Thank God It's Friday! Let's celebrate with THE BLOODY MARY CLUB - a fiscal thriller from Debbie Dyke. From her bio,
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.
Kim: I am curious about your time in Holland - where? Regarding all of your overseas experience, what was your favorite sight, sound, and smell?
Debbie: Holland! What a great country! My husband and I both worked for defense contractors overseas. When my contract ended in Stuttgart, Germany I joined him in Brunssum. He worked in the ‘caves’ and we lived in Nuevenhaggen over a ‘blumen’ shop. It was a tiny furnished apartment but well situated. I could walk to the local market, shops and cafes. I always had fresh flowers in the apartment since we live over the flower shop and the owner of the store had a crush on my husband!! It was a one year great adventure in Holland, we traveled every weekend to new towns -- Aachen, Maastricht, Amsterdam. One of my fondest memory was sitting outside in a café in the summer at 10:45 PM and it was still light out. The Dutch are fun people, they have a very open society and are totally liberal with lifestyle. My favorite smells are Gouda cheese and tulips.
Having lived abroad as a military brat, I’ve experienced lots of cultures and it’s hard to categorize which is my favorite. When I’m in Bavaria, I love the smell of alpine air and savor the times I was on top the Zugspitze drinking a beer looking out over the magnificent Alps at the world’s highest beer hall. When in Verona, I’m completely content to have a meal in an outdoor Trattoria with sound of motor scooters and honking horns. When I see softball sized lemons I flash back to Capri and think about sitting in the chair lift up to Ana Capri with my feet brushing over the lemon trees. I always stop when I open up a package of Lavazza espresso beans and take in the wonderful , it always takes me back to the coffee bars in Italy. There are so many sights, sounds and smells that remind me of my life overseas, but if pressed, I would have to say Italy hits all the marks and has it hands down!
|Courtesy of Debbie's Fan Club|
Kim: Albania! How did that happen? What was it like to attend high school and college in Europe?
Debbie: My husband, Mike, worked in Tirana, Albania for two years and I traveled back and forth from the USA. What an interesting country!! Mike has an unusual skill set that was needed in Albania (enough said here) and he worked on a Department of Justice contract there. It’s a country of huge contrasts, there people are very pro-American and love all things from America. Before went there we imagined the entire country to be like the Albanaian thugs in the movie Taken. Far from it. In the capital of Tirana the population is very upscale. Many Albanians are of Italian decent and quite often it feels like being in Italy. The restaurants serve Italian food, use olive oil, offer Italian red wine, in fact at its closest point, the Albanian coast is 50 Kilometers from Italy. M any Italians come to Albania to eat and shop because it’s a quarter of the cost of things in Italy. Tirana has grown from being a dead town to a real lively city with lots of café life and good fun. For me, it was a great experience to meet Albanians and once friends; they are the most generous loyal people. On the other hand, their blood feuds are quite famous and one never wants to get involved in any way shape or form. I see a novel in the future centered on an Albania Blood Feud.
As for my schooling, I attended all of my high school years in Naples, Italy, graduating from Forrest Sherman High at 16. Since I hadn’t lived in the United States and was so young my parents wanted me to start college in Europe. My choice was University of Maryland, Munich Campus which was where all the overseas brats went. What a party school! So much fun! You have no idea how wild the military brats without their parents around can be! Munich is a rocking. I fell in love with the city with all its celebrations, beer fests, and friendly Bavarians. How can you not love a city with seven breweries and a hopping Hofbrauhaus? After two years I transferred to Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service in Washington DC. I have to admit that I had culture shock for the first year back in the states.
Kim: How did you become a screenwriter? How does one write a Wall Street calendar?
Debbie: The Wall Street Calendar was my first venture into financial writing. I received a 365 day calendar for Christmas several years ago; it was called “money saving tips.” It was awful! Each time I tore off the page for the next 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, the idea stuck. I started working on a smart Wall Street Calendar which if you are paying attention is now put to good use at the beginning of each chapter. My Wall Street 365 day calendar garnered 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. Then it turned into work when my scripts started to get attention. When I was featured in Script Magazine, the editor, Shelly Mellott, liked my financial savvy so much she asked me to join her in the magazine as an owner. As you can tell, I’m an asset-focused gal, I put my money where my passion was 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 got to attend 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 screen plays 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.
Debbie: 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 your 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 in the 1% club. They want to spend their club profits as soon as they come to feather their nests and Gina won’t allow it. It’s the classic battle of the ‘haves’ versus the ‘have not’s’.
Stock market meltdown. Ponzi schemes. Bank fraud. The Bloody Mary Club, is 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.
My inspiration to write The Bloody Mary Club 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 was an abbreviated version of the story in my head. When I wrote the novel the characters came to life and I knew it was meant to be a novel.
I’m very passionate about the stock market and investments. I’m 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.
I’m not interested in writing about how the 1% lives and consumes their wealth. I am however, deeply committed to writing 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. With the advent of self-directed IRA’s -- everyone is responsible for their financial future and must make wise investment decisions. There is now easy ways to make 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? For me, it’s fun to write about the ‘haves’ and the ‘haven-not’s.’ I always say 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. Fifty Shades of Grey does a darn good job of covering the sex side of things! I’ll stick to what I know -- the money side of things!
Kim: What's next for Debbie Dyke?
Debbie: Of course -- my next novel in the series. In between blogging, interviews, posting and book marketing for The Bloody Mary Club I’m not sure when I’m going to have time to finish my second one! This book promoting is hard work! Seriously, I’m working on my second novel, Gina’s Tonic which is the next in the financial series. I’m half way through the first draft. The gin is flowing and I’m having fun with it. Here’s what it’s about:
Numbered Accounts, banking secrecy, tax havens, bribery, kickbacks, laundered drug money, sham transactions and skimming -- banking gone bad. This thriller takes on the world of international finance, money launderers and organized crime. Gina Van Story challenges her nemesis, a trust officer with sticky fingers working at Beck Bank. This thief helps herself to client accounts, skips town only to find that she's taken a Columbian drug money account. She's discovered and soon becomes the cartel's day trader who must produce profits or be executed. Gina and her Bloody Mary Club gal pals masterminds a clever take down, recovers the stolen funds, hands over the rotten drug cartel to US government and saves Johnny’s bank once again. Loaded with twists and turns, this thriller delves into money laundering and organized crime.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my writing background with you and interest in The Bloody Mary Club! You can keep up with me by visiting my website: www.DebbieDyke.com, or dropping in on my blog: debbiedykebooks.blogspot.com. Check out my Facebook Author Page at DebbieDykeBooks.
Mahalo, Debbie, for joining us at SOS Aloha! I posted my review of THE BLOODY MARY CLUB on Amazon (at this link) and Goodreads (at this link) . I am giving away a print copy of THE BLOODY MARY CLUB to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,
1. Leave a comment about your favorite cocktail. I like Bloody Marys ... but I've also become a fan of Mai Tai since living in Hawaii.
2. This giveaway is open to all readers.
3. Comments are open through Saturday, October 20, 10 pm in Hawaii. I'll post the winner on Sunday, October 21.
Kim in Hawaii
|Mai Tai from duluoz cats|