When your mother continues to advise you on everything under the sun and then some more than thirty years after you've flown the proverbial coop, you're gonna feel a bit smothered. When the advice comes in the form of letters that at best are embarrassing and at worst downright insane, well, you've either gotta capitalize on it or go insane yourself. Thankfully, the Miami Beach-born Adam Chester chose the former, and his book S'Mother (Abrams) is a most peculiarly endearing way to celebrate Mother's Day. Read on!
Why S'Mother? That's exactly who and what my mother has become to me...Smothering. And I really liked the idea of S'Mother being a new name or even a fancy medical term for her!
Did your Mom send you another advisory letter once she heard you were putting together the book? As a matter of fact, yes she did. She wrote me this letter that stated something along the lines of...I know you're writing a book about me...that's fine...but you should REALLY be writing a book about Annette. (My mother-in-law.) She thinks ANNETTE is the one with issues. And she is, though, not for THIS book.
How'd she feel about the title? She thought it was funny.
What advice has she given you vis-a-vis the publishing industry? Don't trust anyone. She also wanted to know if I had a good attorney and what the name of my publishing company was. "How come I never heard of them?," she asked.
What about vis-a-vis the book tour? She said she'd be happy to accompany me to the book signings but would NOT, for any reason, appear live on television. Not unless they paid her BIG $$$~!! (Just so you know, we're both flying to New York to appear together live on Fox Network's Good Day New York TV show. And neither of us are getting paid.)
Will she be joining you in Miami? Absolutely. I want her to come face to face with some OTHER people she's embarrassed over the years while I was growing up in Miami Beach.
Has she joined you on any of your other appearances? No. Miami will be our first joint appearance! We'll be together again at our next book signing on May 6th in Los Angeles!
Of all the many tidbits of advice, recommendations, warnings, etc, what was one of the most bizarre? That's gotta be a toss-up. There was one blank piece of paper with a dirty 1994 American Quarter taped to it, and not one written word anywhere to explain what or why. (She thought the coin would be worth a lot of money.) Then there was another letter warning me that if her landlord at the time tried to con me in any way, I should sue the landlord's daughter. The daughter was a Nun who lived in Oakland.
Have you ever felt compelled to write back with a letter of your own? I think I tried that as an experiment in therapy once, but never mailed any.
In the end though, you've gotta feel blessed to have such an attentive mother, no? It's a blessing and a curse. I mean, after about a half hour or so with her, I need to lie down.
Adam Chester (and his Mother) will be reading from and discussing S'Mother: The Story of a Man, His Mom, and the Thousands of Altogether Insane Letters She's Mailed Him at Books and Books 265 Aragon Ave Coral Gables. For more information call (305) 532-3222 or log on here.