Red & Black
We are two sisters, originally from New York, who now live in Texas. We wrote a book that was intended to be the basis of a sitcom, and it was written using emails, Instant Messages and telephone conversations so that television producers could “hear” the voices of the two principle characters, “Red” and “Black”.
Red, the warm and fuzzy sister, has a successful husband, two beautiful daughters, friends all over the world, and a big, pretty house. Highly pragmatic Black has taken early retirement from a lucrative business career to live in luxury with her fabulously wealthy husband and race Ferraris and Porsches.
Then the unthinkable happens. Red´s husband loses his job. Panicked because she knows nothing about their personal finances, Red turns to her sister for help. If Red expects sympathy, she has come to the wrong place. Black yanks Red´s head out of the storybook world she has been living in and takes her on a three-month whirlwind tour through the real world of money.
Realizing that there is no Prince Charming, lottery ticket or magic how-to book to rescue her, Red has to roll up her sleeves and take control of her financial life. Black takes her through everything from the beginning: how she got in this mess, how her values affect her spending, how she can clean up the problems and get herself organized at the same time. And, finally, Black explains to Red how she can go forward in financial health with values and priorities that will make life richer, in all the important ways. As Red takes on the daily challenges that Black puts before her, she begins to understand that when it comes to running her finances — and her life — she is not stupid, she has just been sheltered.
On the book flap, readers (but really television producers) are “instructed” to … Eavesdrop on Red and Black´s candid, and entertaining, exchanges as they discuss the things that matter most. Their informative conversations cover everything from specific financial issues such as balance sheets, credit cards and long-term financial planning to more fundamental concepts such as values, time management, and handling stress. And if you find Red unbelievably naïve and Black extremely sarcastic, don’t worry. The key is their relationship works for them, and it can work for you, too.
LIFE DOES NOT GO AS PLANNED (THERE IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT)
Without going into the business backstory (although the history is available on our website as a free download since it is being used to teach “how to start a small business”), Black turned her sister Red’s crisis into the book What I Learned About Life When My Husband Got Fired!, which was launched by Neiman Marcus, but became the basis of a “Personal Finance & Life 101” program that we developed and taught at KIPP Houston High School. (KIPP is a public charter school system and almost 90% of their students are eligible for the federal free or reduced-price meals program, yet more than 80 percent of them have gone on to college, proving demographics do not determine destiny.)
This led to our book being approved by the (Texas) State Board of Education as a personal financial literacy textbook. However, nothing prepared us for our most recent “detour” … our book was piloted as a book study program by the Chaplain at Stringfellow Unit, a men’s prison in Rosharon, TX (just south of Houston) and Chaplains (and offenders) throughout the Texas Department of Criminal Justice system are now requesting the program.
For more about us, please visit www.RedandBlackBooks.com.
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