I love having special guests on my blog., and today’s guest is no exception. She has a fabulous resume–screen writer turned novelist and expert (imho) on the stock market. She’s here to talk about her book, The Bloody Mary Club and her adventures into writing and publishing. Here’s a warm round of cyber applause for Debbie Dyke!
Thank you for inviting to post to your blog! I’m the author of The Bloody Mary Club, a financial thriller about an all women investment club that gets into trouble when their portfolio turns deadly. I’m very passionate about the stock market and investments. I’m also fascinated by the recent Ponzi schemes and financial scams that have been reported in the front page news. I’ve watched the bank meltdowns with great interest. As a former stockbroker, I’ve met a few embezzlers and worked with several bad brokers who’ve run away with client’s money.
My first venture into financial writing was “The Wall Street Calendar.” I received a 365 day calendar for Christmas several years ago; it was called “money saving tips.” It was awful! Each day I’d cringe with the new tidbit of information. Example: to save on toilet paper step on the roll. By flattening, you will save on paper use! At some point I said, “this is so bad, I could write a better one.” And sure enough, once I said that I had to go through with it. I started working on a smart Wall Street Calendar which if you are paying attention put to good use at the beginning of each chapter of The Bloody Mary Club. My Wall Street 365 day calendar caught the attention of the publisher of the most the most well regarded financial commentator at the time– Lou Rukeyser.
After I completed the calendar, I took a screenwriting class for fun and was hooked.The fun stopped once my scripts started to get attention. When I was featured in Script Magazine, the editor, Shelly Mellott, liked my financial know-how so much she asked me to join her with the magazine as an owner. As you can tell, I’m an asset-focused gal, I put my money where my passion lies and became an owner. We were a great team. Script Magazine has since been sold to Final Draft. It was the most fun ever! I went to scriptwriting and film fests all over the United States. I met writers, producers, directors and agents. It opened doors for my writing and gave me amazing exposure. Over the years, I wrote five screen plays, several treatments, and articles for magazines. Two of my screenplays were option by HBO and an A list actress. I also collaborated with award winning director Uli Edel ( Baader Meinhof Complex, Tyson, Purgatory, Little Vampires) on a action movie called Closing In.
The best advice I received was from a top agent at CAA . He told me that if you wanted to be respected in Hollywood and control your work, you need to be novelist. Novelists are held in very high regard. Screenwriters are at the bottom of the barrel of the Hollywood pecking order and many aren’t even invited to their own opening night. I took his advice to heart. The Bloody Mary Club novel is based on my script.
I describe The Bloody Mary Club as a smart girl financial fiction. I won’t tell you how to get a man, buy fabulous heels or decorate a swanky condo, but I will use investing terms, mention stocks and weave a story about the ins and outs of a bank takeover. Although it’s fiction, it has real world relevance. I want to make the stock market and investing understandable and fun. I aim to increase the interest in Chick lit financial thrillers. In this era of bankruptcy’s, foreclosures and retirements in question, you need to know how to chart your own course. My characters in the investment club are women in their forties with no financial security and desperately rely on Gina Van Story to save them from a dead end retirement. All she demands is that the investment earrings stay put in the club until retirement age. This of course is a downer for them because Gina has all the toys and is about to enter the 1% club. They want to spend their club profits as soon they get them and Gina won’t allow it. It’s the classic battle of the ‘haves’ versus the ‘have not’s’.
Ladies! This is your wake up call to take get your financial house in order. Don’t wait for a rich prince to come and save you! Here’s a passage from The Bloody Mary Club, Page 28 where my lead character Gina gives her ladies a wakeup call for being lazy about their finances:
“You’ve all grown up thinking you can’t handle this stuff and if you’re a good girl, some big strong man will come along and take care of it for you. Wake up. It’s not going to happen. Without this club, you’ll be greeters at Wal-Mart when you’re seventy,” Gina plucked a shrimp from her drink and jiggled it at Vivi. “Your legal secretary job isn’t secure.”
Vivi picked imaginary lint off her slinky top.
“What happens when your on-man-shop lawyer is thrown in jail for tax evasion? You’re pushing fifty, who’s going to hire a legal secretary who types on an electric typewriter and uses shorthand?”
Gina moved onto Sarah busy snacking on peanuts: “And you can’t stretch your paycheck. You’re floating your bills. If mommy and daddy didn’t help out, you’d have no phone service, electricity or water. What are you going to do when they aren’t around? You think you’ll inherit their money? Statistics aren’t on your side. Mom and the General will need that money for their nursing home care. Your ex will get the last laugh as he skis down the slopes in Zermatt after having a wine and raclette meal paid for from his impenetrable trust fund.”
Sarah picked at her cuticles with one eye stuck in a half blink. “You forgot Joanie, she’s a mess”
After reading The Bloody Mary Club, I hope that the reader will realize that financial thrillers are fun to read and you might even learn something about the stock market. Through my story you will see that even the fat cats top get ripped off and that there are no get rich quick shortcuts. In this era of self-directed IRA’s, everyone is responsible for their financial future and must make wise investment decisions. We all need to be savvy investors or else face a painful and dismal retirement. I make it clear through my characters that there are short cuts to make money or guarantees to double your return
I like it when readers tell me that they learned something from The Bloody Mary Club and that they also enjoyed the story. I’ve gotten a great response from readers that don’t normally follow the stock market or have an interest in anything concerning money. Readers have asked me to give them financial advice, to look over a proposed investment or even verify their trading strategies. In this day and age with retirement up in the air, it’s gratifying to have this kind of positive response. Through my writing, I want to make the stock market fun and understandable. I’m not looking to write the all encompassing story about Wall Street, I want to write about a tiny slice of Wall Street and stay within that framework. My next novel, Gina’s Tonic, focuses on day trading and money laundering. There’s going to be offshore money maneuvers, a day-trader who’s forced to trade for profit or else die and nasty drug dealers trying to launder truckloads of money. For sure, the gin and tonics will flow on this novel!!
Thank you for the opportunity to discuss my journey with you. I hope you enjoy reading The Bloody Mary Club and come away with an appreciation of all things financial! You can keep up with me by visiting my website: www.DebbieDyke.com,
My blog;: http://debbiedykebooks.blogspot.com/
Facebook at: DebbieDykeBooks.
Cheers! Debbie Dyke, Author, The Bloody Mary Club.
Thanks for stopping by, Debbie. Readers if you want to know more about The Bloody Mary Club and Debbie Dyke, there’s an interview and review of The Bloody Mary Club at my review site, www.amiesreviews.wordpress.com
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Five minutes after the close of the market, Gina was perched on the corner of her desk with her legs crossed tightly. Andrew sat before her in an armchair diverting his eyes away from her legs.
“Miss Van Story…”
“Call me Gina.” She drummed her fingers on her desk. “So Andrew, there are 1000 shares outstanding. Give me some numbers.”
“Six thousand dollars a share.”
Gina fixed her gaze on him and forced a straight face.
“I think that’s in the ballpark. At least third base if not a home run.” Andrew returned her gaze. “It’s a damn good offer…if I may say so myself.”
“It’s quite good,” Gina replied poker-faced.
Andrew gestured to the paperwork spread out on her desk. “Looks like you’re a busy lady. Why don’t you give me a list of the shareholders and I’d be happy to call them for you.”
“That’s not the way I do things.”
“I think your shareholders would be pleased to hear from me. Otherwise, I want you to inform them about our off er as soon as possible.” Andrew inched forward in his chair, “And lucky you, a sale could make you a lot of commission.”
“If you have anything in writing, you can leave it with me.” Gina sprung off the desk and struck out her hand. “I’ll look it over and make a decision.”
“I’m getting the feeling that you’re not taking me seriously.” Andrew dug into his briefcase and offered her an AU folder. “We’re committed to this deal.”
“Rest assured, Mr. Walsh, I take your proposal very seriously.” She set the package on the desk and turned her back on him.
“As the Beck Bank market maker, you have a fiduciary responsibility to present them with my offer.” Andrew cleared his throat then blasted, “And I expect you to do that.”
Gina spoke softly, barely above a whisper. “I know what my job is, Mr. Walsh. Maybe I should explain it to you. I match buyers and sellers.” She made two fists and smashed them together. “When someone wants to sell their shares, they call me and I go down my client waiting list and find who’s next in line to buy. I have a very long waiting list. Some clients have waited for years before they even get one share. I’m sure you’ve realized by now that that these shares are thinly traded, not a lot of them floating around. And here’s the most unusual thing, I don’t even get a commission on trades.” She went to the credenza and held up a bound report. “I keep the books. Balance out the shares. Handle all accounting. Again, I do all of this for free.”