She is one of the most beloved and talked about authors over the past 20 years, and there is no sign of her slowing down any time soon. With over 500 million copies of her books sold to date, Jackie Collins has become synonymous with engaging stories, sizzling story lines and characters that are talked about long after readers finish her books.
I discovered her myself while in High School, and for the past 2 decades I have been one of those eager fans that have devoured everything she has published. As I was preparing earlier this year for our anniversary issue of the magazine I knew that I wanted Ms. Collins to be involved. Imagine my surprise and excitement when I got a reply to my email to Ann-Marie of Get Red PR about setting up the interview-- and it was everything I hoped it would be and more.
Her new book, The Power Trip, was published on Tues. February 12th and instantly joined her others in becoming a runaway bestseller. Ever gracious and open about her literary journey, during our conversation Jackie Collins shared not just her own experiences but gave some great advice for those who are looking for the key to living life with purpose and passion.
JACKIE ON HER FANS:
"I have the greatest fans, the greatest readers. I'm on Twitter (@JackieJCollins), and they talk with me about the characters and the books they love. It has been great interacting with them.JACKIE ON THE KEY TO HER SUCCESS:
"I think I write for everybody. All ages, all colors, all sexual orientations. There's something for everyone in all of my books. I am a true storyteller. That was the gift I was given, to tell stories. My main thrust has always been to write strong women, strong positive women. I think my readers love the women I create. Success (for me) is hearing back from the fans, hearing back from people who love my characters."
JACKIE ON THE REALIZATION (AND FULFILLMENT) OF THE GIFT:
"I think I realized it when I was a kid. I started writing in school and selling my stories to my school mates. I knew then I had a gift of making up a story. I read so much then, spent my leisure time reading books."
"I was expelled from school at 15. At that point you're kind of in limbo, wondering what you're going to do with your life. I wanted to be a writer. My parents said you can't be a writer, you need to go to college. You need to get degrees. When someone says to me you can't do something that's when I say to myself 'Oh yes I can.' I decided to follow the dream, and the dream was to write books. Turns out, people don’t buy books because you went to college. The Power Trip is my 29th book. I'm really proud of what I've accomplished."
JACKIE ON WRITING AND THE POWER TRIP:
"I write what I want to write. I don't plan my books. I sit down with the characters and they take me on this wild trip. When I was writing The Power Trip I had the best time with the characters. There are so many diverse groups."
One of the issues that Jackie's book The Power Trip mentions is how issues of race still rear their head regardless of how much a person achieves. "My brother is married to a beautiful black woman," she told me. "I understand racial tensions that can take place. If I can write about it and change people's minds I am very happy to do that."
JACKIE ON PUBLISHING:
Her decision to "self-publish" some of her most popular books as kindle reads made news around the world, birthing over 120,000 stories about the decision. When asked about it, this is what Jackie shared about the move and the response from her fans. "All my books are on e-books in other countries, but a lot were not in America. I decided to do it myself, starting with Bitch, The Love Killers and Chances (Since then both Lucky and Lady Boss have been added to the list). I have gotten amazing reactions from my fans. They love it, and for me the experience has been very freeing."
JACKIE ON PURSUING THE DREAM:
"I have a particular message for women. Whether it's making cupcakes, writing books, singing or writing songs, you have got to have something for yourself, something that's yours. Everybody's got to have a passion in life. that's what makes life so exciting."
Jackie Collins will forever remain one of those authors whose work withstands the test of time. Why? Because everything she writes comes from the heart.
Collins new book CONFESSIONS OF A WILD CHILD is due out in early 2014. Stay in touch with Jackie and her upcoming projects on her website www.jackiecollins.com. She also has a Facebook fan page and can be found on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jackiejcollins. The Power Trip is available at bookstores and online retailers everywhere.