Proust Questionnaire (Vanity Fair)
Hollywood’s own Marcel Proust, Jackie Collins has been spinning steamy tales of Lotusland’s patrician class for more than 30 years. This month Collins strikes again with Dangerous Kiss (her 22nd novel), and, herein, an homage to L.A., F. Scott Fitzgerald, and leopards – a few of her favorite themes
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Sitting at my desk with my characters taking me on a wild trip!
What is your greatest fear?
Being held up by a masked gunman. It happened once and I made a daring escape. If it happens again, I think I’d freak!
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Frank Sinatra. He did it his way.
Which living person do you most admire?
Schoolteachers, doctors, cops. What would we do without them?
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Saying yes when I really want to say no.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
People who gossip behind your back. If you’ve got a problem, confront!
What is your favorite journey?
A British Airways flight to London – I take it four times a year.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Fuckhead – it’s one of my favorites!
What is your greatest regret?
That my mother, Elsa, never lived to see what I was able to achieve.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My three incredible daughters.
When and where were you the happiest?
Right now. Life’s an adventure – you’ve got to live it every day.
What is your current state of mind?
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
The first female president – or a leopard!
What is your most treasured possession?
My handwritten manuscripts.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Where would you like to live?
L.A. It’s the greatest.
What is your most marked characteristic?
Understanding people’s problems – I’d have been a great shrink.
Who are your favorite writers?
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mario Puzo, Dickens, and Tom Wolfe.
Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Who are your heroes in real life?
My fiancé, Frank Calcagnini.
What are your favorite names?
Lucky, Jade, Montana, and Nick.
What is your motto?
“Girls can do anything!”