In high school, I discovered Jackie Collins. Chances was her first book that I’d read, where I developed a crush on Gino Santangelo and wished I had the balls of his dynamic, larger-than-life, but so grounded daughter, Lucky Santangelo. Not long after that, Hollywood Wives came out and I barreled through that, along with the many sequels to follow Chances. These were obviously books not on the school reading list, so along with Judith Krantz’s Scruples and Princess Daisy, I had to hide them – in an ignored drawer at home, buried in my locker, or at the bottom of my book bag.
Beyond reading her work, Ms. Collins simply taught me to have fun with my writing. Above all, she taught me not to fear what I had to write. To just let it rip. I learned a lot of my most colorful language from her stories too!!
Her latest novel, another of the Santangelo saga, The Santangelos, was released just a few months ago. I hadn’t read them in a while, realized how much I’ve missed them, and got it from the library. Just the other day, I renewed it!!!
Tonight, we lost Ms. Collins at the age of 77 and I’m saddened and quite shocked. Seeing her in recent interviews, I was always marveled by her ongoing energy, wit, and beauty. Following her on Twitter, I loved to see her vitality and interests in all things current, hip, and happening, like The Voice, The Emmys, and The Grammys. It seemed to keep her youthful. When she became friends with me on Goodreads earlier this year, I nearly danced around the house!!
On the bio page of my website, I note how I’ve longed to earn a living at writing as she! In one blog post, I share her influence in making sure that I pour it all on the page, be it in a story or my own journal. I now join many around the world mourning the loss of this kick-ass writer (just as she said of herself [!]) and incredible, enterprising woman. I’m also glad to have experienced not only being entertained by her stories but to have recognized, through her, the craft of writing as a release and pure fun.