Women You Should Know: Jackie Collins.

The one and only, Jackie Collins.
The one and only, Jackie Collins.

I started reading romance novels many, many summers ago, during a trip to Florida with my friend Sheena.

Stashed in the closet of our vacation rental, were stacks upon stacks of chick-lit.

We sifted through our reading options, each settling on a few, and packed them into our beach bags before soaking ourselves in the sun.

I grew up around similar collections of books—my mom and her best friend might be capable of funding the romance novel industry on their own. I can recall times when they would exchange (literal) trash bags full of books they’d read.

But it wasn’t until recently (within the last five years) that I decided to start reading romance novels by Jackie Collins—the QUEEN of chick literature.

The latest: a character's cookbook.
The latest: a character’s cookbook.

Really, she might just been the queen of writing, period. Jackie Collins has sold more than 500 million copies of her books, and had 30 New York Best Selling titles, making her one of the top-selling authors in the WORLD.

She is the author of the sensationally popular book, Hollywood Wives, which was also a miniseries on ABC, starring Anthony Hopkins and Candice Bergen.

Late last month, an article in the Wall Street Journal highlighted her home, and she said, “I have five writing desks but tend to work in two studies—one off my bedroom and the other next to my gym and sauna. I built the study off the bedroom with just one door so nobody can disturb me when I’m writing. I love the peace and quiet. It’s simply me and my characters.”

I suppose someone who has written 30 books deserves five writing desks…goals are good.

“Each of my books takes about nine months to write. I use the computer for research, but I write in longhand on white typing paper or yellow legal pads with a black felt-tip pen. I have excellent handwriting and the words flow. Writing in longhand helps me think. Then each morning, my assistant types all of my previous day’s work into the computer. After she prints out the pages, I make changes in pen. I keep all of the original handwritten manuscripts in leather-bound books in my library.”

Jackie’s novels are known for their (her) ability to capture the twisted and scandalous lives of the Hollywood elite, which is probably why they’re right up my ally. In a cool way, her novels about this group of people is what made her who she is (rich and famous), and now she’s totally in the in-crowd to get more of the scoop!

But in all seriousness, she is a classic writer, who lets her characters take on their own lives, leaving her to just write the story…resulting in a massive stack of books (and money).

Another reason why I love Jackie? She pins hot dudes on her Pinterest page, for which I can stare at when I’m bored at the office. Thank you, sweet Jackie.

I think I’m a born storyteller. Inspiration is all around me. I can read a newspaper article and come up with an idea for a book.”

—Jackie Collins


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