True story: when Jackie Collins succumbed to breast cancer on September 19th I had a dream that day that a different author had died: Judith Krantz of SCRUPLES fame. Woke up in a flash, all confused and tense, wondering why the heck I had dreamt about her passing. Was this some sort of a premonition, an ESP kind of thing? I immediately got up and hurried over to my PC to check if my prediction was correct. It was not—thank God. So I went back to bed, shaking my head in discouragement for having been such a drama queen—totally clueless to the fact that another grand dame of commercial fiction had just met her maker.
Yes, the queen of fluff is gone, kids. And this sucks—big time. Like many of you I had spent many hours reading her work, wishing that one day we would meet face to face. Alas, it was not meant to be. But I got the next best thing. We became acquaintances online. But to tell you the truth, I doubt she really knew who I was. Because let’s face it, she had millions of fans like moi. And between writing her many sizzlers and promoting them extensively, she barely had time to socialize with any of us. Still it felt good getting a quick e-mail from her acknowledging a comment of sort; or being picked at a Q & A live stream during one of her book tours; or the best, having her retweeting me because I blogged about one of her titles or acknowledged one of her adapted films or mini-series. We may not have been close friends in the real sense of the word but in my mind it felt like we were.
Having been around the block a few times, I occasionally let myself be tempted by other genres (horror mostly). But because of Collins I always return to my first love: glam fiction. It gives me the extra oomph I need whenever the world seems cold and distant. And now that she’s gone, I need the escape more than ever. I’ll probably pick up her latest, but before I do that, tell me this: why do we always wait until someone has passed on to finally acknowledge all the good they have brought into our lives? I mean I could have easily told her how I felt when she was around. I think it would have pleased her, even touched her. Then again, she probably knew it already. I just wonder if she really was aware of how much of an impact she had on people, especially on the gay community. She was one of the few commercial writers who embraced the gay lifestyle in her work. She made no qualms about it and got a whole new readership in return. Whether this was coming from the heart or a simple use of business acumen (or both) barely matters. What does is that she was indeed a kick-ass writer and I will miss her dearly. So here’s to you, Jackie Collins. Hope they make room for your steamy novels up there. If not, I’m sure you’ll break the mold—as you always have done.