Jackie Collins is not just an author. She's a brand! And a personality! And a fabulous one at that!
Perez had the pleasure of catching up with the romance novelist recently to talk about her new book, Goddess Of Vengeance, being thrown out of school at 15, on being banned from Australia, Twitter and being a pop culture junkie. Plus so much more!
Read some highlights from our chat after the jump.
Watch the interview in full (above)!
Perez: Hey everybody, it's Perez, joined by Jackie Collins.
Jackie Collins: Hi everybody.
Perez: Writing legend, author extraordinaire. And you have a new book out.
Jackie Collins: I do.
Perez: "Goddess of Vengeance".
Jackie Collins: Yes, it's already on the New York Times bestseller list.
Perez: You're very proud of that.
Jackie Collins: I am. Because it's my 28th book that's hit who's bestseller list.
Perez: If a book doesn't make it on the bestseller list –
Jackie Collins: I'll just kill myself Perez, I'll just go slit my throat.
Perez: Have you released a book in the last 20 years that hasn't made it on the list?
Jackie Collins: No.
Perez: So they all have.
Jackie Collins: Yes.
Perez: That's kind of amazing.
Jackie Collins: Yeah it is, isn't it. Because I was thrown out of school at 15.
Jackie Collins: So I feel that I am –
Perez: You never went to college?
Jackie Collins: Everybody said, [Watch above.]
Perez: Well you're more than a writer. You've managed to transcend the genre; you've become a celebrity, and a brand.
Jackie Collins: I know.
Perez: When I think of Jackie Collins, I think of a certain thing.
Jackie Collins: You think of Hollywood, really.
Perez: I think of glamour.
Jackie Collins: Yes, Hollywood –
Perez: I think of romance.
Jackie Collins: Hollywood wives, Hollywood wives generation.
Perez: Scandal. Yeah, lets talk about the book.
Jackie Collins: She a –
Perez: What's the brief synopsis of it?
Jackie Collins: Brief synopsis. Lucky is this fantastic woman. She's beautiful, she's strong, she's the woman that everybody would like to be. And she makes –
Perez: Lucky is that, is a character that you've written about before.
Jackie Collins: I've written about her in seven books.
Jackie Collins: I've also written ten hours of primetime for NBC, two miniseries. In the first one, she was played by Nicolette Sheridan who was fabulous.
Perez: Oh, that was a long time ago.
Jackie Collins: Oh yeah, it was like ten years ago. You were probably little boy. Little boy. Perez was little.
Perez: Nicolette Sheridan.
Jackie Collins: Nicolette Sheridan played Lucky. And her mother is murdered when she's four years old. She her mother was played by Sandra Bullock.
Perez: Oh wow.
Jackie Collins: And four year old Lucky was played by Elisabeth Moss from "Mad Men".
Perez: Oh my goodness!
Jackie Collins: So it was one hell of a cast.
Perez: Is it a concern to you that if you're a reader that hasn't read all the other books, that they may not want to jump into this one first?
Jackie Collins: This is what happens is people read this book, and they want to go back and read the others. But they don't have to. You get right into this book. She owns this hotel in Vegas, this guy from the Middle East comes along, the worse villain I've ever written; he's so disgusting. Even I'm going, how can I channel this character? Because he does the most disgusting things. He will only sleep with hookers, he has no respect for women. And he comes up against Lucky Santangelo, he wants to buy her complex, and of course all bets are off once Lucky is in the picture. It's also about her handsome son Bobby Santangelo-Stanisopolous who is the son of a Greek billionaire, and he's 25, and he owns all these hot clubs in Vegas, and New York.
Perez: Did you spend a lot of time in Vegas while you were writing the book?
Jackie Collins: I did. And my husband used to own hot clubs all over the world. We had a club in London called, "The Ad-Lib" where all beakers, and The Stones hung out. And then we had a club called, "Tramp" which is still going strong today; we had "Tramp" in LA where unspeakable things happened in the bathroom. So I've observed the lifestyle of clubs forever, and I've observed people forever.
Perez: You know I am banned from the Chateau Marmont.
Jackie Collins: I am banned in Australia.
Perez: From the country?
Jackie Collins: [See above.]
Jackie Collins: Well that's very interesting because you changed your image totally.
Perez: I did.
Jackie Collins: I'm a popular culture junkie, so I know exactly what you did, and I know exactly how you would treat celebrities, and then how you turned yourself around because of the bullying thing. And I think that was very, very admirable of you. And I think you're more successful now than you were before when you were doing the mean things.
Perez: Oh thank you.
Jackie Collins: But they probably don't get it at the Chateau Marmont, you know.
Perez: I don't care, I think it's good. That means I'm still relevant.
Jackie Collins: Yes, exactly.
Perez: That means I'm still relevant.
Jackie Collins: Yes, exactly, exactly.
Perez: And you're very, you know social media savvy, you're on twitter.
Jackie Collins: I'm on twitter; I've got over 100,000 people on my Facebook page.
Perez: Wow, do you, do you –
Jackie Collins: And a website.
Perez: — like that or do you find it pressure?
Jackie Collins: I love it. I love twitter. I love coming home after a night out and just tweeting who I bumped into, who I talked — and you make friends on twitter, have you noticed that?
Perez: Yes, yes.
Jackie Collins: That's so great.
Perez: I know, I love that.
Jackie Collins: The celebrities kind of communicate with you, and you go –
Perez: You can direct message them.
Jackie Collins: Exactly, I do that all the time. Yes. And I think it's fun. I think it's great to — you know I have a lot of young fans, they start reading me when they're 15, and they go, "Oh you know I've never read a book before, but this is fun, and I love a strong woman, and the sexy guys, and there's a lot of sex, and it's not flowery, it's fun, it's direct." I'm a direct writer.
Perez: And you also kind of set your own schedule, like I want to release one book a year, or one book every two years?
Jackie Collins: Yeah, I do one book a year. And it's a lot because it doesn't give you much leisure time.
Perez: No, that's what I was going to go to next.
Jackie Collins: Yeah. But I — you know what, I write all day. I write in longhand, and then my assistant puts it on the computer. And then I get the typewritten pages back at the end of the day, and I make all my corrections in longhand. Then I have two hours of TiVo, because I'm a TiVo junkie.
Perez: Two hours?
Jackie Collins: Junkie. Yes, so I watch everything, you know from "Dexter", to "Californication", to "Hung" to "Breaking Bad", and then the reality shows. And then I go out most nights with my friends. I'll either go to somebody's house, and see a movie, or we'll go to restaurants, and we go to party.
Perez: That sounds like a busy, full day.
Jackie Collins: It's a very full day. And then that's the way I do it. So I have a little bit of everything. I have the leisure time, the social time, then the work time, and that's what I love to do.
Perez: Well fabulous. Well I hope that goes well. And I hope –
Jackie Collins: Thank you Perez.
Perez: — I hope this continues to do well. It's already on the bestseller list.
Jackie Collins: It is, and it was so fun talking to you today.
Perez: I know. You too. Thank you.
Jackie Collins: Yeah.
Perez: Oh we did the Hollywood kiss.
Jackie Collins: Bye. I know.
Perez: The Hollywood kiss.