Tag Archives: #worthreading

Bookmuse Review of Paralian

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Wonderful review of Paralian by Bookmuse.
Take a timeout from whatever you’re doing right now and read it here 🙂
Heartfelt thanks to Bookmuse and reviewer JJ Marsh!

Heading into Cerulean Blue

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A long-awaited vacation is coming up… this exhausted author urgently needs two weeks of sunshine and ocean! But before I head out, I wanted to extend a BIG THANK YOU to all of you.
These past 10 days, you’ve all helped so much to push my Bored Panda story.

Because of your support, your multiple shares, likes and up-votes we’ve managed to reach 10’000 people so far!!! That is incredible. I’m humbled. Thank you for caring and being there!
It seems it still wasn’t quite enough to reach the numbers Bored Panda requires for a featured story. But it doesn’t matter. We did our best and got farther than I ever dreamed possible. People are still looking at the page as we speak.

I received countless messages, ranging from heartfelt thank you notes for sharing my story, to people seeking advice, to others writing scorching hate mail. Well, as a professor of mine used to say, “Nice doesn’t cut it. Only if people either love it or hate it have you truly touched a nerve.” It seems we have. And I’m glad we did. Together, I believe, we’ve made a little bit of difference.

So now Paralian is packing his bags to go underwater for a little while. Gliding stealthily amongst reef fish and predators like I used to – at one with myself and the world. I’ll be exploring new territory. The Red Sea is calling. Can’t wait to dive into its cerulean, invigorating depths!!!

Conquering those Mountains…

2013 at lake minnewanka

“As a teenager, I started to feel like a dwindling army, spread over too many fronts. Slowly but surely, I spiraled into a deep depression.
My parents were in no position to help me. Apart from me witnessing their arguments, their involvement in my daily life was minimal. They were too deeply entangled with their own demons. I never felt free to openly discuss my problems and thoughts with them. They rarely helped with homework, teenage angst and insecurities. I had no choice but to overcome all obstacles by myself.
Gradually, the stress at home, alongside my other troubles, became too much for me to handle. I became suicidal. During this phase of my life, I frequently jumped up onto bridge railings, despite being probably the worst athlete anyone had ever laid eyes on. With no sense of balance or coordination, I would teeter at the edge of the abyss. One part of me hoping I would fall and wondering who would notice or care. Another part of me shaking my heavy head at my stupidity and wanting to live, to live a full life more than anything.
Thankfully, these moments of tempting fate taught me how much I loved being alive. After only a few months of contemplating taking my own life, I dug deep and found courage. And I made a decision: whenever faced with seemingly insurmountable problems, I would do my best to stop running, stop resisting and instead choose to embrace them.”
(Excerpt from “Paralian: Not Just Transgender”, Chapter 5, “Swabian Ocean”)

I’ve experienced times like these more than once over the years (and probably will again).
It just got too much sometimes as I became a sherpa struggling through my very own Himalayan mountain ranges. As life added bag by bag to my load, the weight began crushing me. Labouring on, lonely, caught in a storm, the air thinning with every step I took, it seemed soothing and attractive to simply jump off the edge of a cliff and have it done with.

I am glad I never jumped. It’s not just a cliche: there always IS a way. And life is damn beautiful precisely because those forbidding mountain ranges sometimes rise up way too high in front of us. So we go forward, put one proverbial, optimistic hiking boot in front of the other, over and over, until we conquer those mountains. We have the strength to do it more than once in life if we have to. And along the way, throughout our journey, we discover moments of pure happiness we’d never have found otherwise.

Paralian – engaging, chatting, and listening to my readers

A few weeks ago a fellow author and creator of a new pop-up-shop asked me why I like going to book festivals and signings and why personal contact to my readers means so much to me. I tried to give a short, condensed answer, and here it is, only 3 min long, on both YouTube and Vimeo 🙂

 

Reading bits from Paralian

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Reading bits from Paralian during yet another successful book presentation in Dusseldorf last Friday. A big thank you to BCG for giving me the opportunity! I love presenting and treasure direct contact to my readers. First London, then San Francisco, now Dusseldorf… next up is a keynote speech at a book meet in Southampton on Sept 4th.

Liam Klenk on life and being transgender…

LiamYouTube

Sharing a bit about the transgender part of my life journey on YouTube and Vimeo

What it felt like growing up in the wrong body and how a book helped me realize I was trans… How I risked it all to give myself a chance at life; the reactions of family, friends, and employers…  About optimism and overcoming difficulty and about the dangers still ever-present for trans individuals.

Bottom line: you’re beautiful, just the way you are. Don’t let yourself be limited because of the cards you’ve been given. Live life to the fullest. There are endless possibilities!

More info about my book “Paralian: Not Just Transgender” on my website.

Paralian is available as paperback and ebook from Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmith, Apple iBooks Store and many other online book shops.

Paralian Interview in Gay Times Magazine

GT Liam Klenk 1.8.2016 page 124-127

An interview with me about my book Paralian‬ and my life journey has just been published in the August issue of Gay Times magazine, page 124-127 🙂 Big thanks to fabulous interviewer Nick Hoare!

Thank you!

Daisy White's Review

Just want to share this great review with you that fellow author Daisy White wrote about Paralian‬ the other day.
Slowly but surely reviews are trickling in. I am humbled by some of them and immensely grateful for all of them. If you’ve finished reading the book already, it’ll be absolutely fantastic if you can leave a few words, lines and stars as well 😉 😀
As an unknown author with a first book, most people aren’t even aware Paralian exists. Each review on any of the Amazons and/or on Goodreads helps and heightens the possibility of yet another potential reader becoming aware that this might be a worthy read to pick up.
Thanks Daisy (and thanks to all of you who already shared your thoughts and feelings as well)! Your feedback is invaluable. It’s the ultimate gratification to hear my readers are enjoying the journey 🙂 Additionally, seeing my book understood makes me as happy as a dolphin riding the crest of a wave!

Adoption

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“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)

Most of our decisions are based on prior experiences. In the case of my parents, my adoptive mom came from a traumatized post-war family and my adoptive dad tried his best to somehow neutralize her neuroses. This all led to a string of lies that, over the years, became longer than Pinocchio’s nose.

Based on personal experience, I urge all adoptive parents to not underestimate the instincts of their adopted children. When you have been given away early in life and have lost your mom, an instinctual memory manifests itself, a sense of homelessness, a longing for something the child itself can’t even define. On top of this underlying time bomb there is a more conscious awareness of something always being slightly “off”.
As I grew up I remember getting my bearings – or at least trying to – by comparing myself and my actions and emotions to those of the people in my immediate environment. Of course everyone is different but, still, I was puzzled as to how I always seemed to be so different to practically everyone else around me – not only in soul and spirit, but also in appearance.
On really bad days I fantasized about being adopted, seeing it as a good thing. On good days I rationalized how genes skip generations and how maybe there was a dark-haired, temperamental grandpa somewhere whom I’d never met. Surely I had inherited all traits from this mystery person hidden somewhere in the dense forest of our family ancestry.

What always prevailed though, like a menacing shadow following me wherever I turned, was a feeling of deep homelessness and loneliness.

My parents were terrified of telling me the truth, because especially my mom feared I’d run off to my “real” mom as soon as they’d disclose my real identity. I honestly think no adopted child would ever do that. Our “real” parents are the ones that have been taking care of us, have made sacrifices, and have been our safety net over a long period of time. We share a history together. And after some time, history becomes stronger than blood.

When my dad finally revealed the truth I was shocked and uprooted. A myriad of conflicting emotions rocked my entire world for a while, like an earthquake, complete with landslides and falling debris. Still, through it all, and after I came out of it, my adoptive parents remained – and always will be – my parents. I never even call them “adoptive” parents. When I found my biological mom she was a stranger. Blood, in the end, was not enough in and off itself.

Don’t be afraid to tell your kid he or she is adopted. Do it as early as possible. It’ll preempt the hurricane of conflicting emotions that will be sure to rage within once all thought processes properly kick in.

Told at a very late stage – in my case when I was twenty years old – the revelation can have disastrous effects. In truth, I could have easily killed myself. Pure stubborn strength (a strength I didn’t even know I had at the time) prevented me from exciting well before my time. Everything I believed to be the base of my existence vanished in the blink of an eye. All that was left for a while was a deep, dark vortex opening its ugly maw beneath my very feet.

I wish I had been told from the beginning. What a privilege it could’ve been to know I was loved even though I had arrived in my biological mom’s womb. If you think of it, how beautiful to be chosen by a couple because they want YOU and no one else to become the center of their universe.

Extraordinary Summer Reading!

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We are nearing 3‘000 followers on this page which is truly amazing. My heartfelt thanks to all of you for your dedicated interest and support!! It means A LOT 🙂 I’ll keep sharing anecdotes, memories, and thoughts with you and I’ll keep updating you on what’s happening in Paralian’s world.

As a sunny summer “thank you” I’ve got a little giveaway in store for you: Up for grabs are 30 ebook copies (epub, not Kindle format) of Paralian.
Send me a message via this link: http://www.liamklenk.com/contact/ and I’ll send you a code to redeem your copy within only a few days.

Paralian will take you on a turbulent, heartwarming, and uplifting journey! A summer reading experience you’re not likely to ever forget. Dive into the odyssey!