Hallman was born in 1944 and raised in the Kensington section of North Philadelphia. His father was Harry Hallman Sr., a champion billiards player who also owned a poolroom located at Allegany Ave. and Lee Street, called Circle Billiards. In his youth, the younger Hallman spent many hours after school at his father’s pool hall. These youthful experiences laid the groundwork for his novel Mercy Row, including the colorful language used in the text.
He served four years in the US Air force including two tours in South Vietnam as a photographer. He is married to Duoc Hallman, who he met in Vietnam, and has two children, Bill and Nancy and one grandchild Ava.
Hallman is a serial entrepreneur who has created several marketing services companies and continues to work as a marketing consultant.
“My favorite possession, from my childhood, is a baby book my sister gave my mother (Florence) when I was born. There’s a passage in this book, written by my mother in 1991 when I was 47, that seems to sum up what I have endeavored to be all my life. It reads:
– Bud (my childhood name) grew up to be a great boy and man. Gruff, but a heart as big as could be.-
This is what a man from the Kensington section of Philadelphia is.”
What inspires you to write?
The 20 and 30s is when organized crime really started in the USA. This is the best place to start this series of books (Mercy Row is the first). What inspired me to write Mercy Row was a desire to show North Philadelphia in its formative years. Many of the homes, in the area I show most , were built in the eary 1920s. I grew up in one of them. We always hear about South Philly and the Mafia, but seldom do we hear about North Philly. I wanted to shed some light on North Philly.
Tell us about your writing process.
I did do a very general outline of what the good is about and roughly where I wanted it to end. As I wrote ideas would pop in my head and I just a note book to jote them down. I later incorporated those ideas. I did not create character sketches but I am thinking I should have.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I do try to enter the characters mindset and situation and write from that point of view. Can’t say I talk to the characters.
What advice would you give other writers?
I starting fiction writing at 68 years old. I had always wanted to write fiction, but it seemed that work and family took all my time. I build a few businesses and worked very long hows. I wish now that I could have found time to start writing when I was younger.
At my age I am not sure how big my body of work will be before I move on to the big writers class in the sky. 🙂
So my advice is like Nike says, Just Do It. Find time and write and don’t listen to anyone (especially yourself) who tells you you cannot.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Once I wrote it I just decided to publish it myself. I don’t have time to submit it to 10 or more publishers, so I decided to do it myself. I used BookBaby.com for this first one, but I think I will just do it myself the next one around. I am currently using Createspace.com to make the print version available. Should be ready by June 15, 2013 or so.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think, like music, and many other fields that Ebooks are the future and with Createspace you can walk both the Digital and print worlds. I also think self publishing is the future, as traditional publishers put out so few books. Of course this means marketing your book is up to you and marketing can be a long term process.
What do you use?
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?