Connor's Corner: Alan Benoit and the Passion of Writing

Alan Benoit has a passion for writing as well as sharing his interests with others. By Connor Magee Editor's Note: Today is the fi...

Alan Benoit has a passion for writing as well as sharing his interests with others.

By Connor Magee

Editor's Note: Today is the first installment of a new column written by Murrieta resident Connor Magee. In "Connor's Corner", he will introduce us to some of the interesting local personalities that make up Murrieta and the surrounding communities.

We’ve all been on those torturous shopping trips, when you can find nothing you want and you write the day off as a waste of time and ever-more-expensive gas. But if you’ve ever been to the Temecula Barnes and Noble bookstore while Alan Benoit is working, chances are you left with a smile.

One look at Alan (Al to his friends) immediately conjures pangs of nostalgia for childhood. The man is jolly, with a larger-than-life persona, an infectious laugh and formidable facial hair. He is reminiscent of those ever-positive older gentlemen from 90’s television, always offering the silver lining on the cloudy gloom of a bad day. And while on the surface he may seem like a man content with the simple things and a man who loves his job, should we delve a little deeper we see him as a man of purpose, drive and ambition.

He is a man with a dream. A dream that if realized spells progress, understanding and dare I say happiness for many, many more than perhaps even Benoit himself has realized.

Born in upstate New York, Benoit made his move to California approximately 37 years ago. Since then, he has been involved with a myriad of projects, all creatively minded, including single-handedly conceiving, researching, designing and expanding a collectible trading card game called Tiki Man, based on the history and folklore of the Hawaiian Islands.

Benoit has also made contributions to environmental progression. He spoke of how he developed and implemented an all-inclusive educational program for water use awareness and conservation, including writing, producing, and hosting a PBS television series and PSA’s during the 80’s for the City of El Segundo. With the current drought afflicting many of us here in Southern California, this is one subject that definitely hits home and Benoit has worked fervently to help rectify these issues.

As well as now being a full-time head cashier at Barnes and Noble, Benoit owns and operates his own publishing company. Believe Publishings was formed in 2010 when Benoit was looking to have his own book, "Dreams of Shambala", published.

"The seemingly insurmountable process of actually publishing a book is what inspired me to create and develop my publishing company," he said.

Benoit works in tandem with his wife Judy, and her artistic company Gardens of Shambala, which showcases Judy’s own creative products and shares inspirational art for all to enjoy.

While his independence and drive is admirable, the reason he gives for wanting to continue his business is inspirational.

"It is my genuine desire, as a coach or mentor, to assist aspiring writers, authors, illustrators and artists to engage in their passion and see it become a reality," he said.

Even the name of his company is designed to instill confidence and belief. The "Believe" in Believe Publishings, explains Benoit, "stands for Breathe Eternal Life Into Every Vision Experienced." And that is a motto Benoit lives by. He carries it like a badge of honor wherever he is, with every transaction at the cash register and every interaction with his co-workers.

Benoit's book "Dreams of Shambala" tells the story of a young Down’s Syndrome girl who along with her cousins is transported into a beautiful, vibrant fantasy world. The story is inspired by Benoit's daughter Katy, who herself has Down’s Syndrome. The project is ambitious, compelling and undeniably creative. And one can’t help but wonder if such a book, with disability featured with such prominence, could help people around the world better understand those who live with disabilities.

Benoit has already planned his next book.

"I am very pleased to announce that we will be launching a wonderful new children’s story by local author James Laskey and local illustrator Ashley Lowery this summer," he said. "It promises to be a huge hit with children and families alike."

When reflecting back on his life, Benoit put it all into perspective.

"It’s interesting, that throughout my life I always manage to involve or associate myself with the art of writing," he said. "Be it for work or pleasure, it has been a gift that I much appreciate and cherish. And for those out there who may be challenged trying to find that key of inspiration, open your eyes and open your hearts. Take a look at nature, at the stranger walking or driving by. Interact as much as possible, for inspiration comes in many forms and many avenues."

And that is perhaps the perfect way to sum up Alan Benoit. Positive, considerate, genuine. He's a man who has devoted as much of his life to the service and education of others as he has to his own creative endeavors. He's a man with a dream.

Connor Magee is an English man living the American Dream. He loves reading, writing, rugby and his wife. His column will appear here regularly.

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  1. I love this article!!! It is warm and caring as well as entertaining... I've also seen this man at Barnes and Nobles and it's fun to know more about this happy fellow!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a wonderfully written article about a wonderfully inspirational man.

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