Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Vanishing Wife by Barry Finlay Interview, Excerpt & Giveaway

The Vanishing Wife
by Barry Finlay



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.  



Mason Seaforth was waiting.

It was 6 o’clock in the morning and the darkness in the suburbs had begun to ease. The sun would soon make its appearance for another day, causing the shadows to beat a hasty retreat. Mason was now restlessly sitting on the couch in the sunroom that belonged to him and his wife Samantha, or Sami as she was known to her friends. He was staring at the walls and thinking that if he smoked, now would be a good time to light one up.

He hated waiting. Mason was a very punctual man and had always had the attitude that everyone’s time is precious. He never wanted to give the impression that his time was more valuable than anyone else’s. His wife was no different. She had always had the same attitude as he did, and together they’d earned the reputation of being the “Early Seaforths.” That’s what made this so unusual and frightening at the same time.

Mason was waiting for Sami.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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.


Where are you from?

I was born and raised on a farm in the province of Manitoba in central Canada. I loved growing up on the farm. Although I was expected to work from the time I was old enough to do it, the open spaces and fresh air really appealed to me. However, the unsteady income of a farming life did not appeal to me and I moved with my wife Evelyn to Canada’s capital of Canada in 1978 where we reside to this day.
Tell us your latest news?

The latest news is that my new book, The Vanishing Wife, was released in November 2014. I’m excited about it because it is my third book, but my first novel. My first two, Kilimanjaro and Beyond and I Guess We Missed the Boat are both non-fiction travel-oriented books. Both won awards and I’m very proud of that. But writing in a different genre was a challenge and I’m very happy to have pulled it off. I like to think that one of the advantages of writing non-fiction and then fiction is that there is a desire to keep the characters real. I think I have been able to do that in The Vanishing Wife.
When and why did you begin writing?

I always loved to write. I enjoyed writing stories throughout school. However, at one point in my career I had a job writing financial policy for the Canadian federal government. Although people only read financial policy when they have to, it honed my writing skills. The challenge was to write about a complex subject in language that the readers could understand. I think it made me a better writer.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

That’s an interesting question. I have always enjoyed writing but I think we are always striving to be better so I’m not sure when we consider ourselves to be writers per se. Writing financial policy is a skill that can’t really be taught. Either you can write that stuff and make it understandable or you can’t. However, you always question yourself…at least I do. When I wrote my first book, I wondered if anyone would read it. It has done quite well. My second book is full of humor and I wondered if anyone would laugh. Many have told me that they have. Now that I’ve written a fiction book, I wonder if anyone will like it. So far, so good. So, I guess what I’m saying is that I consider myself to be a writer but I am always striving to be a better writer.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I wrote my first book after climbing Mount Kilimanjaro at age 60 with our son Chris. I didn’t set out planning to write a book, but after making some presentations about the climb and the experience of meeting some school children in Africa afterward, I realized both events really had changed my life and there was a story to tell. I enjoyed the writing experience so much that I decided to do it again…and again. 

What would you like my readers to know?

The newest information is that, on the merits of The Vanishing Wife, I received a Canada Book Award, which is given to authors for their accomplishment and contribution to the publishing world.

Your readers might also be interested to know that, since the climb of Mount Kilimanjaro, the fundraising efforts to help young people in Tanzania continued and we have raised over $150,000 to build a classroom, drill a well and help some young women start small businesses. Now we are raising money towards a sanitation project. My wife and I went back to Tanzania in 2011 to see the projects and will go back again in the near future. That part of my life has been as satisfying as my writing.


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)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you for the interview. I had a great time doing it. If anyone has any questions, I would be happy to answer them.

    Happy New Year!

  2. Thank you , I really liked your interview, it was a great thing to read, I loved the part about when you considered your self a writer. thank you

  3. Thank you Cyndi and Teresa! It's great to hear from you.