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
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.
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.
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
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: