Benjamin Boucvalt & The River Road
As you read yesterday, I am a big proponent of embracing ALL of your talents.
So, it’s only fitting that today I bring you a story of someone doing just that.
Several years ago (we won’t say how many, ha!) I had the privilege of attending the American Conservatory Theater’s Summer Training Congress.
Ben was a part of my program. (He’s in the green shirt, below…I’m on the right with pretty much only my back and profile to the camera.)
Ben went on to work with my best friend Katie Mulford on a production of Hamlet a few years ago in St. Pete! (Thus proving that “it’s a small world after all.”) When I learned that Ben had written a historical fiction book set on a plantation in the Old South, I knew I had to read it! (Did you read that part yesterday where I sad I had originally double majored in Theater AND History in College?!?)
First of all, I was so excited to have someone I know write a book. A real fiction book.I know lots of yogis and playwrights who have all had various publications (my Daddy even has a train book), but writing fiction is a whole different game. It’s something we all wish we could do. Many of us ASPIRE to do. But so few of us actually have the wherewithall to sit down, tell a good story, and see it from begining to end on print. Then, of course, there is that whole complicated process of PUBLISHING your book. And to have the book actually be about something that you find INTERESTING, compelling, and moving? Even better!!
With a fast-placed narrative and compelling characters, I devoured The River Road on a trip from Tampa to Atlanta for the holiday. Set in Antebellum South Louisiana, this action-packed tale examines the unlikely bond between a slave and a plantation owner drawn together by harrowing circumstances. The skillfully written story explores questions of freedom, fear, compassion, truth, and hope. The characters leap of the page (thankfully, not literally, as there are some very exciting action scenes) and I could not help but think the book would make for a fabulous movie. (Any plans Ben!?!) Ultimately, it is the story of friendship, of uncovering the truth, of facing the past, letting go, and what it truly means to be free and happy.
Get the book on Amazon. The paperback sells for $14.99 and the kindle edition is $2.99. (If you, like me, have hopped on the kindle unlimited bandwagon for 2015, the kindle edition is FREE! WOOHOO!)
Ben says “There could not be a better time for writers right now. A writer today can get published by a big publishing house or they can take matters into their own hands by self publishing. If I were to do it again, after my first book was finished, I would send queries to tons of agents and at the same time self publish. I’m all about exploring all options and not waiting around for someone to help. Sometimes that’s what your art really needs. You don’t need to hide in the shadows and hope someone comes along. With art, you have to put it out there and allow yourself to be vulnerable. I believe that good work will always float to the top. You can publish an ebook, paint a portrait, or put on an original stage play, and you’ll be one out of hundreds, thousands of others. But if your work is genuine, if the work is truthful, it will rise. There will be no stopping it.”
Let your work be truthful, creative, and shine out. And never ever ever stop believing in you! Make it happen!