Interview with Brian Finney, author of Money Matters

Brian Finney, author of Money Matters

Recently, I had the privilege to get an interview with a Professor Emeritus and James Tair Memorial Book Prize-winning author. Brian has written 8 nonfiction books, but our interview focused on his first NOVEL, Money Matters, a literary detective tale.

THE SYNOPSIS

The main story of Money Matters is narrated by its protagonist Jenny, 27-years-old and a little lost in life. She is still just getting by with two part-time jobs. Asked to look into the disappearance of the CEO’s girlfriend, Jenny reluctantly turns amateur detective and soon finds herself up against a range of powerful and sinister forces, including big money, a corrupt politician, and a Mexican drug cartel.

So the novel is part (late) coming-of-age, part amateur sleuth, part social issues. Immigration, one such issue, permeates both the main plot and subplot featuring an undocumented young Mexican-American. Jenny’s search leads to her meeting the young, handsome director of an immigrants’ rights organization to whom she is strongly attracted. So the novel has elements of romance(as well!).

Money Matters

In our interview we learn more about Brian, his work, and interests.

THE INTERVIEW

– Can you share a little of your current work with us? (short synopsis)

Money Matters is my debut suspense novel that combines a number of genres. Its narrator and major character is Jenny, a 27-year-old woman who hasn’t got her life together. She still lives in her sister Tricia’s Venice apartment and survives on two minimal paying part-time jobs – one doing plant maintenance for Todd, the CEO of a mutual fund company, the other for a large detective agency replaying surveillance tapes.

She is persuaded to investigate the disappearance of Todd’s girlfriend by his Mexican-American housekeeper. Her amateur detective work soon brings her up against the interests of big money, politics (the novel is set during the 2010 mid-term election), and a Mexican drug cartel. 

It also brings into her life the attractive director of an immigrant rights organization. The reader is left unsure to the end whether she will overcome the powerful and dangerous forces opposed to her search for the truth.

– What inspired you to write your first book?

I spent much of my adult life teaching university students how to read and analyze works of fiction. When I retired I felt free at last to write a work of fiction myself. Also, the novel raises questions about immigration, and I emigrated from England over thirty years ago; so I felt a natural bond to my immigrant characters and their difficulties.

– Do you have a specific writing style?

I have written seven nonfiction books (including an award-winning biography of Christopher Isherwood) and in all of them I have tried to develop as colloquial style as the genre allowed. Once I turned to fiction I had unlimited use of colloquial language and developed the voice of my female protagonist to exploit this stylistic trait.

– How did you come up with the title?

Waking up one night it came to me. Its ambiguous meaning encapsulates so economically Jenny’s fight against the monetary society she is a part of which accounts for her lack of money, and the realization that you can’t ignore the role and power of money today. Her endless fights with her wealthy sister give this dual theme dramatic substance.

– What book are you reading now?

Currently, I am on vacation and reading travel literature pertinent to places I am visiting. Just before that, I read Salman Rushdie’s Quichotte, an update of Cervantes Don Quixote set in contemporary America. It’s a wonderful hodgepodge of buffoonery, literary parody, social satire, and much more. I have written a long review of it for the Los Angeles Review of Books that will be published in late October.

– Are there any new authors that have grabbed your interest?

I loved Laila Lalami‘s The Other Americans, a novel that, like mine, focuses on immigrants’ experience, though her focus is almost exclusively on an immigrant community. The novel is short-listed for a National Book Award.

– As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Early on I wanted to be a train driver as I was under the influence of an elder brother obsessed by railways who eventually did become a train driver. I soon grew out of that obsession once my brother left home.

– Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I find I can write with ease, which doesn’t mean I don’t then have to do a lot of deleting and revising. With this novel, my biggest challenge was stopping myself from weighting the scales in favor of Jenny whose views I largely share. I had to spend much time and effort making Tricia’s arguments as convincing as Jenny’s. I hope I succeeded, as conflict is at the essence of narrative.

– Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

This book was set in Los Angeles where I live. But writing my biography of Christopher Isherwood brought me to Southern California to interview him and his friends, and that in turn led to my immigrating there.

-Who designed your covers?

Carl Graves at Extended Imagery, a talented book cover designer, as you can see from the cover of my novel.

LINKS

Money Matters, which is a Finalist in the American Fiction Awards, is now published as an e-book, paperback, and audiobook. It is available from Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07W62XLY6/

I also have a website with details of all my books and other publications: www.bhfinney.com

Thanks very much to Brian, and his excellent PR team for getting us in touch. IF you want an interview on Writer Groupie, or a podcast segment, just let us know by leaving a contact form!

Hey, everyone, welcome back to Writer Groupie. We are chatting with Janie Franz, author of the paranormal fantasy series starting with Ruins, this time, Ruins Legacy .

Ruins Legacy by Janie Franz

We interviewed Janie a while back, at this link for episode 73 : Janie Franz, Acquisitions Editor

I hope you will listen to both of these great chats. They are linked (the two videos) in this one at YouTube. I am trying to create playlists there of dual/multiple interviews. If you like playlists, have a look on our Youtube channel and see what it looks like.

This time Janie and I have a good chat about the latest goings-on at Muse It Up Publishing, who is currently closed to subs, but you can bookmark the site anyway by going here: MuseItUpPublishing

And we also talk about her latest book, Ruins Legacy, which just came out in March.

Also, the audio in this chat is not as good as it needs to be…we were Skyping during a thunderstorm of epic proportions. Sorry about that!!!

You guys should try to glean all you can from our chat though, as Janie is very experienced at editing and writing, and she shares a lot of good info. Writers like me can learn a lot from her.

Hope you enjoy this one!

Eps 84 – R Weir-Mann in the Crossfire

Mann in the Crossfire

This is my second interview with Randy Weir, author of Mann in the Crossfire, his latest novel. If you want to see the first interview go here : https://youtu.be/JrB_la9bjNU

…or just read the blog here http://www.writergroupie.net/wgp-eps-80-r-weir-author-of-the-front-range-butcher/

Randy has just gotten back from a conference and he tells us all about what happened there, and if it was a good one for you to plan on attending.

We also discussed the latest book Mann in the Crossfire and how Randy hopes it is well received as it may be the last in the series. We talk about how to know when a series has reached its natural end, and what may be coming in the future.

There is a lot of good discussion about writing and the writing life in this video and I hope you will enjoy it.

You can get R Weir’s previous work, Front Range Butcher here at Amazon – this IS an affiliate link.

book covers
Front Range Butcher by R. Weir

Please like, share, follow, and subscribe to our various social media accounts. We love our subscribers!

R. Weir, author of the Jarvis Mann PI series
Website: http://www.rweir.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/randy.weir.524
Twitter : https://twitter.com/RWeir720

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Drop us a line here at the website and let us know how we can book you for the show!

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How do I start a podcast?

How do I start a podcast has to be one of the most common asked questions. It is pretty simple actually, and there are a wealth of great informative sites on the subject. I will just add my two centavos in here however, just to be able to say I did.

Starting a podcast in this year would be a bit different from how things looked back about 10 years ago when the Internet was younger and less crowded. Podcasts and Youtube were still considered ground breakers and you could get a little traction on those sites where you might get overlooked as a blogger.

Start a podcast 2008 version

It sure didn’t hurt to be a blogger AND podcaster AND Youtuber back then. It still doesn’t but you do have to work a lot harder now to get noticed. 500 hours are uploaded to YT every minute!

But back to my question at hand. How do you start a podcast today?

If I were going to start one today, I would look into apps that make it easier. I use Mobile Podcaster for my flyby shows. It can be done on the “fly”, uploaded to your WordPress blog, and edited, and published really easily.

I believe that as Youtube changes its algorithm and makes video uploads and content more financially beneficial to them, you will see that video will not be the main go to for small content creators. Audio is easier, and has smaller files so uploading is quicker.

start a podcast

I am considering going to an all audio format for Writer Groupie because that truly is the preferred way for most writers to be interviewed. Most do not like to have their countenances portrayed on YT and across the web.

But if you want to start a podcast, and you have any questions, drop me a line. I am happy to help.

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Writing Guru: Thought generation- why and how?

What or why and how do we come by thought generation and what does it become?

Welcome to another episode of my podcast. This time we’re talking about how you get from the thought to the creation of an idea and what might be stopping you. Be sure to subscribe and like us on our social media sites, especially YOUTUBE.

What do you create from the thoughts that you think?

Or maybe I should ask WHY do you create from a thought that you have and more importantly, how does it get from a thought into a creation?

Well, button up, Buttercup, we’re going to take a deep dive into the mind of a creative entrepreneur.

Creation happens when we are thinking, because well, we are always thinking. Our brains process experiential input and this process, or thinking, is how we examine our world.

Or maybe it’s just our perception of the world.

Either way, it’s the creative engine doing its thing and how we can get juiced for turning a thought into something creative. Here’s a more simple explanation:

You see a squirrel. You perceive it with your eyes and maybe ears as you hear it chatter. Then an idea strikes on how you could build it a feeder so it doesn’t have to eat acorns off the ground.
thought generation
Tim_Tonic / Pixabay

Do you see how our perceptions  went from that into thoughts and then into a creative flow?

So, how can we be influenced by our world, especially the digital one?

It’s ever evolving, y’all. Marketers constantly barrage us with techniques (some so overt, we don’t even know it) – to get us to buy. Some through colors. Some through sounds, but most through imagery that is so lifelike, it triggers the same or similar response in us to it as what we would have reacted to actual real life subjects.

Research color psychology.

(below is an affiliate link – if you purchase anything using that link, i will get a few pennies- thanks! )

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But I digress…

Color psychology is pretty amazing when you think how we are trained by it and most of us don’t even know! Can anyone say, thought generation?

While on the subject of thoughts…why do we criticize ourselves? Why don’t we believe what we think we believe? How many times have you rejected your own thoughts about something today – just today- believing instead that you are incorrect or maybe even SILLY for thinking it?

Why do we self-censor?

And how can we stop because it is definitely not good for creativity, and we always stop a process to analyze what others may think about it or how it will be received. (enter a book idea here)

That kind of behavior is counter-intuitive for what we are trying to accomplish as creators. It comes from years of being rewarded for being right (doing right) and being punished for wrong behaviors or beliefs ACCORDING TO SOMEONE ELSE. This happened regardless as to if the criticism was deserved or not usually.

So, the answer my friend is blowing in the wind…the answer is…STOP LISTENING TO THE CRITICS! Your personal thought generation doesn’t need them!

I know we all like positive reinforcement and we all like praise. But when you quit seeking it above your own desire to create, you will complete more projects. That’s because you no longer care about the yays and thereby the nays.

There is a whole comparison on the audio above about how we look at reviews and what others think, but my fingers are tired of typing. Go have a listen and see if you agree with what I say. And feel free to leave a comment, at any time. I also would love it if you would subscribe to the newsletter or the podcast on YOUTUBE.

Did you enjoy this episode?

Leave a comment on this page or ask a question if you need us to elaborate on the topic.
Use the social media buttons to share this episode with your friends, family, and contacts.
Go over to iTunes or YouTube to leave a rating/review and to subscribe to the podcast.
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Thanks for listening to me critically thinking about thought generation.

WGP-Ep. 83-Talking Heads-Beach Reads-What are they?

So, here we are. Another conversation. This time we are discussing beach reads. Bill and I have differing ideas, but basically, a beach read is whatever a reader wants to make of it. Mostly it is a good book that you take on vacation. Bill takes the side of beach reads being small, insignificant reads that we can put down at any time. I take the side of big reads, an investment of your time. Usually a WOMEN’S FICTION – see this interview.

We also talk about e-readers and how people get their beach reads. And whether one type is better than another.

Check out this great conversation (argument) about beach reads and what they can be, or not.

Beach reads are on our minds – tell us your thoughts!

Leave us your opinion. And be sure to listen to the end of this podcast to see what special we are offering our subscribers!!!! If you are a social media content creator, this will help you!

See the audio podcast down below

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Thanks for Listening to WGP (Writer Groupie Podcast)!
We appreciate your time! Would you consider leaving us a review or a rating?

Did you enjoy this episode?

Leave a comment on this page or ask a question if you need us to elaborate on the topic.
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Go over to iTunes or YouTube to leave a rating/review and to subscribe to the podcast.
We appreciate you taking the time to check out WGP! And we look forward to providing you with more content in the next episode! Just click on the images below to take you to iTunes or Youtube. We really hope to see you next time!

 

 

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Beach reads-what are they?

Writer Groupie Flyby On Social Media Content Calendars

Welcome to another episode of my podcast. Today I am discussing social media content calendars and how far behind I am on my year. Look for a chance to get a social media content calendar coming soon *you will have to sign up for the podcast though* evil grin!

Writer Groupie Talks About Blogging

Welcome to another episode. We are still getting settled in our new digs but I am taking a minute to chat with you about the latest and also about blogging..

Blogging is NOT dead.

blogging is not dead
florantevaldez / Pixabay

Please remember to fan and follow us at Facebook https://www.facebook.com/writergroupie and also over at Twitter https://www.twitter.com/writergroupie

Did you like this fly-by edition? Please give us a thumbs up on our channel at YouTube! Check out our latest episode here: https://YouTu.be/C5TatSXv2g8

Writer Groupie Talks About Blogging

Florida beauty

This is a short video of the mud hen family near where Writer Groupie resides. We have decided to start posting up some talking head segments again until we can get more guests booked. If you have a topic you would like for us to tackle, chat it up in the comments.

Also, if there are authors you would like to see us interview, let us know how to reach them. We love publicists and agents who recommend their clients!!

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