NEWBERRY — “Even good people have bad experiences. Everyone has a story. It depends on how much you want to express it.”
Terrence Gallman is referencing his recent book release and his experience being incarcerated for 12 years, an experience he used as a basis for his novel, Love’s Journey: The Road Less Traveled.
Gallman’s book is about a “young man on his way to redemption.” While Gallman talks about the young man who meets a young woman because of her accompanying her friend to see someone, the story also reveals more about Gallman. The young woman is only a factor in the story.
“In the story, you find out more about (the guy) than about her. That’s what makes the story exciting. It can help inmates who may not know who they are,” said Gallman. “I use that platform to magnify those intentions. The book is about who he is. Your circumstances may not be a true reflection of who you really are.”
The Prosperity native said he logged his thoughts and emotions while he was incarcerated.
“That’s where I was at the time which is why I wrote it then,” said Gallman. “I just now released it because after several adventures I recalled writing gave me a way to express myself. When you get out, it’s hard to relate to people who you really are. My story gives me a platform to do that.”
He said his mother’s unconditional love, his father’s confidence and his grandparents helped him get through the experience as did his children, for whom he is thankful.
Community members and local organizations have shown a lot of support since the book was released Aug. 24, he said, naming ANU World Enrichment Center, Citizens in Action and Women on a Mission.
In addition to being an author, Gallman is also a speaker and founder of the non-profit The Challenge 4 Change Initiative, which teaches financial literacy and crime prevention.
“I help (people) change themselves and change what they want to do in their lives,” said Gallman. “Once I created that initiative, it helped me remember the toughest times in my life.”
Gallman said he knows there are obstacles to face after incarceration and since he’s already faced that, he wants to help others who have to go through it.
Gallman said he never fathomed his journal like entries would be the inspiration for a book.
“What people get from the book is that you learn the true experience and emotional side of being incarcerated and learn how men really feel about themselves and their opportunities or lack there of and how much someone really means,” Gallman said. “There are so many distractions and you don’t really learn who you are until you are without distractions.
“You get a deeper emotional and intellectual understanding of a person being incarcerated and what their hopes and dreams are,” he added. “I just wrote the book because it helped me express myself. It just turned into a book.”
The book is available at Books on Main in Newberry as well as www.terrencelgallman.com.