To date, Paralian has won 5 literary awards. This is far more than I ever expected. Thank you so much.
Exciting news! Paralian has won a 2nd literary award: the New Apple Book Award for Excellence in Independent Publishing.
Paralian won Best Debut Book in the 2016 Rainbow Awards!
Paralian has received several prices and recommendations over the last six months:
Book of the month - by Bookbag UK
Recommended Read - by Bookmuse UK
Silver Award - The Hungry Monster Book Review
Honorable Mention - The Rainbow Awards
Paralian has officially launched!
I just spent a week giving several interviews in London. If you ever want to keep up with the latest news, simply go to liamklenk.com and click on blog. There you'll find weekly updates.
On the page about me you can find some pictures as well if you are interested :)
Paralian has been chosen by Bookbag.co.uk as one of their books of the month! Amazing!
I'm so honoured and, of course, immensely happy to see people are experiencing my book the way I hoped with all my heart they would.
Here is what the Bookbag team wrote:
"In non-fiction, Luke enthused about Paralian: Not Just Transgender by Liam Klenk . Paralian is an Ancient Greek word, meaning one who lives by the sea. Here, we follow the author's journey through life, narrated by his relationship to water – the river he grew up near, the oceans he crosses, and the water that later becomes his place of work. Uplifting, enlightening and ever engaging, this is a life story filled with dramatic events and major life changes. Well written, with a relatable tone and easy flowing prose, what really shines through is the author's attitude to life. No true life sob story here – this book follows a fascinating journey through life, gently educates on the subject of gender dysphoria, and, above all else, the author's attitude and nature shine throughout, making it a hopeful and mood enhancing read."
The warmest THANK YOU to Bookbag.co.uk!
The 1st Edition of the book is printed and looks fantastic! I am sure you will not be ashamed to have a copy on your bookshelf.
Last week was also a first week of intensive book promotion. Interviews at Talk Radio London and BBC Radio Ulster (The Arts Show).
LBF and a first Promo/Book reading event for a large consulting company in London.
Paralian is at the printers. Only 3 more weeks until I will hold the first copy in my hands. And only 2 1/2 more months until you will! Also, great news, I've been invited to be keynote speaker on the Southampton book festival in September 2016.
Happy New year to all! I am very curious what 2016 will bring. With the beginning of this new year, Paralian is almost ready to go to print. Just finished the blurb for the back cover. Final type set is in progress. Author website www.liamklenk.com is online.
A universal, vivid story about life and finding yourself that will appeal to readers of all ages. Moreover, I found Paralian to be a transgender story like no other, refreshingly positive, open-minded, and good-humoured.
by Lasse Andersson
My God! What a story...!!! My God….
by Josep M. Clota
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.
by Moira O'Hagan
Had a quick read of three or four chapters and wow………………..well done sir ! To say that it’ not easy to write a book of this magnitude must be the understatement of the year.
by Keith Lawson
I collected the book from my post office this morning and started reading it on the ferry on the 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.
by David Filshie
….. I JUST LOVE IT!!!!!
by Natalie Hirt
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.
by Luke Marlowe - The Bookbag
“I’m staying up ’till 2am each day ever since I started reading Paralian. Just can’t put it down.”
by Nicole Depping
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.
by Liz Robinson, Lovereading.co.uk
Paralian is from my point of view one of the must reads at the moment, also for people who are not or only remotely connected to the transgender scene (the transgender part is actually not such a big part of the book as I expected initially). The author tells the story of his life so far overcoming multiple astonishing odds and difficulties in his life with such optimism and good humor that it is truly inspiring. It kept me up reading until late into the night and I finished the book after only a few days of very intense reading. I couldn’t put it down and often went for ‘just one more chapter’ – which is very unusual reading a biography for me – a definite recommendation!
by Nicole Depping
We hear a lot about 'finding yourself' and 'being authentic' nowadays. I'm a firm believer in the idea of living and let live, but then I've never experienced even a fraction of what Liam has. The scenes describing his conception, which is crazy and tumultuous all in its own right, could be a film rather than words on a page - Liam writes with raw honesty and this is powerful. I won't include a series of plot spoilers here but what I will write is that this book is more than 'just a memoir', it's a window into a life that has been lived fully and packed with challenges including the discovery of his adoption a long time into his life, meeting his birth mother, his challenges with his parents, his gender identity leading to transition to become the man he always knew he was, to travelling the world. Why Paralian? Because Liam is naturally drawn to water - where he lives, where he works - there's always a water connection. He's travelled and worked in the most weird and wonderful places, he's met some incredible people, and he's endured personal, emotional and psychological challenges I can only begin to imagine personally, but I feel I've lived some of those moments with him through his book. Quite incredible. Very moving. Truly inspiring.
by Helen Lewis
It's not just about transgender but also about finding the most important thing in our life: Who am I? Why am I here? A great book about finding the true inner self. Stories to laugh and stories to cry! A great mixture of love, hate, struggle, falling down, standing up and so on. You won't be bored when you read this book and it will touch your heart. I can highly recommend this book to anyone!
by Nancy Duerrenberger
I also have been lucky enough to come across Liam's book recently, and... I was stunned about the whole story behind those lines. It is more than definitely a must-read. I couldn't find the moment to put the book down for a sleep because i just wanted to know what was going to happen at the next chapter. And like this on and on till the end.
I strongly recommend it.
Not Just Transgender is not a book just about transgenders, is about Liam's evolution through life and what is more important to me, is that there is a lot to learn from his history to try to be better towards other people.
Is a great piece of literature.
by Rosa Brau
An inspiring and wonderful book. Amazing life story from an extraordinary man.
I loved Paralian; in fact I read it in record time, often suffering from the “just one more chapter” syndrome. Gripped by the author’s continued ability to stand in the face of adversity, I cried and laughed out loud a times. A book I have already have recommended to my friends. A truly amazing and inspirational true story.
Rare is the experience of discovering a page turner, where one cannot stop reading yet also don't wish the book to end. Paralian is one such book. The author speaks straight from the heart into the heart. To realise that things are seldom what they seem, to listen to and trust oneself, to persevere and thrive against the odds - this memoir is an inspirational account of what it means to live, love and believe.
What a fantastic read... usually, I am not too fond of memoirs - but this one "sucked me in" from the very beginning. Liams emotional story makes you laugh and cry (unbelieavable what adventures he went through) and leaves behind a stream of positive energy, good feelings and the longing for sandy beaches on a crystal clear ocean and Macchiatos. Also loved the cinematic references. Absolutely inspiring - read it, and maybe you'll be able to just enjoy life a tiny bit more :-)
Fantastic read. First book I haven't been able to put down in ages.
Even the first chapter of the book is so exciting that you can't put the book away and stop reading. Amazing life story of a fascinating person. Chapeau Liam! :)
What a story !... and beautifully written ( I highlighted many sentences to remember them, like quotes...). I couldnt put this book down.the kind of story that brings to you a wave of positive energy on life, adventure, challenges.
by Valerie Masse
Paralian: Not Just Transgender follows the life of an adventurer with a deep soul, and I was captivated with this gorgeously told story. As others have said, I had trouble putting this book down and finished the whole thing in two marathon sessions of reading! Liam's story is an incredible journey of a man's journey to create and live a life that matches his inner self's truest nature. It is touching, hilarious at times, infuriating at times, and above all - inspiring. Read it. You'll be glad you did.
by Jessica Baker
Fantastic book, I could not put it down. It is a lovely journey through an extraordinary individual's very interesting life! I recommend it highly!
by A. E. Fournet
By reading across the book you feel like being on a roller coaster. The author takes you on a journey through unbelievable ups and downs in life - it is just crazy in any direction! A fantastic mixture of unexpected situations, hilarious moments, difficult and beautiful times, hope, fear and many more. It is written in a passionate way, very touching and inspiring!! Definitely 5 stars! I can highly recommend this book!
Considering the misfortunes that has shaped the author, from a premature birth to being an orphan born in the wrong body, having a homosexual parent, target of bully at school and later in life at work, being a murder suspect, stubborn-headed romantic and workaholic, Liam still has the sanity to takes us through a journey of his life. His generous and honest way of telling us every single intricate detail and feeling about his past has left me hooked onto his book from day one. I couldn't put the book down and have had many late nights due to his humour and sincerity. If one's ever feeling down or defeated, read this book and one will probably find that their life is actually a bed of roses compared to Liam's. His constant struggles with exceptional challenges in life has given him a more strong and invincible soul. In this day and age of prejudice and discrimination, reading into the life of this transgender man will show that these people are as human and normal, just like anyone else. Highly recommended.
Once I started with the first pages I was hooked and could not put the book down for long! What an inspiring story, told directly from the heart of the author into the heart of the reader. You will join Liam on his incredible journey through a life full of odds and difficulties, which he tackled with perseverance, optimism and good humour. Truly inspiring and as I said before a definite must read!
by Barbara Mehli
We all have unique life stories, and Liam Klenk has decided to share his publicly. Of course by no means all autobiographies are worth reading, however Liam Klenk's proved on occasions hard to put down. It wasn't just the sheer range of adversities that life threw at him and how he coped with them, but for me the main interest was the transgender theme that ran through the book. As the title says, the book is not just about this issue, but it is always in the background. As a man what I found particularly interesting about the book was the questions it raises about masculinity. What attributes make a man? Should a male human with large biceps be considered more of a man than one with smaller muscles? Is a certain aggressive tendency key to manhood? Does it simply boil down to whether we have a penis or not?...
What makes me a man? I think the book asks questions that are very apposite in an age when traditional masculine qualities and stereotypes are being questioned.
I saved this book up until I knew I would have time to read it properly, and then I couldn't put it down. I already knew a very small part of the story, but I was gobsmacked at the roller-coaster ride Liam has been on. This is a very honest and easy to read tale which constantly has you pinching yourself as a reminder that it is all true, and which firmly puts some of our 'everyday' issues into perspective.
I really wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but met Liam at a book signing - he made an excellent impression (authors take note face-to-face is good!) and I started reading Paralian on the train on the way home.
Far from being a very in-your-face story focusing on transgender issues, this book was actually very moving. The quality of story-telling and genuine sweetness and curiosity of the author shone through, and I found myself reading it for a couple of days straight, just to see what he did next. The fact that the author addresses transgender in such a refreshing and unique way makes this deliver exactly what it promises 'Not just transgender' but a remarkable life story.
by Daisy White
The most incredibly inspiring journey, artfully transcribed in the most beautiful fashion. I've just finished Liam's magical 'Paralian' and wish I could instantly wipe my memory, just so I can relive every single word again. Liam's writing has the incredible power to transport you in person, to every 'scene'; and that is a very rare find in a writer. His obvious sense of adventure and motivation to experience as much of life as possible, and with passion! - is the perfect backdrop for a 'great read'. The addition of his own challenges of being a transgender male, adds yet another layer of emotion and interest which draws you in even closer. This by proxy offers a sense of compassion and attachment, which I believe is the ultimate destination; for a reader to find that affinity with the main character. In this case, the very real Liam Klenk. I laughed and cried my way through each page and it left with me with such a grand admiration for this human. Thank you Liam for this very personal account of your exceptional life.
by Sarah Swan
It took me only a few days to finish Paralian. I couldn't put it down and I loved every minute of it. It made me smile, cry, laugh sometimes all at the same time. He is an amazing writer and a huge inspiration. I can't wait to read another amazing book from Liam Klenk.
What a journey through your cruel bitter and sweet life Liam! Your book is truly incredible AMAZING to read, it let me cry, after laugh and giggles - really breathtaking! Definitely recommend it to everyone. I just LOVE it and I was reading every free minute. I found myself not able to put your book down. Hope a sequel follows!!!
by Manuela Demir
I was blown away by the utterly raw, open and honest story telling, this is clearly one of the bravest books I have ever read.
Liam's narrative is delicate and poetic, describing feelings, situations and people in the most detailed and imaginative way - even though many of his experiences were far from poetic. How any individual can not only brave all those storms he had to face, but looks at them as valuable life lessons and continues to learn from each and every experience is a testament to their incredible inner strength. I was touched by the vulnerability of this life tale Liam was brave enough to share with the world. I'm sure it will inspire many (not only transgender) people out there. Truly inspiring!
This is a phenomenal autobiography. It will catapult you back into your own childhood, inciting nostalgia as you draw similarities between the one your reading and your own. It will rekindle your own passions - for work, for life, for your extra curricular activities, inspiring your dreams for your future as well as your now. It will remind you in a gentle way that judgment goes both ways, whether it’s religious, sexuality, personality, racism etc…… and that everybody makes mistakes. It will make you laugh out loud. You will feel a little teary. You will feel a desperate need to join a water-sporting group, have a party and/or road trip with a group of your loved ones, go see a circus performance, and pursue your passions.
I cannot recommend this book enough…. In fact… I may as well go and read it again right now.
What an amazing read will keep your interest right till the end and wanting to know what is going to happen next I couldn't put this book down such an inspirational life story Liam could teach us all a thing or two in our own lives
by Paul Duke
An excellent book, forthright, honest and hums with positivity. This is a book well worth reading. Hopefully it will reach out to a wide community of readers. Be prepared to be challenged. An excellent price too. Recommended for anyone's book shelf
by Brenda-Dawn Linney
This very good book is about the journey of finding out about life in a real way, with independence, compassion and beauty. The book really pulls you in.
The term “Paralian” comes from ancient Greek origins, and it has taken on the meaning of “people who live by the sea”. There could be no more apt title for Liam Klenk’s autobiography. In Paralian: Not Just Transgender, He recounts the sweeping and nomadic movements of his life via the lens of the rivers, lakes, and oceans by which he periodically makes a home. Water is the element of change and transition. It is also the element at the heart of so many human-nature entanglements; the resource that has always defined and guided the movements of our species. Fittingly for a tale of bodies, travels, transitions, and wandering, Klenk uses bodies of water to parse the sections of his life like chapters in a narrative.
The voice and experience of Liam Klenk is tender, vulnerable, and honest. It comes to the reader unassumingly and asks only for a patient ear. As the title would suggest, Paralian: Not Just Transgender tells a tale far wider in scope than Liam’s courageous journey through gender confirmation. If anything, the story is about the contexts that occur before, during, and afterwards. It tells the story of a human being finding his place in this world. It opens near the River Enz in Germany, with a young girl named Stefanie and illustrates how a complex and tumultuous family origin, vexes and feeds her inherent confusion over identity. At the end, the reader closes on a confident, middle-aged man named Liam who views the world through hopeful, optimistic eyes from an airplane above Hong Kong. In the intervening pages a transition obviously happens but—to the author’s point—so does a full life. As Stefanie becomes Liam, the reader is taken abroad from Germany to Seattle, from Zurich to Italy to Macao, and all points in between. What makes Klenk’s tale so necessary is that we get a story about a transgendered individual that articulates that while a singular aspect of his life was important, it by no means is the sole determinant of identity. (…)
by The Hungry Monster Book Review
The extraordinary tale of an exceptional life. Any one of the barbed wire fences Klenk has overcome might be enough to define an average person, but this journey is as far from average as can be imagined.
Born into the wrong body, adopted by dysfunctional parents, battling spasticity, marrying for convenience, living as an agnostic with Mormons, undergoing gender reassignment, suffering heartbreak and embracing career changes while digging deep for a true identity, this is an epic journey. An odyssey.
Paralian, meaning a water-dweller, is a wonderful way to connect the flowing adventures and experiences. Each chapter takes the name of a body of water, and each has as much variance of temperature and hue.
Autobiographies tread a delicate line. Especially those rare few actually written by the subject, as opposed to handed over to ghostwriters. How to balance the personal journey and the unavoidable self-regard? Thankfully, Klenk gets it right. This is essentially a subjective take on a set of jaw-dropping adventures and the character who managed not only to survive, but to triumph.
Readers travel through peaks and troughs without ever losing sympathy with our narrator, even when he exasperates himself. By the end of the book, we feel we have made a fascinating friend and feel uplifted by the encounter.
by Bookmuse UK, JJ Marsh
One of the most inspiring biographies I ever read. The author takes you in his awesome story. I couldn't stop reading. It's not just a fascinating and touching story but also filled with insight in life, humanity and a bright sense of humor. While reading this book I recognized how beautiful, joyful - and at the same time often painful - human life can be, and that it is fully worthy to live this life, how difficult it may be. Very encouraging. I love it!
by Jan-Michael Ehrhardt
Paralian is one of those books which, after finishing it, you feel at a bit of a loss as to what to read next because you know it will be hard to find something as enthralling!
It is one of the best books I have ever read, and definitely the best autobiography (I usually get bored at some point in an autobiography, but certainly didn’t with this one).
The author tells a very open story of his, at times, jaw-dropping adventures and experiences during his journey, which not only takes him around the world but also leads him to realize, accept and finally embrace the truth of being transgender.
I love the witty descriptions and comparisons in this well-written account, which also contains moments of sorrow and happiness, frustration and exuberance but a prevailing joy for life. Liam gets knocked down again and again, but always gets back up – not only for his own good but very often for the good of others too.
An extremely motivating, heart-warming story. Liam is a true inspiration to all of us.
by Sue Hofmann
What an eventful life! A candid, fascinating and moving narrative.
Liam struggled so much over so many years, yet never wavered
in striving for his aims – and finally achieved all he desired.
As a man he may be of average size, but in character a real giant.
Readers cannot but take their hat off to him!
(Parents of Naomi)
by Fritz and Maren Meyer
Paralian by Liam Klenk is a very long story. Too long? Only if you're an impatient reader. Liam Klenk has so much to share in this fascinating memoir that, despite its length, those readers with a thirst for knowledge and inquisitive, intelligent minds much like the author's will be utterly riveted. Even when you think you just can't read another page, you find yourself turning it to see what more can you learn from Paralian, a book with an unusual name and an intriguing subtitle: "Not just transgender."
You see, Paralian is not just about a female who transitions to male in her young adult years. While that's a key part to understanding the protagonist's restless disposition and endless search for self, that search takes Liam and readers into the heart and soul of countries in a way they are never depicted in travel brochures. Be prepared for a surprise, for instance, at what you might witness in a public park in Zurich in comparison to a park in North America.
The Paralian, born Stephanie and adopted by a neurotic mother and gay father, eventually locates her birth mother and a sister she didn't know she had, only to be rejected by both later. As a new male, he falls in love more than once, marries twice for convenience, once his father's and once his own. Gifted with a brilliant mind and a need to prove his worthiness mostly to himself, Liam embraces one challenge after another: he becomes a photographer, an artist, a theater and events co-ordinator, and much later, despite an innate fear of, but love for water, especially the ocean, he masters the sport of scuba diving. His travels take us around Germany, Switzerland, Malta, Macau, Hong Kong and the US. His observations and reflections on each country and culture, many very detailed, along with his struggles to understand himself as a transgendered person trying to fit into society, are what make Paralian such a long, often intensive read.
This is not a memoir for the squeamish. Details are raw, vivid, honest. Nor, as mentioned above, is it a read for the impatient or someone looking for quick entertainment. Paralian is for those who enjoy learning something new when they read and who like finding themselves still thinking about what they have read long after they finish the book. If that sounds like you, read Paralian by Liam Klenk.
by Reviewed By Viga Boland for Readers’ Favorite
A kind of book I haven't read before. The title held his promise not to be a cliche. Truly a journey of someone special to a lot of people. Everyone knows: Life doesn't hold back. It will hit one day. In his writing it felt like close resemblance in so many situation of life that made me go through an array of emotions. I'd been touched. May the spirit of Liam inspire many readers as it did me. Bless you Liam!
A very raw and honest look at the true story of a woman who transitioned to a man.
by Susan Walker
I was pleased to have won this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.
It is very rare that I will read an autobiography and if and when I do, it has to be good enough to hold my interest. This was one such book! I found the book very touching and very honest and do highly recommend.
Every time my eyes run across the cover, i know I'll find something new in each chapter. To experience his mind and watch him evolve through each event in his life, each person he meets, and each new experience he has. You'll find within the pages that you'll laugh, and you'll cry, and maybe even find pieces of yourself along the way. This book is a treasure within itself and was truly written with love in mind. Love of adventure, of passion, self discovery, determination, and laughter. I encourage anyone to take the time to read this book, and get a change in perspective afterwards.
"Paralian" really got me by surprise. It is such a great book!
I'll start with the reasons why it gets 4 out of 5 stars from me:
· the first pages - 30 or so - looked a little bit messy; too much information in so little time. Besides, it doesn't fit with the rest of the book's timeline. I understand that the start of a book of memories is no easy task, but still...
· the dates are confusing, and some even wrong - something happens at certain year, and later he talks about the same event but with a different date.
But you SHOULD read it because it's a well of information about being transgender... and at the same time it's much more than that (the subtitle is spot on). It's easy to identify with Liam - depression, efforts to find and/or understand oneself are subjects that apply to many people (myself included) and Liam finds a way to write about it that makes you relate to him and realize you're not alone.
Be warned, though: a great read, but not an easy one. The emotional charge is enormous and sometimes made me put the book down, take a deep breath and contemplate what a life and what a freaking world we live in.
by Tick Bosak
Liam shares his remarkable life journey so far - the author's positive mindset and the seeking for new adventures is unique and truly worth admiring!
We simply LOVE this amazing book! Liam has the best sense of humor and the talent to touch you deeply. His story is captivating and full of surprises. Definitely a huge enrichment for our trip around the world - thank you so much!! #bestbiographyever
I finally finished this book. I had read some reviews about how long the book felt. I approached the book more as a collection of short stories since each chapter felt like a separate chunk of his life that added to the whole. I enjoyed reading about his experiences and how he struggled to live authentically and freely.
by Kelsey Marshall
This was truely an inspiring book about a young man trapped in the body of a woman and his love of water. Having a transgender son myself I could appreciate the fears and anxieties Liam was faced with as he struggled to find himself. Some of the parallels between Liam and my son born a girl in 1986 are uncanny. My son was also born prematurely but by 11 weeks and although weighing a healthy 3lb 9 oz, he was starved of oxygen and as such, has mild cerebral palsy with a slight spasticity in his left leg and slight lack of coordination. Like Liam, my son is exceptionally clever and always studying for more qualifications. This book shows Liam's determination and willpower to succeed in whatever he undertakes. Despite the odds, Liam is never deterred. Even in the face of adversity, Liam still manages to overcome the difficulties and discrimination he is faced with. It was lovely to read at the end of the book that he finally finds his sole mate. After all that Liam has faced and the many journeys he has undertaken, I wish Liam every happiness in the future wherever it takes him next.
I am definitely inspired by your story. So much of the trans narrative is doom and gloom, and your story is not that at all. It is important that the world knows that being trans is not an impedement to an exciting and fulfilling life. Thank you for that! I will look forward to your new book coming out!
Received this in a good reads give away. I found myself being inspired every page. This is a story about Liam’s experiences and journey. I was inspired by his strength and positive nature. It’s all about finding your true self and loving yourself unconditionally. No matter what journey you're on, live life with no doubts or regrets.
Liam was born in Central Europe and has since lived on four continents. He has always been engaged in creative pursuits, ranging from photography and graphic design, to writing short stories and poetry, to working in theatre and shows. In 2016, Liam published his first book and memoir, Paralian. He also writes monthly short stories for the online platform TheatreArtLife. He is currently working on his second book and aims to publish quite a few more in the years to come.
Liam is passionate about living authentically and learning from meaningful encounters with people from all kinds of backgrounds, all over the world. He writes about true stories, and marvels at the strength and passion of individuals who persevere in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.