"My heroines kick ass. They don't get their asses kicked."-Jackie Collins
When I read the news that Jackie Collins had passed away from breast cancer, I thought it was a hoax. It couldn't be true. But then I read the statement issued by her family and with a sinking feeling in my stomach I knew that the magnificent woman who'd sold half a billion books and was a consistent figure on numerous best seller lists was really gone.
The first Jackie Collins novel I ever read was Dangerous Kiss , A Lucky Santangelo Novel. At the time I read Dangerous Kiss, it was the most recent in the Lucky Santangelo series. Lucky was a gorgeous, business savvy mob princess who didn't take crap from anyone.. Call me biased but I think Lucky Santangelo is the greatest female character ever written. It was then and there that my love of Jackie Collins' novels was born. After devouring Dangerous Kiss, I read the rest of the books in the Lucky Santangelo series before moving on to reading every book Jackie had written at the that time. Today I own them all.
Years ago I wrote to Jackie and received two autographed photos of her. They are among some of my most prized possessions. I would often go to Jackie's website and listen to her interviews. Her wit, sassiness and take no prisoners attitude always made me eager to go pick up my pen and start writing. When I tweeted to her November 12, 2013 about her being such an inspiration and she responded back my life was made.
Jackie inspired me to write. Her stories that highlighted a woman's strength, and sexuality were cutting edge and ahead of their time. Jackie didn't write cookie-cutter characters, especially women. She firmly believed that a woman could do anything a man could do and not only her writing life, but her real life reflected that as well. "I live my life like a bachelor. I have a man for all seasons," she is quoted as saying. Jackie was a woman who lived by her own rules and she let nothing define her.
Before there was erotica, there was Jackie. Before there was Fifty Shades, there was Jackie. She is a pioneer in the literary world. A woman who created characters that represented people from all walks of life and from every race, background, religion and sexual orientation. Jackie created stories reflective of the world we all live in.
Though she is gone, the stories and characters she created will forever live on. I'm sure that I am one of countless people that Jackie influenced in some way. Goodbye Jackie, you fantastic woman. There will never be another like you.
Jacqueline Jill Collins October 4, 1937- September 19, 2015