Jackie Collins passed away on Saturday after a long, arduous and an unsurprisingly private battle with breast cancer. She was brilliant, completely irreverent and the world is a lot less daring, sexy and bright without her.
1. Female Empowerment in a Male Dominated field
The first place I ever encountered Jackie Collins, it was 1996 and I was reading a pilfered novel in the private bathroom of my aunt's summer house. My 9-year-old brain couldn't quite fathom the ins and outs of the music biz -- 1977's Lovers and Gamblers, for reference -- but the world was fascinating and so rich, I couldn't put it down. I vowed then and there to be part or the music business ...or a published writer. Whichever came first.
2. Work Ethic
Jackie wrote over 30 novels, translated into 500 different languages and all of which appeared on the The New York Times Best Seller's list. Even in her final years, well after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she produced several new novels including a new addition to the Santangelos series that came out over the summer. She was one of the most successful, daring authors of our time, and she was never afraid to hold her tongue.
3. The Power of Description
If there's one thing that you could always count on in a Jackie Collins novel, it was the style, the pace, the sex, and the location. Her characters made travel sexy again, made the brute carrying the heroine's baggage and sweating profusely handsome and alluring instead of damp. The magic wasn't only in the exotic locales, but also the transportative quality of the words behind them. Jackie wrote novels of high drama and dizzying romance, and no matter their flaws, her characters always lived. They were too busy experiencing life to worry too much about the details.
4. No Fear
From her first novel, 1968's, The World Is Full of Married Men, Jackie dealt with trolls before there were even YouTube comments for them to hide behind. If any one called me, "nasty, filthy and disgusting" my first time out, I would probably never leave the house again. Instead, Jackie took the criticism and never stopped going.
5. The Power of the Female Orgasm
Sex sells. It always has, it likely always will, and Jackie's skill at writing about intimate details of her characters' boudoirs never once faltered. It was graphic, sometimes scary, funny, never hidden and always talked about. In Chances, the first of the Santangelo series, she brings up themes of rape, incest, kidnapping, just to name a few. That's not to everybody's taste, and it shouldn't have to be, but the fact that she wrote about it -- that she never shied away from those kinds of ideas -- just showed how much of a pioneer she was.
Jackie Collins never met a low cut dress or a piece of statement jewelry she didn't like. When I'm a lady of indeterminate age, with fabulous clothes, money, and an indeterminate amount of divorces, I want to embody her style, her bravado, and her excellent taste in men.
Watch more about Collins' life and prolific career in the video below: