Sunday, March 29, 2015

In Defense of Jackie Collins


by Kristi Belcamino

I'm about up to *here* with people who feel they are superior.

In particular people who feel they are too superior to read certain books.

So here it is out in the open: I like Jackie Collins. I buy her books. I read them in one sitting.

Wait. That's not a confession. I already hinted at that a few weeks ago. I wrote a post about all the books I had pre-ordered so far this year. Jackie Collins' book, THE SANTANGELOS, was included in the post.

One anonymous reader felt turned off enough by this to comment "Yuk" or something similar.

At first I responded and then later, when I had calmed down, deleted my response. But now I figure is as good a time as any to address this.

I like Jackie Collins. I purposefully included her book in my post on this esteemed crime fiction blog. I am too old to be ashamed of my reading taste and frankly, too old to give a shit what anyone else thinks of it.

I read Jackie Collins because I love her heroine. Lucky Santangelo is an Italian-American ball buster. She is ambitious, successful, a rebel, drop-dead gorgeous, and will cut your nuts off if you cross her. My kind of woman. She also lives in a very exciting world that I love to read about. I've liked her since I was a teenager and I'm not going to stop liking her or pretend that I'm too cool to read a commercial fiction book because I'm now a published crime fiction writer.

See, it's utter bullshit that someone who loves crime fiction would look down on commercial women's fiction. Or romance. Or Sci-Fi. Or young adult literature.

A good story is a good story even if the writer doesn't write like Proust.

Literary snobs look down on crime fiction and say "yuk" about it. And you all know about that, and how that is a whole another discussion. So, why would I as a crime fiction writer, think I'm too cool to read Jackie Collins?

You may not like or read Jackie Collins, but I would bet you have your own "Jackie Collins" author who you read. Maybe one you consider a guilty pleasure. Maybe you hide those books and/or don't put them on your bookshelf.

And if someone doesn't want to buy my books or read them because I like Jackie Collins, that is fair.

Because if I'm looking for new readers, Jackie Collins' fans sound pretty good to me:

She recently asked her readers on Facebook who their favorite authors were. Here are some of the responses, but hands down the most frequent answer was HARLEN COBEN.*

You are probably saying STFU! That's right. Harlen Coben.

And believe me, I'll side with Harlen Coben fans all day long.

Here are a few tidbits about Jackie Collins:

* All 29 of her books have made The New York Times bestseller list.
* She has sold more than 500 MILLION copies of her books.
* Her books have been translated into 40 languages.
* Eight of her books have garnered either movie deals or TV series deals.

Give me some of that. All DAY LONG!

So, yes I read Jackie Collins. And I read Umberto Eco. And the Twilight Books, come to think about it. And when I get the new Collins' book, I'll read it and stick it on my living room bookshelf right next to OLD GORIOT by HonorĂ© de Balzac. 

Okay. I feel so much better now. Now, your turn:

Here is your chance to shout out your JACKIE COLLINS-type author. Stand proud. Give it to me in the comments. 

Or not. 

*crickets*



* Besides Harlen Coben, Jackie Collins' fans listed these authors as their favorites:
Charlaine Harris
Stephen King
JA Jance
Shakespeare
Agatha Christie
James Patterson
Janet Evanovich
Greg Isles
Danielle Steele

3 comments:

Scott Parker said...

If you turn around from your pulpit, you'll see me sitting in the choir. I so am with you on this. I like what I like. Period. It's why I don't believe in the concept of 'guilty pleasures.' It either is something you like or not.

So, books and author on a list like this:

Clive Cussler (mainly Isaac Bell stories, but others, too)

Dan Brown (over-the-top fun, pure and simple)

"Richard Castle" (love the show, love the books)

Doc Savage novels (Lester Dent could spin a tale)

This also applies to the TV front as well. I like network television. I loved CSI: MIAMI. Again, yes, over-the-top, but darn fun. ELEMENTARY, GRIMM, CASTLE, GOTHAM are also on the list. But I also like THE WIRE, too.

Music: I'm an unabashed KISS fan, always have been, always will be. Chicago, too. Musicals are on this list.

So, you like what you like and either defend it or stay silent. Just don't act like you don't like something say, at a party, and then go home and consume that very thing later that night.

Kristi said...

Scott,
that sums it up perfectly!
thanks for playing. I never thought about it in regards to music. Same deal.

Patty Franz said...

"Never apologize for your reading tastes." A very important librarian, Betty Rosenberg, said that years ago and I have been preaching it ever since.