Thursday, 13 April 2017

60 Seconds with Liam Klenk

Liam is a world citizen of German-French-Italian origin. He is passionate about living authentically and learning from meaningful encounters with people from all over the world.

So far, Liam has lived on four continents and worked as a photographer, visual services artist, movie theatre manager, scuba instructor, hyperbaric chamber operator, show diver, underwater theatre coach, and production manager.

Liam's first book and memoir Paralian was published in 2016. He currently lives in Zurich, Switzerland.

Interview by JJ Marsh

Which work most influenced you when growing up?

The work of German author Karl May.

Where do you write?

Mostly either on the couch in our living room, or in the tram during the commute to work. I am teaching myself currently to be ok anywhere, no matter how loud or busy it gets around me...

Who or what had the biggest impact on your creative life?

Mrs. Mohatt, my Advanced Art teacher in the US.

How far are you influenced by other media, such as music or fine art?

Quite far. Mostly by films. I've loved cinema for as long as I can remember. And even at home I constantly watch DVDs. I love the cinematographic art of storytelling.

Do you have a phrase that you most overuse?

Haha, yes I do. I believe I say "I love this" way too often.

Which writers do you enjoy?

There are so many. J.K. Rowling is a great inspiration and one of my favourites. Jefferson Bass is another favourite, and Sten Nadolny, and Garth Stein, etc. The list is endless. I read constantly. Always have. Everything from adventure stories, to thrillers, to graphic novels, to classical literature, to popular science.

Why do you write?

It's a passion. I truly love it. With my first book Paralian it was also a life's dream. I felt this book needed to be written. I had to face so many challenges during the first 45 years of my life. I wanted to commit these experiences to paper to share them with my readers; to maybe help some, infuse them with my love for life, add to the human experience, share laughter, tears, be authentic and put myself out there just as I am.
Now I need to continue writing, because I am hooked and letting the words flow onto paper feels like the best way to express myself. I've found my medium.

What makes you laugh?

Almost anything. I love to laugh. A good sense of humour is the elixir of life. Especially being able to laugh about ourselves.

Do you have a guilty reading pleasure?

Meg, by Steve Alten. I have to admit I've read it about ten times so far. And I still love it.

How has writing a memoir affected your sense of identity?

I have become more self-assured... and more forgiving - towards others as well as towards myself.

Which book has impressed you most this year?

David Vann's Aquarium has touched me deeply.

Would you share what you’re working on next?

I am working on a book with short-stories about the animal companions I've been privileged to have throughout my life, and the life lessons they gave me. It's going to be a profoundly honest book again. Fun as well. A book about amazing souls... and the ways they touch us, leaving us forever changed.

What’s the best way to start the weekend?

Sleeping in as long as possible. Then, going to the bakery with my soul mate.

Right after, we'll enjoy a lengthy brunch together at home. This includes a steaming hot Amarula coffee (yum!). After breakfast I'll be off for some 'me time' on the couch with a good book.











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