The Original Queen of Steam Talks Sex, Scandals – and Miley Cyrus! (New Life Magazine Australia)
Blockbuster author Jackie Collins is on a roll. This year marks the release of her 30th novel – and a meeting with the Queen, thanks to being awarded an OBE for services to fiction and charity.
‘Isn’t it fabulous?’ drawls the glam 76-year-old down the phone from her LA home. ‘It’s such an honour. But what to wear? Chanel is a must. I’ll just have to make sure my neckline is a little higher than usual!’
The Brit-born, LA-based raunchy writer – who began penning steamy fiction back in the 1960s – has sold an incredible 500 million books in more than 40 countries. Soon she’ll be able to compare gongs with actress sister Joan, who received her OBE in 1997. ‘I’m sure this must be some kind of record, two “out there” sisters ending up with OBEs,’ notes Jackie. ‘Joan was thrilled for me though, which was very sweet.’
Not that Jackie will be taking time off to savour her success. ‘I write – in longhand – every day. I’m a quarter of the way into my next novel The Santangelos, and I’m putting the finishing touches to The Lucky Santangelo Cookbook, which is a really fun project. I need another six hours in the day at least!’
In the meantime, her latest book, Confessions of a Wild Child, has just hit the shelves and is notable as Jackie’s 30th novel.
‘Not bad for a high school dropout, eh?’ Jackie says, with a wicked laugh. ‘This one’s about the wild teen years of Lucky Santangelo. It’s about her transition from girl to woman – basically, how she discovers sex and her power as a woman! I like to write women who are tough and in control,’ adds Jackie. ‘It’s an absolute riot!’
Another boost for Jackie is that Aussie actress Rose Byrne is a fan! ‘I met her the other day – gorgeous girl,’ explains Jackie. ‘She said: “Oh, your books are just fantastic. I’ve read them all.” I was thrilled.’
Jackie has been inspired by Hollywood scandals for the past 40 years. So how badly behaved are celebs of today, compared with those of yesteryear? ‘I don’t think the Mileys or Lindsays are any naughtier than Madonna was – it’s just that everyone’s got a camera phone and there’s social media, so nothing is a secret,’ notes Jackie, who boasts 106,000 followers on Twitter.
‘To me, Miley’s behaviour at the VMAs was just that of an overexcited little puppy but, because she’s a woman, she gets called names. What concerned me was why 36-year-old married man Robin Thicke didn’t cop any of the criticism. He said: “We rehearsed every minute of it.” I was like: “Well, we could have done without the crotch gyrating or foam finger, darling!”’
With a deep chuckle, Jackie adds: ‘Nothing – and I mean nothing – celebs do can shock me. I’ve partied with Dudley Moore, Sean Connery and Rod Stewart over the years.
‘I love a juicy celeb scandal – to me, it’s all just good fodder for my next book!’