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October 12, 2009

The Story Behind BO'S CAFE

Posted by webmaster
Bruce McNicol, Bill Thrall and John Lynch teamed up to write the novel Bo's Café about a high-powered executive whose life comes unraveled. Through grace, love and the friendship of an eccentric mystery man, he ultimately discovers a fuller, more authentic life. In today's guest blog post, the trio of authors tell us about Bo's Café and how they came to write the inspirational story. Click here to learn more about the authors.

All of us long to be known, and we are afraid we will be. The three of us who wrote Bo's Café live in the awareness of this mysterious sensation --- both a longing and a fearing to be known. Sometimes, we've let fear overwhelm us. This has created unwelcome drama, twisted conflicts and tragic losses in our journeys. Conversely, listening to "the longing" has fostered intense trepidation, messy relationships and unimaginable freedoms. Now that we've tasted astonishing authenticity, we're never going back to the standard fare. Truth is, Bo's Café got its start here.

We grew up in three different states in the USA with vastly divergent backgrounds. But, eventually, all three of us stumbled into the same trap. We got tricked into the snare that says, "If you are ever going to keep from getting hurt in this life, and if you you're ever going to reach your dreams, you've got to protect yourself, because no one else will or can." This is a crock of con.

By the time John was 25 years old, he was an acid-dropping, wandering hippie-type, selling his plasma for dope, and living alone in an idyllic southern California beach town. In high school, he had been an all-state high school baseball pitcher and student body president, even securing the homecoming queen as his girl. But, the wheels came off in college and in his embarrassment John thought he had to protect himself by leaving for another state and then lying to all his friends back home that he had become a stand-up comedian. In reality, John might have done standup comedy once or twice, with humor only a mother could love.

Bill grew up a very bright son of two alcoholic parents, abandoned to an orphanage for part of his childhood years. Anyone who has a similar story implicitly knows the insecurity and the weird coping mechanisms that such early experiences nurture. By the time Bill reached high school he was already a card shark, making money all weekend long for the local mafia.

Bruce became the middle child in a high-octane, performance-driven, over-achieving home where early on he figured out that he had to live up to the family name, at all costs. Problem was, he kept coming in third, out of three siblings, in academics, sports, music, and other areas --- a classic formula for custom-made masks.

Imagine the lies we told ourselves, let alone other people! Lies picked up when we're young can stay with us for a lifetime. Our common lie was that we had to buck up, shape up and move up --- and most importantly, that we had to make all this happen on our own. That is a recipe for toxic hiddenness, self-deception, and power-driven manipulation. So, at Bo's Café, you’ll recognize a familiar face (or mask) in the main character, Steven.

Toss another ingredient into the story, and you’ll catch a whiff of the spice that flavors Bo's Café. Ever since we were young, each of the three of us had something nagging that said, "There's more to me, to the reason I've been put on this earth, and I don't know what it is. I know I have talents. I know I have stuff to offer. But I keep shooting myself in the foot. From the earliest time I can remember I thought I was here to do something a whole lot more significant than what it seems I'm doing right now. It just seemed life would be more fulfilling than it is right now." We kept scratching for that "something nagging" in us, but we did so in some of the most destructive and strangest ways. So does Steven. So do a lot people we meet.

Beyond our journeys, Bo's Café is based on the secrecy and courage of real people with whom we co-authors have walked. One haunting question best captures the suspense behind their stories, "What if there was a place where the worst of me could be known, and I would discover in the telling of it that I would be loved more, not less?"

Steven desperately needs an answer to that question. He's a fast-rising, 34-year-old rainmaker at a kicking-it Southern California company, and he's losing it. Up to this point he's been successful, satisfied, medicated, and isolated. In charge, in control, in command. But, when his life starts "backfiring like any old engine," (a la Steven starts doing abnormal things to his beautiful wife, Lindsay, and everyone else within reach.

Enter loud Hawaiian-shirted, 1970 Buick Electra-driving, cigar-smoking, former-business-mogul, now-marina-boat-operator, Andy Monroe. Throw in Cynthia, Carlos, and Hank from the Marina del Rey boardwalk cafe, and the dance begins.

As we've had opportunity to encourage thousands of people from all walks of life, we've observed that there are no together people, just those who dress better. So, as you read, you may think of people in media, politics, sports, the professions and other disciplines. People who tried to tackle the tiger of "this longing and this fearing" by themselves. Those who went with their fears and paid for their decision with high stakes "consequences."

You may think of your family, your friends, your neighbors. Or you may even think of your own desire to find a safe place where the worst of you could be known and yet you would discover that you were loved more, not less. If this is you, we hope you'll jump in the Electra and take off for Bo's Café. The story of Steven and Lindsey Kerner and the folks at Bo's Café is really not about celebrities. Bo's Café could be about any of us. And, it has been about at least three of us.

Have a great ride!

---John Lynch, Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol