Jackie Collins: ‘I’ve helped people’s sex lives’ (SFGate)
After writing 28 books, Jackie Collins says she hasn’t run out of things to write about. She gets her ideas from reading the newspaper, watching television and keeping up with the world around her.
Her latest, “Goddess of Vengeance,” brings back Lucky Santangelo, a sassy, sharp and powerful heroine who has everything.
In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Collins, 73, talked about writing, tweeting and dating.
AP: The character of Lucky Santangelo is so popular. Do you feel pressure to keep writing about her?
Collins: My publishers would love me to throw Lucky into every single book I write. But I don’t do so. Lucky comes in every two or three books. Sometimes I bring her in as a minor character. … People say to me, “How old is Lucky Santangelo now?” And I go, “How old is James Bond?” (Laughs.) Because he’s a man nobody ever says, “Well, James Bond has been going hundreds of years and he’s the same age.” It’s kind of the same with Lucky.
AP: Did you ever feel bashful about writing about sex?
Collins: I never felt bashful about writing about sex. You have to say to yourself, “This is the character.” The character takes me over when I’m writing them.
AP: Did you ever think about your readers?
Collins: As a writer, you can never think about who is going to read your books. Is it going to be my mom? My children? A lot of people say to me, “Oh, I read your books under a cover with a flashlight when I was really young and I learned everything I know about sex from you.” And I go, “Well, have your husband or boyfriend given any complaints, and they go, “Ohhhh no.” And I get married couples, the wife will say, “I was reading your book on my honeymoon and my husband said, `Your nose is in that book all the time,’ so I shared it with him and then we ended up having a fabulous honeymoon.” I think I’ve helped people’s sex lives. Sex is a driving force in the world so I don’t think it’s unusual that I write about sex. I try to make it erotic, too.
AP: What’s the hardest thing about writing?
Collins: The hardest thing for me is getting to my desk in the morning. That is so difficult. … I’ll stagger to my desk and I will pick up my pen and I will write a sentence. I write in longhand. It takes me a long, long time to write my books. I have them bound in leather when the book is finished. I do a lot of things on the computer but when it comes to writing I want that black felt pen and I want that yellow legal pad and I’m good to go anywhere in the world.
AP: You’re also a big fan of Twitter. (Her Twitter name is JackieJCollins.)
Collins: I love tweeting. I have so much fun with my fans. I’ve asked them for reviews. I answer people’s questions. Sometimes I’ll do a little survey and say, “Who is hot this week?” We tweet a lot about television. Also, I meet people on Twitter. … I met Denise Richards and we had a lovely lunch one day. She told me all about her (ex-husband) Charlie (Sheen).
AP: Are you dating anyone?
Collins: I have a man for every occasion. When I was a kid growing up, I used to read my father’s Playboy and I’d see these guys and they had fantastic apartments and cars. I have all of that now. Why would I want to hook myself up with one man when I’ve had two fantastic men in my life? One was my husband for over 20 years and one was my fiance for six years.