It’s no secret that I feel wronged by Sacha Baron Cohen’s tactics to involve my mother in his movie. The level of disgust and disappointment I feel runs deep. But this scandal has also spurred me into writing. Not only is writing my outlet, but I also feel that I owe this to my mother.
As many of you know, I have been planning on writing the third and final book in my Pinnacle series. However, with my mother’s passing and her encounter in the movie Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, my priorities have changed. My new project is writing a fictionalized family history including my mother’s biography. What makes this book unique is that I will write in first person POV—like I did with my first two books, Pinnacle Lust and Bloody Coffee—but in dual perspectives.
While shooting for the moon, I hope to craft a novel where you will hear the story from two people: my grandmother who was murdered in a concentration camp during WWII, and my mother who survived the Holocaust. The challenge of writing in first person POV, navigating between the past and the present in Heaven, is intriguing.
This novel is based on a true story and historical facts. To protect some family, I have changed two characters’ names. But does it really matter who the person behind the character is, or is it the story and message you get from a book? It doesn’t make any difference what name I give a character, what’s important is that I develop a character that you love or hate.
A significant portion of the book will be dedicated to exposing the truth on my mother’s involvement in the Borat Subsequent Moviefilm—was she duped or not—what techniques did Sacha Baron Cohen use? The way in which Cohen undermined my mother’s life’s work to make the world a better place might create a great two-minute scene in his movie but left a sour taste for the family.
If my mother was still alive, what would she say to Sacha Baron Cohen? I feel that it is my obligation to tell the world how my mother built her life—from an orphan during the Holocaust to being a well-known public speaker on the Holocaust.
With this said, of course, the third book in the Pinnacle series is going to be pushed back—this new project is just too important to me, too close to my heart, to be put off. I hope you’ll agree that it’s worth it.
It’s been a while. A year and a half, actually, since I’ve shared a blog post or written anything publicly. What’s been going on?
The short answer: Life has gotten in the way. The long answer is a bit more complicated.
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, my mother passed away after a short illness—and I was shattered. My mother, who was my best friend, my mentor, and someone I looked up to for advice, left me empty with her death. In the days, weeks, and months after her passing, I felt lost and unanchored.
It is hard to believe that during the time of Covid-19, one could find a silver lining. But I did. With the pile of restrictions that comes with a pandemic, I did not and would not consider in-patient hospice care for my mother’s final weeks—I couldn’t bear the thought of not being able to comfort her at this time. As some of you may know, it was not long ago that I was still working as a registered nurse—and once a registered nurse, always a registered nurse—so, I was determined to provide my mother with in-home hospice care instead of leaving her in strange hands. I won’t lie, there is nothing harder to do than to give your own mother the magic drug, morphine—yet despite it all, I am grateful that she took her last breaths in my arms, crossing over into Heaven as the powerful and charismatic soul that she was.
Writing is my outlet; it’s where I also find comfort. Now, when all I’m left with are memories, I’m back at my keyboard, writing again. Only this time, I’m writing to tell her story and bring honor to her life. But more than that, I’m writing to expose what happened at the beginning of this year, her unintended involvement in Sacha Baron Cohen’s new Borat Subsequent Moviefilm mockumentary.
I hate that the scandal Cohen created for his film spoiled the memories my family and I have of our mother. If we could only go back in time and remember her without the Cohen drama, I could focus on my grief. I’ll save my words on this subject for now, but know that I’m back at the keyboard—and my next work will be to shed light on the facts.