ABOUT DEBBIE DYKE
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.
Visit Debbie Dyke’s site: http://www.debbiedyke.com
Could you please tell us a little about your book?
I like to describe it as a smart girl financial fiction. I don’t tell you how to get a man, buy fabulous heels or decorate your condo. Although it’s fiction, it has real world relevance. I want to make the stock market and investing understandable and fun. No yawns allowed!
Stock market meltdown. Ponzi schemes. Bank fraud. The Bloody Mary Club, a financial thriller, leaps out of the headlines. The all women investment club meets in historic Old Town, Alexandria, gets caught up in a ruthless bank takeover, then uncovers accounting fraud and trading. When the tight circle faces off against greedy executives sitting on millions of dollars worth of stock options their financial security blanket is ripped away. The ladies become the target of a predatory national bank. As the intrigue and violence escalates so does the vodka in their namesake drink, Bloody Marys.
Did something specific happen to prompt you to write this book?
As an owner of Script Magazine I was lucky enough to attend screen writing and film festivals all across the United States. It was a lot of fun to meet and speak with top screenwriters, directors, producers and attend pitch festivals. I learned that screenwriters aren’t treated very nicely in Hollywood, that you are only as good as the last thing you wrote. Most importantly, you have very little control over your work because screenwriting is a collaborative venture. Once you’ve sold your script, it’s out of your hands. It will go through multiple rewrites. It’s rewritten for the producer, then for the director, and again, rewritten for each actor (depending on A or B list) when they come onboard. For example, a script about four women in an all investment club in Alexandria, VA could turn out to be about an elderly couple fighting over Skippy the dog in a Las Vegas assisted living community.
The best advice I received from an agent was 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.
My novel came full circle. The Bloody Mary Club novel is based on my script optioned by a Hollywood Production company for an Emmy-winning actress. Of course, being an asset type of gal, I took the money and bought a mink coat! It was the only sensible thing to do with crazy Hollywood money. The Bloody Mary Club came inches from becoming a TV series. After seeing the waist high stacks of scripts in the producer’s office that were ‘in development’– I took charge and turned my script into a novel.
Who or what is the inspiration behind this book?
My inspiration came to me in many ways. I’ve always been interested in the stock market and the idea of an all-woman investment club was my hook. I added the Bloody Mary Drink after hearing about its historical tie to Alexandria. It was a convergence of ideas and I knew I had to write this story. My first medium was in script format but it felt limited with just dialog and scene settings. It felt like an abbreviated version of the story in my head. When I wrote the novel the characters came to live. I knew it was meant to be a novel.
The Bloody Mary Club, isn’t just about the four ladies drinking made-to-order Bloody Marys — the term “Bloody Mary’ and the history of Old Town go hand in hand. As the story is told here in Alexandria, Mary was a famous prostitute during the colonial era and was found murdered. Her body was kept on ice at the Ice House until her next of kin could be found. Since ice was a precious commodity, the slab of ice was delivered to Gadsby’s Tavern where it was chopped and chunks were put in everyone’s drink. On the night of her funeral, the bar crowd lifted their mugs and gave a special toast: “To, bloody, bloody Mary!” It’s rumored that George Washington was in attendance. In my novel, the all woman investment club meet at Gadsby’s tavern and drink their made-to-order Bloody Marys as they discuss the next hot investment.
What cause are you most passionate about and why?
I am very passionate about the stock market and investments. I’m fascinated by the recent Ponzi schemes 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. It always amazes me that even the rich and mighty get taken in by complicated financial schemes and are so trusting of their financial advisors. Once you’ve hooked a big fish, the rest will come. The rich refer their rich friends and it just grows from there.
Having money, gives you power. However, I’m not interested in writing about how the 1% lives and consumes their wealth. I write novels of financial intrigue and how it relates to us on personal level. After reading The Bloody Mary Club, I hope that the reader will realize that even the fat cats top get ripped off and that there are no get rich quick shortcuts. In the era of self-directed IRA’s everyone is responsible for their financial future and you must make wise investment decisions. We need to be savvy investors. There is no easy money or guarantees to double your return. I also like to touch on the complicated feelings about money and self worth. What happens to friendship when the well-heeled rub elbows with the not so fortunate? What happens when the high net worth individual looses their money and in now scraping by? As I always say, most people lie about two things: Sex and Money. I prefer to explore what money (not sex) or lack of it does to people and what lengths they will go through to get it. I think Fifty Shades of Grey does a good job of covering the sex side of things! I’ll stick to what I know — the money side of things!
What do you feel is your biggest strength?
Curiosity. I want to know about things. I am interested in a lot of topics: Investments, real estate, travel, cooking, infectious diseases, tennis, growing herbs, sumo wrestling, ( really?) the list is long. I like to read about people that I don’t know and will never meet, read about things that have nothing to do with my life, pick up new way of doing things and new ways of thinking and how I can adapt to new circumstances. I always want to know how it’s made. Why is it so beautiful? How can I do that? I give myself time to gather new experiences and ideas from life and that gives me the inspiration to write. I let the creative process come to me. I don’t force it. I’m not hard on myself while writing. I know that I can always edit and there will be a time and place for criticism. Curiosity is my fuel and it helps me craft interesting stories.
Always a hard question to answer. It’s like going to a job interview and being asked this very question. You don’t want to sound perfect by saying, “Oh, gee, can’t think of anything.” Or you throw them a bone, “I have such high standards and expect everyone around me to do the same,” Or you just fess up, “Yes, I take office pens home with me!” So here goes, my weakness, no it’s not drinking too much red wine, or loading up on designer clothes, or wanting to buy armful of puppies. It’s doubt. Sometimes I doubt myself as a writer. The internal dialog goes like this: Is this good? Will anyone like my novel? Will anyone buy it? What do my friends and neighbors really think? Are they just being nice when they say they liked my book? Will I get roasted by the reviewers? Why don’t I have thousand ‘likes’ by now?
Doubt can creep into my head and make me wonder why I am even doing this. But don’t get me wrong, my doubt has nothing to do with writers block or the creative process. It’s just that sometimes ‘doubt’ just crosses my mind, it creeps in and I need to tame it before I end up making a big “Bloody Mary Club” bonfire in the yard!! When I diagnosed with breast cancer several years ago, (I’m good to go now) I stopped writing. I needed to step away from my novel and spend more time on my personal life. My children and my wonderful husband needed me and I had lost interest in writing. I was also frustrated by the number of rewrites I had to do for my literary agents so I imagined making a big bonfire fueled by all those versions of The Bloody Mary Club. I had to set it aside. It took five years. Thank goodness I didn’t make that bonfire. Here I am today…The Bloody Mary Club is published and I did it ‘my way.’ Happy that it was published, loving the cover with its snazzy title and thrilled with the great response that I’ve received. I never regretted my choice to put it on the back burner and focus on my family. Now I’m moving full force into my writing life and loving it.
Stock market meltdown. United States housing bubble. Global financial crisis. Chief executives cooking the books. Who can you trust for financial advice? Gina Van Story, a savvy 40ish investment advisor to the rescue. She can spot a trend on the market and jump on it like a cat. She dreams of grabbing the bull by the horns and is on the hunt for one final big score. Gina and her three best friends form the Bloody Mary Investment Club and come face-to-face with corruption in a David and Goliath struggle when their stock portfolio turns deadly…literally.
Over made-to-order Bloody Mary cocktails at historic Gadsby’s Tavern, Gina takes her friends under her wing and teaches them the ins and outs of the stock market. Trouble begins when, following Gina’s bullish advice, they become majority owners in the local bank and then stubbornly turn down a lucrative buyout offer. Not only will money and greed challenge their friendship, they will have to get smart fast and figure out how to turn the tables on the charmingly seductive, yet evil, banker who wants control of their stock by any means necessary – including murder!
~ ~ ~ A BLOODY MARY GIFT BASKET AND WALL STREET JOURNAL WEEKEND SUBSCRIPTION GIVEAWAY ~ ~ ~
Pump Up Your Book and The Bloody Mary Club are teaming up to give you a chance to win a Bloody Mary Gift Basket and Weekend Subscription to the Wall Street Journal!
Here’s how it works:
Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. If your blog isn’t set up to accept the form, we offer another way for you to participate by having people comment on your blog then directing them to where they can fill out the form to gain more entries.
This will run from October 1 – November 30. Winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on December 1, 2012.
Each blogger who participates in The Bloody Mary Club virtual book tour is eligible to enter and win.
Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour.
If you would like to participate, email Tracee at tgleichner(at)gmail.com. What a great way to not only win this fabulous prize, but to gain followers and comments too! Good luck everyone!