The next guest on the Crime Cafe podcast will be Barry Finlay, author of the Jake Scott Mysteries. Along with his guest post, he’s offering two lucky readers copies of the first book in the series, Searching for Truth.

To enter the giveaway, just click here and follow directions.

In today’s guest post, Barry answers the following question:

How do you keep things fresh for yourself as the author, and for your readers?

I think we are always evolving as writers. I’ve written and published nine books now, and when I’m doing a signing, I’m often asked, “Which book is your favorite?” It’s kind of like being asked, “Which of your kids do you like the best?” The more I’m asked the question, the more I’ve thought about the “right” answer. The most honest answer and the one I give all the time now is, “The last one I wrote…until I write the next one.”

As a fiction writer, it is the research that goes into a book that keeps it fresh for me. Throughout the five-book Marcie Kane Thriller Collection, I’ve written about topics like human trafficking, computer hacking, the drug culture, and PTSD. I didn’t know much about any of the subjects before I started weaving a story around them. Even though the stories are fictional, there are still facts that I want to get right. I research online and speak with subject matter experts to ensure the facts are correct. Of course, there’s an element of literary license involved to keep the story interesting, but I try to ensure as much accuracy as possible where it is required. Through this process, I’ve learned a great deal about subjects I would have had only a surface knowledge of otherwise.

There’s still an element of research with my Jake Scott Mystery Series, but there’s also the added challenge of dropping clues without giving up the culprit until the end of the story. It’s immensely satisfying when my readers tell me they were surprised by the ending.

Each of my books is different, and that’s what keeps things fresh for me, and, hopefully, for my readers.


Barry Finlay is a fiction and non-fiction author. In his previous life, he had an extensive career in financial management before retiring in 2004 after thirty-two years with the Canadian federal government. Since retiring, he has divided his time between writing, working as a consultant on financial policy matters, travel, playing golf, climbing mountains, philanthropy and enjoying his three grandchildren.

In 2009, Barry got off the couch and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with his son, Chris. The experience of climbing Africa’s highest mountain at age 60 with one of his sons and discovering the satisfaction of reaching a goal and giving others the opportunity to achieve theirs, was a non-fiction book waiting to be written. It led to the inspirational Kilimanjaro and Beyond: A Life-Changing Journey. His second book was a travel memoir called I Guess We Missed The Boat.

In 2014, Barry started working on the Marcie Kane Thriller Collection: The Vanishing Wife, A Perilous Question, Remote Access, Never So Alone, and The Burden of Darkness. In 2021, he released the first book in the Jake Scott Mystery called Searching For Truth and he has now released The Guardians of Truth.

Barry has received multiple literary awards, is an Amazon bestselling author, and has been featured in the Authors Show book, “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading.” He is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal for philanthropy.

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