My Tribute to Jackie Collins (1937-2015)

Monday 21 September 2015

I never imagined that my first blog post after a short blog break would be something like this but just a few days ago I checked Twitter before bed and read the heartbreaking news about Jackie Collins passing away. Anybody who has read my blog regularly will know that Jackie was my favourite author, and when I read the news I just sat there in shock for a while, unable to believe it. Obviously, I didn't know Jackie personally but when you have spent so many years reading an author's books and watching their interviews, it's a huge shock to think that they are no longer there. I think it's only fellow book lovers who can truly understand how it feels, which is why I wanted to write a blog post about this.

Jackie Collins definitely kick-started my love for all things glamour, sex and celebrities. Her books took me right into a world that was so far removed from my own, and my Jackie Collins journey, like a lot of people my age, began in secret with borrowed copies or copies 'acquired' from various places. I very quickly became addicted to them, and eventually started to buy my own copies when I was a little older. Jackie's books became somewhat of a comfort blanket to me; in those dark times or just on those rubbish days we all have, I knew that I could pick up one of her books and for a short while, take my mind off what was happening in my own world and live in a glamorous one instead. To be transported into one of Jackie's worlds is just one of the greatest pleasures I have had in reading and will continue to have. My favourite book of hers, as I've always said, is Chances. That book just blew me away the first time I read it and even now, many rereads later it continues to shock and thrill in equal measure. I also have a huge soft spot for American Star, another huge favourite of mine.

Some of the first Jackie Collins' books that I bought (in an actual shop!) and that weren't borrowed or 'acquired' from various places...
I really fall in love with my characters, even the bad ones. I love getting together with them. They tell me what to do; they take me on a wild and wonderful trip.

Jackie Collins taught me that you can be whoever you want to be. That you should never apologise for who you are, nor should you be ashamed of who you are. She was an inspiration to women around the world, but she was also a little bit of an inspiration to me too. I have never been ashamed to call Jackie my favourite author when asked, and I have never been embarrassed about discussing the books that I love to read, and I like to think that's because of Jackie. She was one of those celebrities who you never heard or read anybody making a bad comment about. Her books, yes, but never Jackie herself. In fact, as she once said, the biggest critics of her books are those who have never read them, and just how true that is. Watching Jackie being interviewed is evidence of just how much she loved writing, and we now know that she kept writing up until the very end, revealing in a recent interview that she was working on a sequel to The Power Trip and, her very own autobiography. I always used to say that a Jackie Collins autobiography would be one of the best ever written.

If you want to achieve your dreams, you must follow them, and the best way to follow them is not to think about wanting to be very rich, but to think about doing something that you really want to do.

I used to love watching Jackie being interviewed. What was always clear was how much she loved life. It's often something that is said when a person passes away, but with Jackie I really understand just what the statement really means. I now have a huge regret that I was unable to attend her last event in London in September, sadly time constraints and life itself got in the way but still, she was a true star and a truly hardworking author who always had time for her fans and what I've always loved is the passion for which she spoke about her books, and how she promoted them so well. I also love how active she was on Twitter and, despite some of the brilliant things that have happened to me since I started the blog in 2014, Jackie Collins showing up in my notifications whether replying, retweeting or with a favourite remains a real highlight. I think I hyperventilated when it first happened! And don't even get me started about when she wished me Happy Birthday! I really am filled with great sadness at the thought of the world losing such a wonderful and much-loved lady. I guess some might find it strange, but I really am heartbroken and hopefully fellow book lovers will understand that. And there's one thing that I know for sure, there will never ever be another author that does it as well as Jackie Collins did. There's some good imitators out there, but nothing is ever better than the original.

I have this theory that people in Hollywood don't read. They read 'Vanity Fair' and then consider themselves terribly well read. I think I can basically write about anybody without getting caught.

This is one of my favourite Jackie Collins interviews, and is really worth watching...



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