Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Raymond Alikpala: The transition from 'God loves Bakla' to 'Of God and Men'

The following is an excerpt from Raymond Alikpala's blog. It details his reasons for leaving Cambodia and why he decided to re-release 'God loves Bakla' as 'Of God and Men: A Life in the Closet' with Maverick House Publishing.

"I had been living in Cambodia for almost a decade and had built for myself a very comfortable life. I had a fabulous apartment, a landlord who treated me like family, and true friends who made Phnom Penh a real home away from home. Life in “the Penh” was, compared to Manila, very cheap, stress-free, devoid of traffic jams, flash floods and the constant security issues. It was rather odd to decide to say goodbye to all of that and return to chaotic, overcrowded Manila. Most of all, it was difficult to leave the place where I had found my true love, who for reasons too complicated to go into at this time could not follow me to Manila.

As if I needed confirmation that I was doing the right thing leaving Cambodia, my book deal with Maverick House Publishers of Ireland came halfway through my transition period. In March this year, Maverick House decided to re-publish God Loves Bakla internationally as Of God and Men, scheduling it for an October 2011 release. It was, to me, a sign from God that He was indeed calling me back home!

An interesting anecdote relates to my book’s new title. It was obvious that God Loves Bakla sounded too ethnic and would make the book a tough sell internationally, so I was asked to think of something more accessible. I suggested “My Secret Life in the Closet.” But my publisher nixed it, saying the book was “more spiritual than most books of its genre.” Thus the decision to retain the word “God” in the title. I was most impressed: my publisher “gets” GLB. I knew then that I have found the right publisher who truly understands my work and can push it to a global audience. "

You can read the rest of the blog by going to raymondalikpala.wordpress.com or by clicking here

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