Jackie Collins: The queen speaks!
Jackie Collins is one of the world's best-selling authors. Her novels have sold over 400 million copies worldwide and now Collins is back with another of her classics, Poor Little Bitch Girl.
Collins asked us to phone her office in anticipation of her new book, but also to talk about her writing process and how a shy girl from the UK went on to become one of the world's best-selling authors of all time.
Jackie Collins: live in the flesh!
SheKnows: You've had a lot of amazing titles over the years. But, Poor Little Bitch Girl takes the cake.
Jackie Collins: (Laughing) I think it does, doesn't it?
SheKnows: Where did that come from or did it just fly off your lips?
Jackie Collins: You know, it was interesting, I was writing a TV series that never got made. I was calling it Poor Little Rich Girl, of course is a famous phrase, and I'm thinking about the TV show and the characters in it and then one day I thought, "Wait a minute. She's a bitch." Then I thought, "Poor Little Bitch Girl." What could be better (laughs)? Then I switched the character to a book. I decided I wanted to make Annabelle the Poor Little Bitch Girl from the title.
SheKnows: So, Annabelle had been with you for a few years?
Jackie Collins: Yeah, I've been thinking about her for a while. I always have another book that I'm thinking about when I'm writing the current one. I started the book with Denver, who's my feisty, strong heroine -- an interesting character I decided to write in the first person. Then I thought, what am I going to do with this character. See, I never plan my books. I sit down and write in longhand. I sit there with a pen and paper and think about creating a character. Then, I think about what it is this character's life going to be – who is going to be around her. It occurred to me she was going to have these two girlfriends who are completely different. Carolyn, who went off to Washington and got involved with a cheating politician -- which seems very popular at the moment (laughs).
We both laugh.
SheKnows: I was going to say.
Jackie Collins: It couldn't be more timely. What is wrong with these guys? I remember sitting there with a member of very close circle of Clinton advisors before he was President. I'll never forget it. I was sitting at this table and I asked, "Do you think Clinton is going to be voted in." He looked at me and said, "Yes I do. There's just one problem. The zipper problem."
Jackie Collins: All these guys seem to have zipper problems in Washington. So, it was interesting creating the character Gregory Stoneman, because it was easy to imagine his life. You can imagine his ambition and his cold wife at home who didn't want sex with him anymore, it was just a chore. He's just out looking for the latest hot piece of ass, so to speak.
What inspires Jackie Collins?
SheKnows: You've hit the nail on the head, yet again. Over the years, you have an impeccable ability to capture the community that you're writing about. I wonder what inspires you when you actually sit down to write.
Jackie Collins: I just love creating characters. When I was a kid growing up, I was very much a loner, my company was creating characters. I started writing when I was about eight. I would create all these characters. I read, at a very young age, Charles Dickens. I particularly loved Oliver Twist. What I loved about it was all the different characters and I thought isn't it great to create a fantasy world of your own. Because I was a loner, I created my own fantasy world. Now, when I sit down and create a character, it's like hmmm…what kind of world is she going to live in? The next book I'm writing is called Goddess of Vengeance, and it's another Lucky Santangelo book.
Jackie Collins: When I think about it, I cannot wait to pick up my pen. I don't know what's going to happen, but I have a vague idea. She's will just take her own path, but I want Lucky to do something about how women are treated in the Middle East. A Middle Eastern gentleman is going to come to America and want to buy a part of Vegas including Lucky's complex. Of course, she comes up against him and Lucky takes no prisoners!
SheKnows: To say the least (laughs) -- bloody brilliant.
Jackie Collins: I can't wait to write it!
Up next...Jackie shares insight into how she took on a female double standard and won!