David Hallman has lived in Toronto his entire life. Being in that rich and diverse city helped form his vibrant and inclusive world view. As an openly gay author, David enjoys working in a literary genre that continues to evolve: gay literature.
The catalyst for David’s journey into the world of gay literature was his partner’s death from pancreatic cancer. To cope with his grief, David wrote his first gay-themed book, August Farewell. The book was very well received so David decided to continue writing. David has recently published his third gay-themed work, Book Tales, which is a collection of gay short stories.
In this book, David wanted to move beyond storytelling and into experience sharing. Book Tales primarily focusses on the themes of coming out, embracing one’s sexuality and the importance of being visible. “[Book Tales] is more of an autobiographical fictionalized experience. The stories are more fiction, but still have strong personal connections with me,” David explained in a recent interview with Q Virginia magazine.
David shared that “there are explicit homoerotic elements in the novel. I am quite open about writing about sexual experiences.” He then speculated that if his latest work were published in another era, say the 1960s, “it would be scandalous!”
When David wrote Book Tales, he assumed that his main audience would be gay; however, he knows that his readers include people who are not a part of the gay community. “[Some of my readers are] straight [who] find [the subject matter of my books] eye opening and fascinating.” He thinks some straight readers might be attracted to his work for its “literary focus” or simply because they “want to be exposed to the life of a gay man.” David assumes that his gay readers enjoy his books “because they can relate to [them] and [they] involve our history.” Regardless of who reads Book Tales, it is clear that David’s sexual, intellectual and emotional energy shines through his writing.
What advice would David give to aspiring gay authors? “Write for yourself.” Beyond the hackneyed adage “write what you know,” David believes that authors should write what’s in their heart, soul and gut. Most importantly, he feels that authors should be authentic to themselves.
Above all else, David would love to see more people read books. “I want to encourage other gay folks to READ!” Books force readers to use their minds, imaginations and hearts as they become active participants in stories. David believes that “literature is inspiration and insight.” He hopes that his latest work both inspires readers and provides them with insight into themselves.