March 15, 2011 -- J.C. Davies, a former portfolio manager whose resume includes a stint at Goldman Sachs and six years at Rochdale Investment, seems an unlikely candidate to write a frank and controversial book about race and relationships.
Davies spent a year and a half researching her book "I Got The Fever: Love, What's Race Gotta Do With It?" following a layoff from the boutique firm.
Davies calls her book the definitive guide to "interracial dating." There's no degree or certificate program in dating but Davies' rainbow resume is impressive. Latin men for eight years, black men for 10 years and on to Asians, Jews and Middle Eastern men. The book includes personal stories from friends in the tri-state area tackling complex dating issues.
In a promotional trailer for the book, Davies makes a mockumentary of "pretentious" reviews of the book, which touches on racial stereotypes that some might find offensive.
So how did the woman that for some odd reason calls President Barack Obama "brother" ending up writing this book?
"I was told I would have a job until the world imploded and then that wasn't true anymore," says Davies.
A U.C. Berkeley undergrad armed with a master's degree from Harvard, Davies was one of the thousands of New York City residents left unemployed during the nation's Great Recession.
"I was in pretty bad shape. I didn't have very much savings -- just six months of mortgage," says Davies. "You obviously need to do other things like eat so it really was only like a couple of months."
The woman who once managed $60 million to $70 million in assets was struggling to maintain a household with an interest-only mortgage headed towards renewal.
"You can't refinance without a job," says Davies.
"I really wanted to keep the apartment because I had a single parent that always moved around," Davies says. "…But I realized I probably wasn't going to get a job doing the same thing and if I was it was probably going to take a long time."
Davies was finally able to unload her real estate for a slight profit.
"I sold my apartment to get out from under my large mortgage and to have the money to live off of while I wrote the book," says Davies.
"When I decided to write a book, I did research and learned the reason most books fail: they [authors] write it for themselves," says Davies.
"No one cares about you."
"You have to write a book for someone else," says Davies, pointing out the book on race and dating is not a memoir. There are "bits of me," she says but the story is told with many voices.
Davies is not a proponent of a colorblind society, recognizing that there are cultural differences. "Not better or not worst. We're just different," says Davies. The author says the book has a little something for everyone.
While gathering material for the book, Davies found her new job as authoress was not that different from her former job managing money.
"What I did before, CEOs and analysts would tell things they weren't interested in talking about their company," says Davies. In the book, "I'm trying to get intimate details of their life" from people not interested in sharing, she says. "In that sense it was the same job."
But, where things differ was the ease of disclosure. Conversations on dating became more difficult than getting nuggets of information from company heads.
"Part of the salary of managing a company is that they have to put up with people like me to get people to talk about their relationship -- people have to do that out of their own goodwill," Davies says. "And, I bought them dinner but that's not enough of an incentive."
Another thing that differs, the 42-year-old says, readers will find more diversity on her interracial dating book than in the boardrooms of Wall Street.
"Sex and the City was criticized because everyone is white but if you work on Wall Street they all are," she says.
"When I would find someone from another culture, I would go out of my way to include them," Davies says.
"Wall Street is very image driven. Things written on [the Web sites] have been bad," says Davies.
Besides, " I wanted to do something that mattered. I didn't want to just make money. What you do in life has to mean something and has to make a difference."
Now, Davies says she's finding all kinds of opportunities. Earlier this week, a studio contacted her about the prospect of licensing the book.
Life as an entrepreneur has offered more unique chances. "When working on Wall Street you're usually not allowed to work outside of the firm, says Davies. Now, the writer who is dating an Iranian man of Jewish descent, gets a little paycheck from Youtube clicks.
Any regrets? "Just that I went from one very difficult industry to another even tougher industry. I should have given myself more of a break, taken a vacation at least," says Davies.