Posts tagged “memoir

Author Spotlight: David G. Hallman

When I lost a partner to AIDS in 1995, I immediately found myself adrift in a sea of ever-changing emotions, which with I wasn’t yet equipped to deal. I didn’t have the tools needed to properly channel and process my chaotic state, until I tried writing about my experience. Author David G. Hallman suffered a similar loss when his partner of 30 years was diagnosed with cancer, only to die just two weeks later. He too used writing as a way to explore his emotional state, and that commonality helped us forge a friendship when we were fortunate enough to finally meet at the Rainbow Book Fair in New York. His memoir, August Farewell, details the death of his partner to cancer and was noted by The Advocate magazine as one of the 21 Biographies or Memoirs You Should Read Now, calling his novel Searching for Gileadan honest examination of questions about God, injustice, love, and death.” It was a pleasure to speak with him recently about his life and journey to author-hood.

Kergan Edwards-Stout: Hi David. Nice to talk to you again.

David G. Hallman: Good to connect with you too, Kergan. The last time was over martinis in New York after the Rainbow Book Fair! I remember getting fortified so I’d be in good shape for the Black Party that night.

KES: Yes, the rest of us were a bit in awe that you were heading out to dance all night after being at the book fair all day!

DGH: Well, I’m not a father of two kids like you and your partner, Russ. That takes an impressive amount of energy. I bow to you in the personal stamina department.

KES: As you mention stamina, you’ve been through quite an emotionally exhausting journey. While you’d written other books prior, you wrote your memoir, August Farewell, after the dramatic death of your partner, Bill, from cancer. When you began writing, was it as a cathartic outlet or were you intending it to be a book?

DGH: I never intended anyone else to see it. Bill was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in August 2009 and died two weeks later. After it was over, I started panicking that I would forget the details of those excruciating, intimate, heart-wrenching, spiritual, god-awful sixteen days that were, at times, punctured by Bill’s uproarious sense of humor. So I started writing the story of those days and spontaneously began integrating vignettes from our thirty-three years together. I wrote nonstop for six weeks. But I only did it so that I could have that record to go back to and relive our time together in the years to come. Just like how we treasure photo albums.

KES: Why did you decide to publish it? (more…)


New Beginnings

As my book launches out into the great unknown, I contemplate the affect it will have on those who read it, as well as the corresponding effect on my life.

I’m grateful that a project that has gestated for as long as this one is finally out among the masses, and am hopeful that it has the desired impact.  I want people to connect emotionally with the characters and, regardless of sexual orientation, see that our journeys are essentially the same.  I also hope that I get to use my talents more often.  But will it ultimately be “life changing”?

While that big picture answer will remain unknown for some time, internally, the simple act of “putting it out there” has already proven life changing. Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is a huge risk, and yet the pay off can be substantial.

When I first met Shane Michael Sawick, I could’ve never foreseen the affect he and my experience with him would have on my life.  There can be no doubt that, in the moment that I agreed to a single date, my life was forever altered.  The little choices we make are just as important as the big ones, as they eventually impact our lives, altering our canvas.

As I was completing this post tonight, I got an email from a dear friend, whom I greatly admire.  His favorite novel is James Joyce’s “Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man”, and he wrote to tell me that he devoured my novel in one sitting, noting that my book “reminded (him) very much of Joyce, with more humor, and in (his) opinion is easily that quality.”

We never know what impact our work or choices will have on others.

What do you want your canvas to look like?  What impact do you want to have?  When faced with options, do you take the familiar route, or venture outside your comfort zone?

Take the risk.  Embrace new beginnings.  It is the only way forward…

Songs for the New Depression is available now in paperback at BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon.com, and other fine book sellers.