Santangelos’ Secret-Keeper (Next Magazine)
Jackie Collins talks Caitlyn Jenner, Grindr, and her anticipated new novel, ‘The Santangelos’.
Author Jackie Collins may kick ass and take names, but she knows how to keep those names secret—or at least thinly veiled. “I heard there are two very handsome leading men married to beautiful women who are very into getting it on the side,” she says on a call from her Los Angeles home. “As long as I change the names to protect the not-so-innocent, I can basically write about anything. I know where a lot of bodies are buried because people tell me things! Drivers, makeup artists, stylists—they’re always ready to spill the beans on who’s getting a blowjob on set while their wife is in the dressing room. And I mean a male blowjob!”
The über-successful Collins has mined Hollywood’s secrets, scandals, and gays while writing her catalog of 30-plus books. Her latest, The Santangelos, hits shelves June 16, and she’ll be appearing at the Bryant Park Reading Room here in the city on June 18. The Santangelos marks the ninth entry in her series revolving around the fictionally fabulous Lucky Santangelo and her mobster family.
“It’s a very epic book because it brings one of the characters to a gruesome end and it sets up Lucky’s children as my new heroes,” Collins says. That’s the thing about big families: there’s always material for the sequels! While there are no new LGBT characters, Collins promises more in her next. Perhaps a thinly veiled version of Caitlyn Jenner?
“I think it’s great she feels free enough to come out,” Collins says of the famed Olympian. “It’s sad she didn’t do it maybe 20 years ago instead of hiding her real self but I think it’s a very brave thing to do and I think the Vanity Fair photos are majorly glamorous and look like something out of a Marilyn Monroe pin-up. In fact, I think I’ve seen Marilyn Monroe in that outfit!”
A believer that truth is stranger than fiction, one story Collins admits she couldn’t make up involves playing wing man for a gay friend on Grindr. “We were at a restaurant with a woman friend of mine from New York and we put it on his phone and he scrawled through and sees this gorgeous guy,” she recalls. “The Grindr guy goes, ‘I’m very close,’ and we’re all excited so I hand the photo to my woman friend and she goes, ‘Holy shit, that’s my driver—he’s right outside the restaurant!’”
When it comes to a night in New York, though, Collins hardly relies on the tricks of the digital age to have some fun with her devoted gays. She ponders playing it old school during her upcoming visit to the Big Apple with a stop at real-time hookup bar, The Cock. “I’ve heard about The Cock and I’ve not been there,” she admits. “I think I should go this trip.”