What inspired you to write your memoir?
I have always written non-fiction books, but none about my own life or experiences. Probably I thought everyone has stories to tell, so why write about mine? But then, when I was 46, I went to study overseas to finish my university degree, and I thought I would write down what happened to me during that year away, mostly so my kids could read it later. I collect travel typewriters, so I bought one in Europe and started typing out my experiences as a mature student of art history in Europe. Pretty soon, I had a manuscript sitting there. A year later, it was edited and ready to produce as my book, “Finishing Year”.
About your Book:
Can a man change his stars? Can he ever really rise above? These are the questions that plague our mortal souls. Bryce Finley, a 48-year-old Canadian single father with an unfinished university degree, two nearly grown children, and no visible (future) means of support, is about to find out.
After three years working at his local university, he decides to hit the books and go back to finish his degree and show his kids he never meant to be a dropout. His eldest has already quit high school, but is there still time to show the youngest one?
When his university contract ends, completing his long-delayed education in art history proves to be financially difficult, so he jumps at the chance to study – with the aid of a small scholarship – as an international exchange student in Europe.
What follows is a life in a cramped student dorm in an industrial town in Germany that is – luckily – an ideal jumping off point for visiting the great art capitals of Europe.
Life-changing experiences follow, along with chances to reflect and improve upon a life some have called “a financial train wreck,” in which only one of his two kids might ever graduate from high school, and in which our hero finally realizes he never, ever, decided what to be when he grew up.
But that was then, this is now, and class is in session. With style, humour, and cunning linguistics, Finley makes his way through his last year of university, the great museums of Europe, and the social fabrics of a handful of European countries, to emerge a wiser, more-educated, and potentially more-employable person.
How did you decide how to publish your book and where is it published through:
I knew I would self-publish this new book, as I had previously published my own business, health, and travel volumes when I was a journalist. I think self-publishing is much quicker, less stressful, and results in more control than working with a publisher.
How do you see writing a Memoir as different from writing other genres of books?
That is a good question. A memoir needs to be as truthful as possible, and I think that demand really opens an author up to a lot of things: a bit of embarrassment, a bit of self-loathing, judgement, a lot of things. It is hard to write about yourself. It is probably even harder to write about others. And it is hardest of all to decide when you are telling your story for your own purposes or when you are boring a potential reader to death with the inner working of your own mind.
Born in 1964 in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
Father of two kids.
Holds an honours degree (with distinction) in History in Art from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Teaches at the Co-operative State University of Baden-Wuerttemberg at Mannheim, Germany.
A former journalist and author of four previous books on health, business, and travel.
Writes personal experience adventure tales about living this life.
Has a passion for Weimaraner dogs and possibly antique European sports cars and wooden sailboats.