Debbie Dyke is a novelist and businesswoman from Alexandria, Virginia, and has a background in military intelligence, the stock market, executive recruiting and writing. An Army brat, she’s lived in Turkey, France, Germany, Italy, Albania and Holland. She graduated from the American High School in Naples, Italy then attending University of Maryland, Munich Campus. She graduated from Georgetown University and holds a Bachelors of Science and Masters degree in National Security. Debbie has two grown children, Lisa and Jordan and has been married to Michael for over thirty wonderful years. Debbie has written 5 screenplays, one Wall Street calendar and two novels.
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!!