valerie clark writes about abuse among wall street affluent
by allison smith, staff
the atlanta news group
clark has a story to tell, and she is determined that her
readers get the message. her novel, "tormented without a
trace," is an effort to highlight the seemingly unnoticed
abuse that occurs in the workplace and home. formerly an
investment banker on wall street for more than 15 years,
clark has seen firsthand the power and abuse that occurs
in a high-pressure environment. after leaving new york,
clark moved to atlanta and has found a new career conveying
her passion through writing.
explaining the presence of emotional, verbal and physical
abuse and empowerment among professionals on wall street,
clark said she was trying to shatter one of the myths about
abuse through her book. "1 feel that the majority of people's
perception is that abuse is among lower-income levels,"
she said, adding that her story is based on those of an
affluent and well-educated society.
baylor, the composite and fictional lead character, has
a collection of traits that clark experienced during her
time in new york. baylor is portrayed as an intelligent,
attractive and powerful woman moving up the executive ladder
on wall street. however, she endured a childhood of abuse
and is falling into a similar trap as an adult.
familiar with all that a wall street career entails, added
that she included some of her own emotions to better describe
baylor's character. within the company she worked for in
new york, which she chose to leave unnamed, she claimed
that the emotional abuse within the workplace was rampant.
working on wall street, i saw people who allowed themselves
to become victims like natalie," clark said. "i also saw
people transcend their 'victimhood1 and become empowered
and that is the message i want the reader to take away.
you can make different and better choices."
explained that 66 percent of the crimes against women are
committed by someone close to the victim, such as the father
or husband. unfortunately, only 10 percent of these crimes
are ever reported. clark also noted that abuse is not always
a male-to-female scenario; it can happen just as easily
in reverse. clark has been nominated for the georgia author
of the year award for her original writing style, character
development and dialogue in "tormented without a trace."
the winner will be announced in june. other nominations
the book has received include the pen/faulkner award, the
before columbus foundation book award, the independent book
award, and the 2003 writer's digest award.
clark describes her nominations as flattering, she said
the rewards come from those who respond to her book's message.
"i cannot tell you of the professionals who said 'thank
you,'" clark said. "they felt they were reading their own
describing her profession as an author clarke said, "this
is what i have been put here to do, it is fulfilling to
express myself through the written word. it changes my life
without a trace" is slated to become a feature film. clark
recently computed the screenplay and will star as natalie
baylor. clark's book can be found www.1st books.com.