While readers have been saddened by deaths of other prolific writers over the past little while (Colleen McCullough, Terry Pratchett and Tom Clancy to name a few), losing Jackie Collins hit me the hardest, so much that I find myself taking to my blog to post about her.
“Sexy, scandalous and seductive!”
I first discovered the novels of Jackie Collins when I was a teenager. And what an awakening that was!
Collins’ wrote about organized crime and Hollywood heartbreak, all of which were light years away from my small-town upbringing. I devoured her books, reading every one I could get my hands on, thrilled by her descriptions of the rich and famous and agog by all the sex scenes! While there is A LOT of sex in Collins’ novels, the scenes aren’t as descriptive as some books out there. It’s not erotica; wasn’t even close. It’s smut – down and dirty smut and Jackie Collins sold a lot of books writing about it.
Her first book The World is Full of Married Men was published in 1968 and called ‘nasty, filthy and disgusting’ by bestselling romance novelist Barbara Cartland. She announced that Collins’ ‘created every pervert in Britain.’
What a way to create a bestseller!
I wonder what Barbara Cartland would have thought of E.L James?
Married Men was banned in Australia and South Africa but it’s notoriety only increased sales in the US and UK. This led to over twenty bestsellers and 500 million books in print. Her final novel was The Santangelos, a conclusion to the series of novels she began in 1981 with Chances.
There are too many of her novels to list but here are a few of my favourites.
It’s been a while since I’ve read one of her new books, but I have copies of many on my shelves. My mother gives them to me! Don’t worry, Mom, I’ll be reading them soon! I need to catch up on the lives of the rich and famous, real people thinly disguised as fictional characters, and as a way to say good bye to the author who inspired so many. She taught me that books are entertainment, and should be fun to read. And making them sexy doesn’t hurt either!
RIP Jackie Collins.