The Late Bonkbuster Novelist Jackie Collins

150 150 Rob McGibbon

subject photo

Published: 16 April 2011

Bonkbuster novelist Jackie Collins:

The treasured item you lost and wish you could have again...

A childhood doll I left on the beach in Ilfracombe in North Devon and never saw again.It was a small naked plastic doll with crazy hair. I still miss it!

The unending quest that drives you on...A passion for creating characters and stories that keep me intrigued. I write in longhand, and my characters take me on a trip.

The way you would spend your fantasy 24 hours, with no travel restrictions...Breakfast in Bali. A walk through the Paris flea market. Lunch in Rome. Shopping in Milan. Tea at the Dorchester in London. Cocktails in Moscow. Dinner at Mr Chow in LA. Finally, a midnight swim in the pool at my LA house, which I built 20 years ago. It’s my dream home!

The temptation you wish you could resist...Saying yes to events, parties and dinners when I really want to say no. I am a true Libra in that respect. We find it very difficult to say no to anything, but, believe me, I’m trying!

The book that holds an everlasting resonance...The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Jay Gatsby is the definitive romantic and elusive hero. I re-read the book every year.

The priority activity if you were the Invisible Woman for a day...I’d sit in on Barack Obama’s bedtime chat with his wife Michelle.

The way fame and fortune has changed you, for better and worse...Better is having the freedom to do whatever I want. Worse is never having the time!

The film you can watch time and time again...It’s tough to choose between Parts I and II of The Godfather, but I’d go for Part II. It’s so dark, dangerous and sexy. I notice something new every time – and Al Pacino rocks it!

The person who has influenced you most...My father Joseph. Tall, dark, handsome and a total chauvinist! He gave me an interesting take on men and the double-standard that exists to this day. I still feel that men think they can get away with anything, and women are still doing their best to catch up.

The figure from history for whom you’d most like to buy a pie and a pint...Elvis Presley. I’d like to ask why he allowed himself to throw it all away. He had everything, but ended up drugged out on a bathroom floor.

The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child...To always be true to yourself, and to treat others the way you wish to be treated yourself.

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity...Singing. I took singing lessons as a teenager and I could see myself as a Sade or an Amy Winehouse. Oh, and I rule at karaoke!

The prized possession you value above all others...I don’t value possessions as everything is temporary. I do love my two diamond engagement rings.One from my late husband, Oscar, the other from my late fiancé, Frank.

The unqualified regret you wish you could amend...My mother Elsa never saw two of my daughters or knew I was a published author. She died from breast cancer in 1962. I was only 25. She was too young, and I still miss her.

The poem that touches your soul...A poem called The Traffic Warden that my daughter, Rory, wrote about parking wardens when she was eight. It was illustrated by my other daughter, Tiffany, who was 12. So sweet.

The misapprehension about yourself you wish you could erase...That my books are all about sex. Yes, there is plenty of sex, but it’s the stories and characters that have enabled me to sell over 400 million books!

The event that altered the course of your life and character...I nursed two fantastic men through terminal cancer – Oscar and Frank. What I experienced made me realise how swift life can be.

The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it...I’d be a vigilante and get rid of child molesters and murderers for good.

The song that means most to you...What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye. Pure magic. He could sing and had such an interesting and ultimately tragic life.

The happiest moment you will cherish forever...The births of my three daughters. Smart, talented, fantastic women. They make me proud. The saddest time that shook your world...The losses of Oscar and Frank.

The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you...I’d love to direct a movie of one of my books starring Angelina Jolie and George Clooney. Together they would be dynamite – sexual chemistry!

The philosophy that underpins your life...I believe in karma and I call myself a hovering Buddhist because it’s such a calm and beautiful religion.

I am extremely laid back. I guess my philosophy in life is ‘Whatever…’.

The order of service at your funeral...Fun. Photos. Great music. Fab food. A celebration of a life well lived.

The way you want to be remembered...She gave a great many people a great deal of pleasure and had no regrets.

The plug...My new bestseller, Goddess Of Vengeance, is published by Simon and Schuster, £14.99.