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.
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.
It is my pleasure to welcome Barry Finlay, author of The Vanishing Wife, to Room With Books!
It is my pleasure to be here. Thank you for having me.
What do you do when you are not writing?
The biggest part of my life when I’m not writing is taken up with fundraising. My wife and I hold two events a year for two causes. We have a golf tournament for Wounded Warriors Canada and a Variety Show to help the children of Tanzania through Plan Canada. We also have three grandchildren that are a joy to be around and I like to stay active as much as possible. I snowshoe, curl and go to the gym in the winter and play golf and hike in the summer. The days roll by.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
I don’t think there is one book or author. I have been influenced by so many. I like to read stories by or about real people and I intersperse them with thrillers and mysteries. I like books that capture your attention in the first few sentences and keep it throughout. That’s what I have strived to do in my books.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
I tried a couple of traditional publishers and got the usual rejection letters. I didn’t spend a lot of time with it. I eventually went with a package deal through Dog Ear Publishing. I was quite happy with the result. I have tried other routes. My second was through a small press publisher but I found I was doing all the promotion anyway so I published my third completely on my own under my banner of Keep On Climbing Publishing. I see no need to do anything different the next time.
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
I would like to have the power to be teleported. I dislike flying more and more each time I have to do it. There are so many things not to like about flying, including waiting forever in airports. I would be quite happy if I could teleport myself in minutes from one location to another.
What was your first job?
That’s a tricky one. I grew up on a farm so my first work was doing chores. My first paying job, although the owners were reluctant to come up with the money, was helping to set up a carnival. That only lasted a day though, thankfully. I guess my first real job was with Manitoba Hydro running in and out of ditches, spraying chemicals around hydro poles. The purpose was to kill the grass so the poles wouldn’t burn if there was a fire. I didn’t wear any kind of protective clothing as there was no danger foreseen at the time. I would think that has changed now.
What types of books do you write?
I have written in three different genres. My first, Kilimanjaro and Beyond is an inspirational true-life adventure. The second, I Guess We Missed the Boat, is a humorous travel memoir. My latest book, The Vanishing Wife, is a mystery/thriller.
Who’s your main audience?
I think my books appeal to a wide audience. If someone is looking for a little inspiration, Kilimanjaro and Beyond would appeal to them. If a reader wants a laugh, it would be I Guess We missed the Boat. Finally, those looking for a mystery/thriller would hopefully like The Vanishing Wife.
Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite? Why?
There are two characters in The Vanishing Wife that are my favorites for different reasons. The lead character, Mason Seaforth, is a mild mannered accountant who finds himself in a very difficult situation when his wife disappears. I think the way he handles the situation is interesting. His wife’s friend, Marcie Kane, is also a favorite because she is brash and a little quirky and erratic but willing to go through a wall for the people she loves.
What does your writing schedule look like?
I am an early riser so I like to write in the morning.
Do you use your OWN experiences?
Definitely. My first two books are basically memoirs so they are completely based on my personal experiences. The lead character in The Vanishing Wife is built on the way I believe I might react in a similar situation. Hopefully, I will never have to find out.
Was it easy to pick the title for your book?
I always have difficulty naming my books. I’m very happy with the names I came up with but I don’t think it’s an easy thing to do. I don’t think I named any of them until they were nearly finished, although I did come up with lists of potential names as I was writing them. I run the potential names by people to see their reaction. The name has to be short, catchy and representative of the content – not an easy thing to do.
If you could pick one profession, other than author, which would you choose?
I worked in the finance field in my previous life and really enjoyed my career. I think my life has pretty much gone the way I would have wanted. I would have preferred being a professional baseball player but that doesn’t mean I could have been. Haha!
What are you currently working on?
Since The Vanishing Wife was just released in November, I’m in promotion mode. However, I have some ideas for a new mystery thriller percolating in the back of my head. People who have read The Vanishing Wife are asking when they will see the next one so that is encouraging.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Strawberry
Night owl, or early bird? Definitely early bird. That’s when I do my best work.
Red, or white wine? It used to be red, now it’s white. I don’t know why I changed but somewhere along the way I decided I preferred white.
Roller Coasters or Water Rides? Water rides.
Swimming in the ocean or a pool? Pool, and the warmer, the better.
Walking or fitness club? Walking in the summer and fitness club in the winter.
Any last words?
Thank you for the interview. I hope your readers will consider checking out my books and please leave a review for any book you read. Positive reviews keep readers buying and encourage authors to write.
Thank you for chatting with me and our readers and for allowing Room With Books to be part of your tour!
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.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBarryFinlay
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).
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