with Talk Radio London! Tune in from 6pm (BST – British Summer Time) to hear me discussing Paralian on “Drive Time” with Yasmeen Khan while hopefully not embarrassing myself too badly wink emoticon You can listen here:

A Lesson From Mr. Bojangles

2013 horse and liam

A little taste from Chapter 7, ‘Atlantic Ocean’:

As I turned with Cinnebar to walk her out of the paddock, Mr. Bojangles closed the distance between us in a few powerful strides. Shocked, I turned towards him. He reared up and kicked me in the stomach with the full force of both his hind legs. Suddenly I was on the ground, struggling to catch a breath. Excruciating pain shot through my entire abdominal region.
I had fallen very close to the fence. Instinct took over and I rolled under the wire to safety. As I slowly caught my breath, I could see my host mom, Katie, through the kitchen window, shaking her head.
Feeling sorry for myself, I walked indoors hoping for some reassuring pats on the back. “Should have stood your ground,” Katie told me, in a voice hard as steel. “You should have gotten back on no matter how much it hurt or how scared you were. You’ll never be able to go into that paddock again.” She was right. Mr. Bojangles never respected me again. From then on, the moment I approached the fence, he would run at me, his head held high, his nostrils flaring.
The metaphorical significance of my experience didn’t escape me. I had rolled under the fence too often as a child. For most of my early school life, I had stood quietly in a corner, trying to avoid bruises and flying spittle. Mr. Bojangles taught me the need to believe in myself and face my opponents, no matter how unpleasant the experience might turn out to be. I needed to respect myself enough to stand up in the face of adversity. How else would I ever manage to belong in the world?