Jackie: The story so far (Daily Record)
Amazing success for author who consistently tops best-seller list
When 15-year-old Jackie Collins landed in LA in the 1950s, even her wildest dreams couldn’t have predicted that over the next six decades she would consistenly be one of the world’s top-selling novelists, notching up sales of over 500 million copies of her books in 40 countries.
Collins’ debut novel, The World Is Full Of Married Men, first scored a slot on the best-seller lists in 1968.
In the 70s, her work earned millions of fans while continuing to cause such shock and outrage that some nations banned publication.
In the 80s, Jackie beautifully captured the zeitgeist of the times with the introduction of her most famous character, Lucky Santangelo, a kick-ass heroine who epitomised girl power long before five Spices sang “zip-a-zig ah.”
By the time the 90s rolled in, you couldn’t chuck a flip flop on a beach without hitting a sun-lounger that was a accessorised with the latest Collins’ raunchfest.
And post-millenium, the internet and celebrity magazine proved Jackie had been giving us the inside scoop on the outrageous happenings of Hollywood all along.
Now her work continues to evolve and move with the times.
Her new characters and storylines reflect the culture of today’s uber-rich and breathtakingly bad, while her legends of the past have been brough to today’s high-tech generation with the 2012 publication of her entire backlist in ebook.
Of her digital launch, Jackie said: “As an author who has never been out of print, I am delighted to be bringing my books to the ebook format. It’s new, it’s exciting and I know my loyal fans are going to love it.”
There was never a blinged-up, hot, sexy, scandalous shadow of a doubt that she would be right.
Her novels still top the charts, her social media sites have attracted followers in the six figure droves and she is still regularly cited as an inspiration by new writers who weren’t even born when her career began.
When I told Jackie about the launch of our Book Club page last year, she replied: “Yes! Reading is the pleasure that fires the imagination. More space for book talk is great.”
And for Collins fans, it doesn’t come any greater than spending a few blissful hours in the company of a literary icon who shares her incredible imagination with the world.
Famous five first for kick-ass writer
Which books inspired one of the most illustrious literary careers of our times? In this exclusive chat, Jackie shares the reads that have left an imprint on her life.
As a child I loved…fantasy novels by Enid Blyton. She took me on a visual trip to far away places.
I then moved on to…anything by Harold Robbins and Mickey Spillane. I adored them, but I realized their women were only in the kitchen and the bedroom – sex and cooking. My female characters kick ass.
The world should read…The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart, in which a man lives his life by rolling the dice. I thought is was quirky and possible.
If I had to choose my top three writers they would be…Mario Puzo, Charles Dickens and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
My preferred genre is…Tough thrillers with page-turning plots. Books on my reading pile at the moment include Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe, who is a brilliant storyteller; Playing Along by Rory Samantha Green, a fun quirky romance; and Six Years by Harlan Coben, which is just suspense all the way.
I was moved when I read…James Frey’s Bright Shiny Morning. It’s a brilliant novel encompassing Los Angeles and true to life characters.
If someone was to read one of my novels for the first time, they should start with…Chances-the beginning of the Santangelo family saga.
Book Club with Sharilow
Over the coming months, our Book Club will be paying tribute to some stellar names of the literary world, and stars don’t come much brighter than the divine Miss Jackie Collins. Today, readers and authors share the joy of walking on the wild side with the Queen of the Bonkbuster.
[quote]Controversially, perhaps, I’ve always preferred Hollywood Husbands to Hollywood Wives. It’s got more balls and a hero called Jack Python. It was the first Jackie Collins novel I ever red and her portrayal of 80s Hollywood has stuck in my head. LA might be a tee-total place now, but for me, it will always be Jack’s champagne-drenched world of power-breakfast and silver Cadillacs. – Tammy Perry [/quote]
[quote]I used to read all of Jackie Collins books back in the day. I absolutely loved them – they were very racy and had a cracking pace. Plus, I was a working class northern lass, so it showed me a side of life that I never knew existed. They did make me believe that you had to have a very glamorous Hollywood lifestyle to become a writer. Thankfully, I was wrong about that. – Carole Matthews [/quote]
[quote]I read Hollywood Wives many years ago and found it quite exhilarating. It is a read that has cracking pace, rapidly sketched yet still vivid characters and its wonderfully unabashed self-confidence and verve. Fantastic entertainment. – Isabel Wolff [/quote]
[quote]Chances is sexy, glamorous, entertaining – it’s a bonkbuster at its absolute best. Great fun as well as being a fabulous page turner, this is a glittering example of its genre and a classic Jackie Collins novel in every way. – Sasha Wagstaff [/quote]
[quote]I’ve never read any of them but I’ve had them read to me by the author herself – as audio books. Great fun. I’m a big fan of the Lucky Santangelo stories. Lucky and Lennie are such a great couple. I love how Jackie has let us follow Lucky’s progress.” – Victoria Connelly [/quote]
[quote]I read The Studd many years ago and it still evokes memories of pools, nightclubs, filthy bits, rich girls in peach cashmere and tanned men in tight white suits. It was heady, exotic stuff for the young teenage mind and memorably gripping. – Carmen Reid [/quote]
[quote]I stole Chances from my mother’s bookshelf when I was about 12 and was I gripped. A 12-year-old girl shouldn’t have read it, but of course I did it in secret. It was a fantastical, fascinating world and obviously very racy, purely story-driven, a grown-up fairytale very much of its time. – Rowan Coleman [/quote]
[quote]Hollywood Wives was the first Jackie Collins book I read, and I remember it being very racy, which made it more appealing. I loved the in-your-face style of writing – punchy sentence, quick-fire characterizations – and it felt like watching an episode of a TV drama. – Anna Smith [/quote]
The Power Trip
by Jackie Collins
The paperback version of the hardback chart-topper, The Power Trip, has just been released, and from the very first line it proves that HRH (hot, racy happenings) Jackie is a raunchy and scandalous as ever.
This time her cast of glamour and power includes a supermodel, a top footballer, a maverick journalist, a movie star, a Latin heartthrob, a flawed US senator and a Russian oligarch who brings them all together to celebrate the maiden voyage of his new yacht.
The storyline sizzles like a drop of champagne spilled on the deck in the midday sun, so whether you’re off to Mull or the Maldives, don’t leave without booking a spot of escapist indulgence on the most entertaining cruise of the summer.
By Jan Johnston, Kilmacolm
By Jackie Collins
I’m a huge Jackie Collins fan and don’t think I’ve missed a new release since the 80s. Chances is my ultimate top pick as it featured the Santangelo family for the first time and starred my favourite character Lucky – a sassy, independent, smart Woman with a great heart who played the men at their own game. I also loved her dad, Gino, and the relationship between them.
I was set in a completely different world and took me away from reality to the casinos, the glitz and the glamour of Lucky’s world.
Successive books have allowed us to follow Lucky’s life through her careers, family, marriages and kidnappings, but Chances remains on the top of the list of novels that I enjoy reading again and again.