You are the
author of two published books. The first, Kilimanjaro and Beyond,
is about your adventure climbing this mountain with your son, Chris,
at age sixty, and, I Guess We Missed The Boat, a humour filled book about other adventures you have had travelling.
(Both of these books are always included on my Christmas and Fathers
Day 'Great Gifts' Lists). The Vanishing Wife is your first work of
fiction. Why/how did you decide to switch from non-fiction and what
were the main differences you found between writing fiction vs.
I had the storyline kind of rolling
around in my head for quite awhile but I didn’t know whether I
could write fiction. I wanted to test myself because obviously, it is
a lot different than writing about something you lived, which I did
with my first two books. I was surprised at how involved I got with
the characters. I could feel myself trying to determine how I would
react in the situations I was putting them in and I really wanted
their reactions to be as realistic as I could make them. I admire
people who write good fiction and I hope I have done that. I’m
satisfied with the result. Now it’s up to the readers to decide
whether I have accomplished that goal.
you to come up with the unique plot of TVW?
Everyone’s worst nightmare is
probably having a loved one just vanish and I always thought how
terrifying and sickening it must be. Then I wondered how far a mild
mannered person could be pushed if some cold blooded killers are
added into the mix and start threatening the whole family. I guess it
depends on the individual, but I think everyone has a breaking point.
I have tried to portray the anguish that Mason must be feeling and
how those feelings change when he finds out the real reason for his
If TVW was
made into a movie, what famous actor would you cast in the lead role
of the husbands character, Mason Seaforth, and why?
I think Harrison Ford would be a good
choice. He might be a little old for the role, but looks young
enough. He seems to be relatively mild mannered and could play an
accountant who exchanges his spreadsheets for a Glock 17.
yourself on a deserted island and are allowed to take 5 books. What
would they be?
That’s a tough one because I rarely
read a book or watch a movie more than once. But, in this situation I
would have no choice. The first selections that come to mind are
favourite inspirational books because I think I would need that to
keep going on a deserted island. So, I would take Greg Mortensen’s
“Three Cups of Tea,” “I am Malala” written by Malala Yousafzi
and “My Life” by Bill Clinton. Since I would have time to do it,
I would take one of the 100 classics that were on my KOBO when I
bought it to try to figure out why they are considered to be
classics. Perhaps “Moby Dick” would be a good one to start with.
If I could figure that out before being rescued, assuming I was, it
should help my writing. Then I would go to a store and pick a mystery
off the shelf so I would have something new. It would be among those
written by the likes of Lee Child, Daniel Silva, James Patterson,
etc. They say one thing about getting older is that you only need
one book because you forget what was in it shortly after you read it.
Of course, I would have to remember where I left it to be able to
read it again.
magically become any fictional character from a novel for a day. Who
would you choose to be, and why?
I would choose Batman. I like the fact
that he doesn’t have superpowers per se. He’s more like the rest
of us but with some great toys, wealth and the will to use his
gadgets to save the planet. Oh yes, he seems to have the time and
money to work out constantly because he appears to be in great shape!
Are you in the
middle of or do you have any plans for writing another book?
My latest book, The Vanishing Wife, is
hitting the shelves November 1, 2014. I don’t have any immediate
plans to start something new. I plan to concentrate on marketing the
new book for a few months. I keep track of ideas as they come to me,
so will start writing in earnest when I have something concrete to
When you are
not climbing mountains or writing, what types of activities do you
I do like to work out, just not as much
as Bruce Wayne/Batman. I play golf in the summer, curl in the winter
and organize two events each year to raise money for kids in Africa
and for the Wounded Warriors program supporting soldiers with PTSD. I
like to read and travel and I have three wonderful grandkids that are
a joy to be around.
* Please read more about Barry's fundraising activities and the charities they support here.
About The Author
In 2009, Barry Finlay went up a mountain as an accountant and came down as a philanthropist. After over thirty years in various financial roles with the Canadian Federal Government, he took his life in a different direction and climbed Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro at age sixty with his son Chris. The climb and their fundraising efforts to help kids in Tanzania led to the award-winning book, Kilimanjaro and Beyond: A Life-Changing Journey. He followed that up with the hilarious travel memoir, I Guess We Missed The Boat, which was named Best Travel Book of 2013 by Reader Views. Now, he has completed his debut fiction book, The Vanishing Wife. Barry was named to the Authors Show’s list of “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading” in 2012. In 2013, he received the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal for his philanthropic work in Africa. He lives in Ottawa, Canada with his wife Evelyn.
and follow the easy clues to find the four secret words!
I did it, and it only takes a few minutes!
Full details on contest on his site!
Barry Finlay's New Novel THE VANISHING WIFE
How far will a man go when his family
is threatened? Mason Seaforth is about to find out. He is a mild
mannered accountant living a quiet, idyllic life in the quiet
community of Gulfport, Florida with his wife, Samantha. At least,
it’s quiet and idyllic until Sami, as she’s known to her friends,
vanishes the night of their 20th anniversary.
Mason is thrown into a life that is
meant for other people as he and their brash friend, Marcie Kane, try
everything to find out what has happened to Sami. A search of Sami’s
computer uncovers notes describing a past that Sami has buried for
more than 20 years.
Mason and Marcie are thrust into a race
against a sadistic killer to discover what has happened to Mason’s
wife. He reluctantly exchanges his spreadsheets for a Glock 17 and he
and Marcie follow a trail left behind by Sami that leads them deep
into a dark world in Canada. Mason is required to make decisions
that he could never imagine himself making and each one has deadlier
consequences than the last. The wrong one could result in the death
of his entire family.
I have had my e-reader for about two
years now, and I cannot now imagine living without it! Before my Kobo
(I have a Kobo Arc which is actually an HD tablet so I also have the
Kindle 'App' on it as well.) became attached to my wrist, once a week
I would hike up to the library and borrow a weeks worth of books. On
average, I read about one new book every two days. (The exception
being unless I find a new TV series and binge watch a season or two,
but I think I am all caught up now.) I do not watch much TV anymore,
apart from sports and the hockey season has yet to start. When I
picked books out at the library I did not always pick out the
best-sellers. Actually, apart from a few authors, I rarely pick up a
book simply because it is rated as best-selling. I used to hunt along
the shelves and pick out books that looked different and interesting.
I would also mix up the genres. A little romance, a mystery, I always
love a story about a quirky P.I., a thriller and something with spies
and espionage. If I found a book I loved, I would return and check
out other books from the same author, a practice I still do. I love
variety so depending on my mood, I would settle in bed for the night
and crack open a new world. Now, with my e-reader, I have hundreds of
books on it and my library grows everyday. With the tap of a finger I
can choose, download and read an ebook. I no longer fear running out
of books or having to brave a snow storm to refill my book supply.
Snow days or rainy afternoons are guilt free times when I can indulge
and read a book in one sitting.
Apart from variety, I love the
unexpected. No longer am I subjected to the 'tried and true formulas'
that traditional publishing houses thrive on as they appeal to the
masses. I can now take a chance on a new author simply because I read
their book blurb and the story description sounded new and
unpredictable! Indie authors have the freedom to publish their books,
their way, without having to succumb to possible mandatory changes an
editor will insist on in order for it to be published. I have heard
from several authors how different their book is and how they are not
as happy with the finished product as they were before the pressured
changes were made. I can understand why they gave in and went along
with it, as someday they may be so popular that they will eventually
have a greater say in how their work is presented.
Indie books are the true voice of a
writer. They are free to have their words read exactly as they
intended. As a reader I am treated to stories that do not always
include the obligatory 'X' scene, and they are not always necessary.
I can read a book set in a little known country and culture. I can
read about relationships that are real and raw and full of emotion.
Some of these books are by authors submersed in the not so mainstream
society, allowing me a peek at what it is really like to grow-up,
live and survive a certain way. Some authors have created a whole new
fantasy world that has blown me away!
And the price? Most great quality
ebooks sell for about $2.99! And I can buy wearing my favourite
jammies while in bed with a bowl of ice cream! I have a large wish
list as I have discovered that Indie Authors will often put their
books on sale, so I check my list everyday to see if there are any
new specials; there usually are! I now have a list of authors that
when they release something new, I automatically buy it. There is an
option on Amazon that alerts me to new releases from any author.
I would love to list my favourite books
and authors here for you, but I fear I will forget one or two and I
do not wish to leave an author worth mentioning out. However, I am always on the look-out
for the next quirky Private Investigator...