Tag Archives: #LBF

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: https://lnkd.in/ewr78mw

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?

An Over-The-Moon Author

The enchanted moment when I saw my book for the very first time… with a touch of Twilight Zone due to having multiple copies of myself staring right back at me in high resolution 😉

2016 book arrived-liam happy

Postal Marathon

2016 book arrived-bocelli in box

This last week was a high-speed marathon involving serious family team work (and a pinch of drama):
The first 100 copies of Paralian arrived at my dad’s place in Germany beginning of the week.
Dad managed to organize stamps and boxes after battling rigid German postal authorities.
I spent hours (days really) soothing my slightly panicked and overstrained parent over Skype.
Then Hanna and I arrived yesterday to a perfect postal workshop set-up in Dad’s living room.
Turns out he even made a gadget out of a sponge and a butter tray to help us wet stamps.
Hanna and I rolled up those proverbial sleeves and proceeded to spend hours on the living room floor, postal paraphernalia spread out all around us.
Bocelli, Dad’s cat, watched over the boxes and made sure we packed them correctly.
Seven hours later all books were inscribed and packaged, ready to be sent out to the 100 amazing people who together donated over 10’000 USD towards Paralian.
At 1am we loaded the packages into Dad’s car to be mailed to every corner of the world after Easter.
2am saw Hanna and I driving back to Zurich… with me spending an hour slapping myself to avoid falling asleep at the wheel.
While Bocelli is most likely still guarding the odd box or two today, I’m home, feeling the aftermath of our postal marathon. I am flat on the couch, hardly moving a muscle, just breathing in and out… catching my breath and snuggling under several warm blankets. I’m a lucky guy.

Arrival in Paradise

2006 sunny c-block

A little taste of ‘Paralian’ from my time in the Maldives… Arrival in paradise…

“The staff accommodation set up was very amusing. I was reminded of Alcatraz as Judith showed me A-Block, B-Block, and C-Block as each small accumulation of staff rooms was called. My solitary confinement dwelling was located in C-Block, a long L-shaped building with many small doors, leading to very small rooms. Judith and her partner Rowan had secured an air conditioning unit for my little sanctuary. Some other people were bound to leave soon. I hoped to scrounge a few pieces of furniture and decorations from them. As I stood in the doorway of C-7 I realized that there wasn’t much need for decorations since there was hardly any space for them. Each of our rooms was about six square meters, with barely enough room to squeeze between the queen-sized bed, night table and wardrobe to reach the bathroom door.”

Launching on May 28, 2016! You can already preorder from Troubador, Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmith, and the Apple ibooks store.