Q&A with Barry Finlay, author of THE VANISHING WIFE

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Barry will be awarding a medium or large t-shirt with the author's "Keep On Climbing" logo on the front to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour (US/CANADA ONLY). Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome to My World of Dreams, Barry, and thanks for the interview. Where does your inspiration come from?

My first two books were non-fiction accounts of my travels. My first book, Kilimanjaro and Beyond, is an account of my climb of Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro at age 60 with my son, Chris. He is a contributor to the book and the experience of the climb and our subsequent meeting with the children at schools in Tanzania was really a book waiting to be written.

My second book, I Guess We Missed The Boat, is also non-fiction and it describes some of my travel experiences with my in-laws. I was inspired to write it because I thought some of the stories were just too good not to share.

The inspiration for The Vanishing Wife was a thought that had been rolling around in my head for awhile. I had always thought that a worst nightmare would be to wake up and find out a loved one has vanished into thin air. Add to that some sadistic killers and I wondered to what lengths a man would go in search of his loved one. I have attempted to tell the story of just how far one man would go in The Vanishing Wife.

I was fortunate to have access to three detectives when I was writing The Vanishing Wife and they graciously spent some time answering my questions. Those men inspired me! They were very forthcoming with their answers. They have a tough job to do and it’s getting tougher. I feel I owe it to them to tell the best story I could and I hope I have done that.

Would you ever want to change genres and if so what would you like to experiment with?

As you can see from my first answer, I have already started genre jumping. I have written a travel adventure, travel humor and a mystery/suspense. However, I might consider writing a children’s book. I have three young grandchildren so I have ready-made beta readers.

Are your characters/ideas drawn from people that you know personally in any way?

Absolutely! I think there is some of me and others that I have met in my lead character, Mason Seaforth. The person who helps him, the brash Marcie Seaforth, is a conglomeration of people I have worked with over the years. I think it would be impossible not to sprinkle character traits of people you have met personally in the characters of a book. However, the bad guys are figments of my imagination, thankfully!

Where would you like to be in 10 years with life or career?

Well, since I am 65 now, my flippant answer would be alive. I’m going to assume I will be so I would like to have written more books. My primary goal is to entertain with my books and hopefully, my books do that and will continue to do so. I have also been raising money for the kids of Tanzania for the last five years and I would like to continue doing that.

What book or books are you reading now?

I like biographies and autobiographies that inspire as well as a good mystery/suspense. Right now I’m reading Lee Child’s Die Trying. Child’s Jack Reacher seems to have a penchant for finding himself in trouble and I always find the books to be entertaining.

What do you do with your free-time when you are not writing or brain-storming?

As I mentioned, I raise money for Tanzania as well as Wounded warriors Canada. My wife and I hold two events a year, a golf tournament and a Variety Show. In the last year, we have raised about $150,000. They take some time to organize. Obviously, as you can tell from my first two books, I like to travel. Staying fit is important to me so I spend time in the gym, curl in the winter and play a lot of golf in the summer. As mentioned, we have three grandchildren so it is fun to spend time with them. When I combine all that with writing and, oh yes, promoting my titles, my days are pretty full.

What is your fondest memory from childhood that left an impact on your life?

Wow, there are a lot of memories. Probably, one of the main things that influenced me was my mother reading to me. I was way ahead of most of the other kids in reading when I started school and it was because my mother spent so much time reading to me. She also encouraged me to write. We have tried to pass that along to our kids and they seem to be doing the same.

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. Then come the threatening phone calls: to Sami, to their daughter Jennifer at university in Miami, and to Mason.

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 which leads them to a potential confrontation with some very dangerous men 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.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Sami never went anywhere without her cell phone, and if she had gone out for a walk, she would certainly have taken the phone with her. He reached for his own phone and dialed Sami’s number. The number rang. And rang, and rang again. Mason held his breath. “Please, Sami, please, pick up,” he whispered. On the sixth ring, he heard Sami’s confident voice message. “You have reached Samantha Seaforth. Please leave a message, and I will call you back.”

In a shaking voice, Mason heard himself doing as she asked. “Sweetie, it’s Mason, I’m leaving a message. Where are you? Please call me back right away.”

It had been two hours since he first noticed Sami was gone.

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.

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Thank you for hosting
Barry Finlay said…
Thank you for for the Q & A! It is very much appreciated. I would also like to tell your readers that there is a Giveaway of my book on Goodreads until Dec. 12 so I would encourage them to drop over. If your readers have any questions, I would be happy to answer throughout the day. I should also clarify that we have raised $150,000 in the last six years, not one year. We may be good but we aren't THAT good. haha!
Barry Finlay said…
I just got word that The Vanishing Wife is a Winner of a Canada Book Award. The award is given to authors "for their accomplishment and contribution to the publishing world. Their dedication, expression and passion are an inspiration for all of us."
Judy said…
Congratulations on the award! That's very exciting :-)
Barry Finlay said…
Thanks Judy!