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 Honoré 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.
* Besides Harlen Coben, Jackie Collins' fans listed these authors as their favorites: