Having a fresh mint tea – a well deserved treat after heroically queuing for an hour in the rain to get tickets for the London aquarium. In a little while I’ll head over there for the next treat: a chat with a journalist about Paralian underneath the gently undulating wings of stingrays…
BOOK LAUNCH RELEASE WEEK Paralian: Not just transgender By Liam Klenk Author interview opportunities: Liam Klenk is currently flying into London from Zurich and will be in the UK as part of his book launch press tour and available for face-to-face, telephone and in-studio interviews this week (30th May to 3rd June).…
Read full press release here: Paralian: Not Just Transgender – Book Release Week – Author Interview Opportunities
Author of Paralian: Not Just Transgender (Memoir, Paperback, 28th May 2016)
When did you first sit down to write your memoir?
In my head I’ve been writing for more than 10 years. Resting in bed, on public transportation, whenever I had a minute to reflect I’d catch myself writing paragraphs for my book. I actually sat down to physically write it in October 2013 on Lamma Island in Hong Kong.
Read more directly at the source. Thanks so much to my great PR company LiterallyPR!
I’ve always been a big fan of CSI Las Vegas (well mostly the “Gil Grissom era”). I love the humanity, the thoughtfulness, and careful development of characters. The gentle fallibility, the dry yet always respectful and kind humor and, more than anything, I adore the always non-judgmental approach no matter which little corner of human diversity the series highlights. No finger is pointed and there is no blame. They really cut to the core of what it means to be human.
Anyways, my partner and I are in the delightfully long process of binge-watching all seasons yet again. Yesterday we re-watched an episode that highlights the transgender community (Ch-Ch-Changes, Season 5, Episode 8).
One scene in particular stands out. Grissom meets Mimosa, a beautiful transgender dancer, the friend of a murdered trans woman. Mimosa explains to Grissom what it feels like to discover and be aware you are trans in a beautiful, simple metaphor: “Imagine being three years old, tormented by the sensation that you have the wrong parts. Your body is like a foreign country and you’re stuck without a passport. All because in your first trimester your X and Y-chromosomes split off and went different directions. Girl soul – boy body.”
In my case it was girl body – boy soul but, oh my, I seriously could never have explained this any better or more accurately.
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!
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’ 😀
“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 🙂
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.
“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.