What is your latest release and what genre is it? Finishing Year – a non-fiction, travel/memoir book about finishing my university education a little bit later in life
Quick description: A 48-year-old single father takes a gap year to finish his university education as an international exchange student in Europe. 242 pages, paperback and e-book.
The back cover copy: 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.
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.
What are you working on now?
I am doing two things, but slowly: writing a novelization of my screenplay, Be, about finding meaning in our lives at the end of the world, and writing the follow-up to Finishing Year, about restarting in life by graduating from university late, remarrying, and then rebuilding a new house and home after losing a few to divorce and terminal relationships.
Bryce’s reading recommendation:
The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer, a memoir of growing up in and around an American bar. Detailed, palpable descriptions of simply everything about growing up. Sometimes too much, maybe, but overall an amazingly personal story, the kind every personal experience writer should read.