Barsoap - Life Behind Bars Vol. 1

Book Cover


1980s & '90s,20th Century (multiple decades)

AJ Anthony

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After learning that his father’s death may have been at the hands of a devious nightclub owner, Sean delves into the dark world of partying, corruption, and betrayal. Can he uncover the truth before his own demise? Strap in for a fun and wild ride.



Short Summary

Sean Collins receives a letter from his deceased mother, stating that he had a father he’d never met, who was killed by his business partner, Beau Garrett over 24 years ago. Using this info, he takes a bartending job at the nightclub owned by the unscrupulous Garrett, in an attempt to get justice.

After his friends, associates, and his love interest were murdered, and nearly Sean a couple of times as well, he uncovers the evidence to put Garrett behind bars.


San Francisco, CA / Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Overcoming Monster/Villain,Quest,Tragedy

Plot - Other Elements

Happy Ending,Coming of Age

Mature Audience Themes

Nudity,Substance Abuse, Language/Profanity

Main Character Details

Name: Sean Collins

Age: 24

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Masculine,Modest,Charming,Sexy,Selfless,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Funny,Romantic,Heartthrob,Educated,Heroic,Seductive,Naive,Sarcastic,Confident,Adventurous

Additional Character Details

Name: Michael Walker

Age: 37

Gender: Male

Role: Sidekick

Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Sexy,Confident,Crazy,Decisive,Funny,Gracious,Sarcastic,Heroic,Honorable,Leader

Additional Character Details

Name: Stacy Menteri

Age: 43

Gender: Female

Role: tempter

Key Traits: Aspiring,Complex,Confident,Sexy,Criminal,Faithful,Romantic,Secretive

Additional Character Details

Name: Beau Garrett

Age: 46

Gender: Male

Role: antagonist

Key Traits: Masculine,Villainous,Aggressive,Criminal,Power Hungry,Blunt,Greedy,Secretive,Unapologetic

Development Pitch

INSPIRATION This story is drawn upon the real-life experiences I've accumulated in 15+ years in all types of restaurants, nightclubs, and pubs. I’m compelled to share a wide variety of interesting and many times disturbing stories of bar culture. The back story and main arc of this concept are in part based upon incidents that have been incorporated and dramatized. The names have been changed to protect the guilty. WORLD The prologue is set in the '70s, but the main story takes place in the late '90s in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is a time before the dependency on cell phones and social media. It was still acceptable to smoke in public places. Having multiple sex partners was still in fashion and cocaine was the rage. MARKET The story has a lot of great elements; drama, music, romance, and partying. I feel the setting is fresh and hasn't been overdone by any means, especially from an edgy behind-the-scenes POV of the real lifestyle and its pitfalls. Although I do want the story to have a comedic tone, this is by no means a Cheers. There are great opportunities for product placement with liquor companies and other bar related products. The music and dance routines are fun and easily incorporated in whatever doses are deemed appropriate. SUMMARY I see this as a cable movie or short series, maybe half-hour segments. I hope you will see the possibilities in it and contact me. The website is: Thank you for your consideration.

About The Author

A J Anthony is a San Francisco Bay Area native, where he bartended for over 15 years in a variety of pubs, restaurants and night clubs. In Barsoap - Life Behind Bars, he integrates and weaves his years of "interesting", real world experiences into this work. In addition to this genre, he also has sci-fi and flash-fiction projects in the works. A J is also a graphic designer and audio book narrator. In addition to writing, he enjoys art, tennis and auto-crossing car racing. He currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife, son and three cats. "I hope you will listen to and/or read my first novel entitled Barsoap-Life Behind Bars. It is filled with many of my actual experiences accumulated over the years in the trenches, woven into a compelling story with rich characters. I call it my auto barography. It's also loaded with lots of fun and interesting extras." - AJ Anthony

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Fab Media

Year Published: 2020

Hard Copy Available







Sean learns about his father's death from his dying mother. He enters the night life world in order to take down his father's murderer. The closer he gets to solving the mystery, the more danger he is put in as well as those around him.

Overall Rating


Point of View


Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: FAIR

Characterization: FAIR

Commerciality: GOOD

Franchise Potential: GOOD

Pace: FAIR


Structure: FAIR

Theme: FAIR

Accuracy of Book Profile

Yes the book profile accurately describes the story. While the logline is enticing, ideally it would be limited to one to two sentences rather than four. This helps audiences comprehend the concept in a more digestible and quicker format.

Draw of Story

The prologue set up that justice will eventually come for such a heinous act, and then the flash forward is filled with tension waiting for Sean to realize the truth both about his mother and his father's murderer. He gets so far involved in their lives before everyone realizes who each other are in the present day.

Possible Drawbacks

The pacing in getting Sean involved in Beau's world is delayed at the beginning with teh subplots of his dying mother and being fired. These could be established quicker in order to create Sean's main conflict in solving his father's murder. Those subplots do not add tension to the main conflict nor do they have lasting consequences to Sean's character development.

Use of Special Effects


Primary Hook of Story

The hook is that the audience knows what the characters don't know such as Sean is trying to sleep with his mother and that his boss murdered his father. It allows danger to rise with a known outcome but unknown pathway to that end point. It becomes curious how far Sean will go for the truth.

Fanbase Potential

The concept itself of a male strip club as the main cast but as a mystery could definitely hold space for a large audience. The tone would be key. The pacing would need to be streamlined depending on the adaptation medium, but this could have an audience based on its fun premise and unique setting.

Awards Potential

Given the stigma of nightlife and strippers this is unlikely to win serious acting awards even though it has elements of a classic Greek tragedy. This could win popular awards depending on the adaptation medium and cast.

Envisioned Budget


Similar Films/TV Series


What’s New About the Story

The stories originality stems from the setting and premise. By creating more obstacles related to solving the mystery of his mother and father rather than focusing on romances and subplots, the pacing would be faster and the tension more apparent. The women characters also all tend to be flat version of one side of the Madonna-whore complex. By giving the side characters, especially the women, more complex tasks and their own inner conflicts, they would become more dynamic and thus their deaths or deceit would carry greater emotional weight.

Lead Characters

Sean is a survivalist who is filial and generous. Stacy is independent and strong for all that she went through while she was pregnant and putting up with her eventual husband. Beau is cold-hearted and shrewd.

Uniqueness of Story

The oedipal setup as well as the murder crumbs create a good mystery but there is more focus on women relationships who are inconsequential and the night life activities at time which do not add tension to the main conflict.

Possible Formats

Film - Streaming, Film - Indie, TV Series - Cable, TV Series - Streaming

Analyst Recommendation



While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.

Tips for Improvement

Adding more dynamic qualities to the side characters will create more emotional weight behind the high body count. Potentially keeping the secrets of the murder and Stacy's maternity of Sean secret longer might lead to interesting tension in hindsight and longer suspense as the plot progresses.