In memoriam: The Fabulous Jackie.

Jackie and the Reatta.
Jackie and the Reatta.

I learned yesterday that one of my favorite writers, an inspiration, Jackie Collins lost her very private battle with breast cancer after nearly seven years.

A woman as fabulous as Jackie was never defined by age, and so we’ll not mention how young she was, but we’ll just say, she’s left us too soon. What are we supposed to do without the famous Santangelo saga?

My career as a relationship blogger and columnist would be non-existent if it weren’t for Jackie, as she was a trailblazer for women in literature, which is why this blog has mentioned her many times (read this profile on her amazing self), and she will never be forgotten.

Jackie embodied the lifestyle (in some aspects) of the characters she wrote about; she lived a writer’s dream. Her success in writing about the scandals of the Hollywood elite rewarded her with unheard of sales — more than 500 million copies of her books have been sold around the world. She’s published 31 consecutive New York Times Best Sellers, including the wildly famous “Hollywood Wives.”

She was a class act, and fabulous, by every stretch of the word. Her home reflected her success, but her work ethic was as classic as it gets — she wrote all of her work in longhand before handing it over to an assistant to type. She kept every original manuscript bound in leather journals in her home.

What I find most interesting about Jackie is how she kept her cancer journey private, until very recently. In what would become her last interview, she discusses her decision to keep her battle just between her daughters (her sister Joan found out about the diagnosis only weeks before Jackie’s passing).

Sadly, Jackie suffered from cancer many times before she was diagnosed, losing her mother, second husband, and a fiance to the disease.

But nonetheless, she forged on. And she did so with the type of class that’s rarely seen anymore. She was talented and humble; as the Telegraph described her, “a combination of the down-to-earth with the almost unreachably glamorous.”

She was a feminist because she lived that way; not because she talked about it.

What I loved most about Jackie is that she never, ever forgot her readers. She was quick to take up social media to connect with us, and just as I always write an author when I love their book, she always wrote me back. I will forever treasure her words to me.

May she rest in peace; and may her next life be just as glamorous as the one she lived here. I know no female author can ever replace what she’s done for the next batch, but I hope we can at least try.

Whatever you have a passion for, then you must do. If you want to write, write about something you know about. — Jackie Collins

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