This week I have been in mourning.
Last Sunday afternoon I was working and listening to the radio when about 1 or 2 o’clock the news came through that Jackie Collins had passed away.
I cried out, unbelieving. How could she possibly have died when she didn’t look sick, hadn’t said anything, and I was checking her Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc and had only just answered one of her questions a week before.
I went into shock. How could Jackie have gone? I quickly flicked on my phone and checked Facebook and there they were, a whole bunch of posts about her passing.
I shed tears. Of course I did.
Jackie inspired me to write my first novel, The Road To Vegas, in 2006. A scene from one of her books stuck in my head, I’ve spoken about this before, and I kept thinking I wanted to write a book with a character like that in it.
So I did.
I also put a dedication to her in the book and spoke of her in my second novel, How I Won Lotto, Moved To L.A. & Married a Really Huge TV Star. Jackie loved putting Australian characters in her books so I reciprocated by talking about her in mine. She's also had her own place on this website where I share her links and I will forever leave them up. She is my inspiration, she's not going anywhere.
In 2007 she came to Australia in May, during our Logies. The next morning she was on a morning show called 9AM with David and Kim. She spoke about watching the Logies the night before and loving Kim’s earrings, which Kim had borrowed for the awards night and was still wearing. It was later revealed that Jackie bought those exact earrings while here.
During that conversation they talked about it being carer’s week. Jackie spoke of caring for a husband and fiancé during their cancers and subsequent deaths and how no one cares about the carers.
Now, she herself dies from cancer and had only told her three daughters. She only revealed all to Joan when she visited London for a book tour the week before. After looking at the pics from the last few weeks, it was clear to see Jackie’s face had become gaunt and thin. You could tell she was sick and I assume she knew it was possibly coming fast.
Jackie worked until the end, with several books on the go and several more ready for release next year. I can't wait to read her memoir when it’s published but now, I will be buying it instead.
Jackie was an inspiration for those of us wanting to write and be writers. She inspired me to write shorter chapters than the normal 20-25 pages and to write how I wanted instead of how the publishing world expected me to.
I loved a lot of things about Jackie. Her knowledge and saucy secrets, her books, her vast collection of blazers she designed herself, her house (have you seen it), and the amazing adventures she had. I can only dream of having a gorgeous house with seven writing desks and a huge decorated office with rows and rows of my books in hardcovers and paperback.
It’s still hard to imagine her being gone, even one week on, and I can only hope they, her estate or whoever is in charge, keeps her social media going. At least her website so people can still visit and get a list of books and biography and know her for the woman she was. She knew for six years she had cancer and I’m going to believe she got her affairs in order. After nursing her husband and fiance she would have been prepared. The problem with social media, as always, is what happens after we die?
As much as I would have loved to have met her, I never had the chance. I always dreamed and believed that when my books hit it big I would travel to America and meet her on the way as I never had the chance all the times she was here in Aus.
Sadly, now I never will.
Now, the tears flow once more while I’m writing this, because I will never get the chance to see her, talk with her, or even visit her house, unless they open it to the public. But considering what a private person she was everything will be left to her family or be sold off like Elizabeth Taylor’s estate. And if I had the millions I would buy her house just for the sake of the fact it is Jackie Collins’s house.
For inspiration to come there’s no better place for it to come in.
And curiously, I’d love to know what’s in her will. What will become of her stories and books, her legacy? Will the family continue it? Will they shut it all down? Who knows, maybe’s there’s someone in charge of a Jackie Collins book estate to take care of her copyrights and ownership.
Goodbye Jackie, you will be so, so, sadly missed but forever held on the highest inspirational pedestal I can find.