10 Things to Love About: Jackie Collins + Thrill! Giveaway

Jackie Collins.  A phenomenal storyteller, a creator of the strongest female role models in books, and somebody who refused to put up with double standards from the start.  She was a feminist icon, and the book world is emptier without her light, since she died in 2015.  There are so many wonderful things about this author, and here are just 10.

1.       Jackie Collins has sold 500 million copies of her 31 books worldwide.  Every one has been on the New York Times bestseller list.

2.       Jackie’s first novel, The World Is Full of Married Men, was considered so shocking and rude at the time that British romance author Barbara Cartland said “Miss Collins, you are responsible for all the perverts in England.”  Jackie replied with, “Thank you!”

3.       “I don’t like being lumped in with anybody. I like to think I stand on my own.”  Jackie knew the value of letting women shine as their own people.  “I’ve never followed the trends and I’d advise writers out there not to follow the trends because trends come and go.”

4.       Jackie attended the Francis Holland School in London, until she was expelled at 15 for skipping classes and waving at the local flasher whilst calling out, “Cold today, isn’t it?”  The school felt it was disgusting, and Jackie’s parents shipped her off to Hollywood to live with her sister, Joan.

5.       Shortly after moving to Hollywood as a teenager, Jackie met Marlon Brando at a party.  Despite him being one of the most sought-after men on the big screen, Jackie looked back on the controversial affair as “He was fun, but it was just a schoolgirl crush”. 

6.       Jackie chose out-there names for her characters (e.g. Lucky, Montana) so that it was easy for readers to immediately know who-was-who when they were immersed in her novels.

7.       “Women are strong, and women should be respected, and sex is equal.” In Jackie’s last ever public event, put on by her Publishers in the UK, Simon & Schuster, she talks about how few movies are directed by women, still, and how that should change.  “Women can do anything; women are powerful.”  Listen to the interview here.

8.       She was a big believer in her heroines, and women in general, having things going on for themselves – a lot more than cooking and sex.  “You got to have respect for yourself and goals for yourself, have things for yourself that aren’t a guy.”

9.       Jackie wrote all her books with a pen and legal pad, but she never planned what her characters would get up to in advance.  “I don’t plan it and they do what they do”.  Maybe that’s how we should all live…?

10.   If she wasn’t a novelist she would have been a lawyer and fought for women’s rights.

Do you want to win a hardback copy of Thrill! by Jackie Collins, courtesy of our friends at Books and the City, along with a pair of very Hollywood-darling sunglasses from Accessorize?

Simply come up with your best Jackie Collins-style character name and add it to the comments below.  The 'Lucky' (haha) winner will be chosen after 11pm GMT on Tuesday 23rd January and announced soon after.