Kiss Mommy Goodbye – Nicholas Walker
‘I couldn’t put it down! 5*
‘One of my favourite books of all time. A rock star adopts various mismatched children, ranging from an abused young girl to the children of a suicide bomber. Somehow, despite all the issues they face, they draw together into a supportive family unit. Well written, believable, with amazingly visual characters (I adore Getz!)… Totally addictive. This would make a terrific film, I can just picture everything so clearly… Sad, funny, uplifting, enthralling, all round a great book.’
Enjoyable read highly recommend, 5*
Wow what a fantastic book, totally recommend. Couldn’t put it down!!
- AMAZON REVIEWS –
Kiss Mommy Goodbye is a major novel from the bestselling author Nicholas Walker with already a further 30 novels under his belt (available on Amazon). He brings to the table a story of acceptance and pure embrace, a tale of respect and admiration that echoes the charm of a generation gap and antithetical lives coming together to blossom the raw support, love, value and growth we all look for in ourselves.
Peter Webb is a California dwelling rock star, with everything to his name, but an arm empty of any sustainable relationship with a woman, so much as to have him hankering into his past, to the simpler days of life as a schoolteacher.
On a whim, he decides to adopt Getz, a fourteen-year-old girl, a survivor of abusive parents including a 3-year long trauma from her sexually abusive father. Disturbed, on-edge and deathly afraid of male touch, Getz becomes susceptible to darker behaviours. Stealing cars and attacking people are amongst the troubles Getz is facing, not least the distrust she feels for Peter’s motives for fostering her. There is one ray of light, her passion for the saxophone.
Music is the common interest that catalysts their closeness, and as the relationship with Peter and Getz solidifies, Peter is presented with a sudden shift in his circumstances, twin orphan girls from Iraq. Everybody seems to resent them, including Getz, and as she once again settles into acceptance of them, Peter goes on to adopt Butch, a crippled refugee from Bosnia, then two sons of an Afghan suicide bomber, an American girl who submits to her drug habit, and eventually even Peter’s own daughter shows up off the back of his ex-wife’s death.
This story takes on suicide, drug addiction, death and troubled souls within the very same confines of the normalcy of the lives of the super-rich. It is a heart-warming story full of humorous quips, but often soaked in a sadness that together joins in a stunningly insightful piece of writing that sees the depth of care one can go to, how infectious that can become, but equally the impact a story like this has on everybody involved, that it is not always positive, and in the adoptive process specifically, where love is directed one way, others may find it cruel. The spectrum of character’s is wide, but the principle is a simple one. It is a confliction of emotional and practical balance, that tests great, but rewards greater.
Nicholas Walker is the proud owner and best-selling author of twenty novels published mass market worldwide with a further two dozen available on kindle. His experience as a writer had covered both adult and children demographics and has also worked for the BBC as a freelance comedy writer. On that note, Nicholas Walker is a short, fat, ugly man who has a unique facility to go around upsetting people. On his world tour during 2001 it has been said that he offended more people in more countries than even Prince Philip had achieved.
Nicholas has achieved a lot in his life. He’s a school teacher of Science and a University professor of astrophysics, teaching in many countries around the world and in many tough schools: Tower Hamlets, London, The Bronx, New York, as well as several schools in Kuwait and Iraq. He founded Kernow Karate (now one of the most successful Martial Arts Organisations in Britain), he is a ballroom dancer, founding the ballroom dance club Dancing in the Dark (verbatim: “it is like karate only more painful!”) Starting in Iraq as an underground venture (dancing is forbidden in the Middle East), it stretched eventually to clubs in Scotland and Cornwall.
Nick has been jailed 18 times, mostly for provocative articles when out in the Middle East (including work in The Sunday Express, Reader’s Digest, Time and Playboy. “A night in the cells is often an opportunity to take stock. It is a break from the normal humdrum effort of day to day living because it is the only time in your life when there is literally nothing to do!”
Nick was in America on 9/11 and after failed attempt to catch a flight home, that propelled an extra 5 years in California as an illegal immigrant He worked at Caltech for a time and followed on managing a gym in Laguna Beach, down from LA (Hollywood star hotspot!) He went on to take the NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) degree and became a professional weight training instructor. He is now working on a book on the science of training: Exercise fir Idiots.
Nick has been married 5 times to two British Women and three American Women. When his fourth marriage broke down, he ran away to America receiving a ten-year ban on his exit for overstaying his visa for 4+ years. Still, never hindered, he usually spends three months of every year in California. He has 3 children, Jaime, Alex and Penny, and has adopted eight Iraqi children living in Kuwait. He has achieved six degrees, including a Masters and a PhD and is currently living in Mallorca.
Nick is a Born Again Christian belonging to Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California. He is an activist against Capital punishment (which makes his popularity dwindle slightly when out in some parts of America and The Middle East!).
“Most of my novels are still available as can be verified on Amazon.com and the two I had published in America are still used on two school boards that I am aware of and are entitled: Ice Dancing and Ice Princess.”
Monty Newman came pacing towards the Assistant Producer an aggressive look on his face. Sue, the Assistant Producer, wasn’t worried about the aggressive look, she knew that it just meant Monty was his usual pre-show nervous self.
‘Are they all here?’ he demanded.
‘Yes, the final one arrived ten minutes ago,’ said Sue. ‘Don’t worry about it Monty, you’ll do fine.’
‘Don’t worry about it she says,’ Monty ran his hand through his hair. ‘I’m interviewing seven people at once, half of them are still children! Oh, I can’t believe I let you talk me into this, I must have been drunk.’ Sue was no longer listening, she half turned and raised her voice into the most unladylike bawl:
‘Oh shit,’ said Monty.
‘We’ve still got five minutes,’ said Sue. ‘And you weren’t drunk, you quite liked the idea when I broached it.’
‘Broached it?’ demanded Monty. ‘Who the hell uses a word like broached? You’ve scripted this conversation.’
‘If this comes alive then it’ll be networked,’ she said knowing this would calm him down.
‘Hm…maybe,’ he admitted. He frowned at the hairdresser who came hurrying up clutching a pair of scissors in one hand and a comb in the other. ‘Don’t start,’ he warned her. The hairdresser was a very pretty girl named Annabelle and the fact that she had been having an affair with Monty for over a year wasn’t the reason he didn’t intimidate her, no one was intimidated by Monty, his bark was much worse than his bite. Monty was the safe interviewer, the one politicians chose when they didn’t want to be put under pressure, the interviewer for nervous amateurs and children. But that wasn’t the reason he was here today, My Dad was his show and he had made it incredibly popular for an afternoon program. Today was the chance they had been looking for, a huge number of people would be interested in today’s show and this could well be the vehicle to get promoted to a better slot.
‘I ought to tie your hands,’ Annabelle sighed. ‘You’ll have to sit down.’
‘I can’t sit down, I’ll ruin the crease in my trousers.’
‘Take them off then,’ said Annabelle who was at least a foot shorter than the six foot two Monty.
‘Oh that’ll look good,’ said Monty. ‘All we need is some unscrupulous cameraman and I’ll be on TV Bloopers next week.’
‘Here,’ Sue dragged a chair over. She waved a protesting Monty to silence and helped Annabelle up onto the chair where she immediately started repairing Monty’s hair. He stood there a resigned look on his face but at least the nervousness had gone.
‘A few revelations might help our cause,’ said Sue.
‘It’s their idea, they’re not going to tell me anything they don’t want to.’
‘Try asking a few searching questions for once…’ But Sue was saved from Monty’s indignant reply by the floor manager’s voice:
‘Two minutes…places everybody.’ Monty escaped from beneath Annabelle’s comb and rushed towards the stage entrance. The two women watched as he deliberately slowed himself right down and as he stepped onto the set his warm smile automatically switched on. Annabelle gazed down from her vantage point.
‘That wasn’t very fair was it?’ she said.
‘No,’ Sue immediately agreed. She shrugged, ‘It’s just that this is the most important show we’ve ever done.’
‘Monty’s Monty! You won’t change him,’ said Annabelle, ‘and if you did you’d lose more than you gained.’
‘What is this? You’re only the damned hairdresser here, you’re not in bed with him now,’ said Sue. She cocked her head as Monty’s voice came echoing back to them with the opening words of the show.
‘Anyway,’ she said to soften her words because Annabelle was a friend, ‘it doesn’t matter, the minute we mention Peter Webb’s name this thing will go galactic.’
Now the adrenalin was flowing and Monty was in his element, and the words came out as smooth as honey:
…and in a change to our normal format we are not going to meet just one child of a famous star. No, today we’re going to meet the whole family of one of the world’s greatest rock stars…
Monty paused to let the tension build. He risked a glance at the audience and he certainly had them at the moment. They surely wouldn’t have noticed he’d said famous and star. He gave himself an inward kick, by definition a star was famous. He was going to say the name now:
We all know Peter Webb and his hell raising reputation…
And wow now the audience were interested. He grinned and thought of all the other interviewers around America who had been failing for the last twenty years to get the elusive rock star in front of their cameras.
We have all read of his romantic escapades, his wild lifestyle, his outspoken battles with the press. We all know of the phenomenal success of his early career with his band Tombstone and his more recent success as a solo artist. But what is less well known is his role as a family man. Ten years ago Peter Webb adopted an orphan, there was a great deal of criticism in the press at the time about the suitability of him as a parent but it obviously worked out because over the next few years he adopted another seven children.
Monty paused again, he had said press twice but otherwise it seemed to be going okay. He hoped he wasn’t sweating too much under these lights. Better get on with it.
His almost fanatical dedication to the privacy of his children and his absolute refusal to let them ever to be photographed or interviewed has led most of us to almost forget that he has got such a large family. But only yesterday we had a call from one of his daughters offering to come on the show today. It was a one time offer because their father is giving a concert in Great Britain tomorrow and as his daughter explained if their father found out he would immediately veto the whole idea.
Monty paused again, two almosts but not bad, then he held out his hand towards the right hoping they’d got everything organized because he was going to look a real prick if no one was there:
Ladies and Gentlemen let us all welcome to Our Dad, the Webb family.
He held out his hand and the curved curtain rolled sweetly back and Monty heaved a sigh of relief: there was a circle of chairs facing his famous leather chair and seven people were sitting in them. The audience applause grew and the five girls and two boys rose to their feet and took a bow except for the one girl who was dressed in the most outrageous shorts and crop top. She stepped into the center and did an elaborate dance step and an over the top curtsey that might well have put some of the audience off but then she added a delicious grin that had everybody laughing. Monty strolled over and they all sat down together.
‘My thanks to all of you for coming on the show,’ said Monty. ‘As most people watching will know this is the first time Peter Webb’s family Have ever been interviewed…now Getz, isn’t it? You are the other famous member of the family so perhaps I should start with you…’
Monty turned to the stunning young woman dressed in the black glittering cat-suit and suddenly everybody watching had made the connection and knew who she was. International Saxophone Diva: Getz Webb, the woman who cried as she played. And following on from that thought, people craned forward and there it was, the strap of the leather saxophone case draped over one shoulder, the saxophone from which she supposedly could never be parted.
‘Before Shelley takes your eye out for the famous remark,’ said Getz, indicating the girl in the outrageous shorts, ‘Let’s just start with me, because I am the eldest.’
‘Your father never let the media anywhere near any of you, is that right?’
‘Yes, and believe me when he finds out about today, we are in big trouble,’ said Getz. ‘He’s always thought that as a rock star he was fair game for the media but he wanted to protect all of us from the attention.’
‘You were the first of the family to be adopted, is that correct?’
‘Yes. There was a lot of opposition at the time to the idea of a rock star taking on someone like me.’
‘How do you mean, someone like you?’
‘Well, I was an abused child. When my father took me in I was a real mess…we had quite a rough first year…’
* * *