Lora Hogan > Uncategorized  > Benjamin Boucvalt & The River Road

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.)

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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!!

The River Road - Benjamin Boucvalt -Audiobook Cover

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!)

Listen to a sample of the novel, narrated by Benjamin Boucvalt.

The Creative Process is an act of letting go and “riding on the back of what comes flying out!”

 

Knowing the author, I had the advantage of getting to ask some questions of Ben! We all have different creative processes, especially when it comes to writing. You all know how I journal at least three pages free-write each and every day.  Last year I talked about my friend Jan Farrell’s playwriting process (she refused to believe she couldn’t do something if everyone else could!), Courtney Graham’s fashion design process, as well as yoga as a form of artistic expression. I looked forward to learning how Benjamin’s storytelling came to be and what helped inspire his process as a writer.

 

Ben says that “Storytelling was always a big part of my life and the culture I grew up in down in Louisiana. It wasn’t until I graduated high school that I fully realized my admiration for it. We’re all storytellers, really. It’s how we communicate. But for some, there comes a love for telling stories. And the discovery of that love is what drove me to pursue screenwriting, acting, and eventually writing fiction. As I began to explore storytelling as an artist, I found I pulled from the deep parts of myself. Things that I had packed down deep and never let go. So, creativity usually sparks for me when I chip away at those things. Riding on the back of what comes flying out.

 

I couldn’t agree more! I believe the best creative expression, the best freedom, the best a-ha! moments, come when we are willing to let go and let flow. Whether on the yoga mat in your least favorite yoga posture, acting on stage, experiencing mile 25 of your marathon, or just writing in your journal on a Sunday morning. Creativity flows when we connect to what we are feeling, experience it, and let it go somehow….When we, as Ben says, let it come “flying out!”

The River Road_Benjamin Boucvalt

You can be successful!!

 

Sound crazy to you? You’re just a blogger (come on, I know so many of you read this blog) and you can’t EVER imagine getting your creativity harnessed and seeing your writing come to a definitive book or being published? Or maybe you dream of finally getting that play produced? Or writing that short story. Or maybe you’re a closet party planner, a baker, or visual artist.

 

Whatever it is. Go after it. Don’t give up. Believe in you. Because…. YOU CAN DO IT.

 

Ben has some advice for you:

 

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!

 

About Benjamin Boucvalt:
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Benjamin was born is southeast Louisiana. He left home to study screenwriting and film in San Francisco. While there, he found a passion for acting. He stayed in the city to work on stage and in film for a few years after he graduated. He later moved to Florida after being accepted into the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training where he received his MFA. He now lives in New Orleans, working in film and writing fiction. During the summers he can be found performing at Shakespeare festivals.

 

Connect with Ben:

 

 

Comments:

  • Alexandria

    January 20, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Loved this post! I’ll have to check the book out on my Kindle!
    My creativity flows when I’m running, and sometimes I wish I brought a voice recorder with me to run because I always seem to forget half the stuff when I get back home. Lol

  • Sabrina

    January 20, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Awesome! great story and great reminder to put it out there and go for it!

  • Crystal H

    January 21, 2015 at 6:38 am

    I am a HUGE book nerd. I will have to check out his book. I have often thought of writing novels too and have even started a few, but I never finish them. Life always gets in the way and I move on to the next adventure. 🙂 Thanks for sharing the book!