Jackie Collins Loses Her Fight With Breast Cancer

jackie-collins-05-photo-by-greg-gormanThe world is in a state of shock this morning as news of the passing of Jackie Collins filters through.

Unbeknownst to all but those close to the 77 year-old bestselling author, Collins had been battling breast cancer for the better part of six years, a period that included numerous books, media appearances and tours, including a visit to Booktopia HQ in 2013.

On that visit we fell in love with Jackie, one of the most generous and personable people you could ever wish to meet. When it was time to leave she made a point to say goodbye to every person by name she had met on the whirlwind visit. Trust us, there were a lot of names to remember and she remembered every one.

See below for John Purcell’s interview with Jackie, who is estimated to be the 14th highest selling author of all time. To to give some context to that achievement, Shakespeare is 1st and Tolkien is 40th.

Jackie Collins was a phenomenon who loved books, storytelling and her fans. She will be missed.

Valē Jackie.

Winners Announced – Signed Casey Stoner, Jackie Collins, Movie Tickets and Agrarian Kitchen Classes!

image(12)Signed Jackie Collins Backlist

(Watch our exclusive interview with Jackie Collins here)

R. McLaren, Kingston South East, SA

Winner of the Agrarian Experience cooking class for 2 people

(Read founder of The Agrarian Experience Rodney Dunn’s exclusive blog for us here)

L. Kudahl, Whyalla Stuart, SA

Free Carrie Double Passes

(Stephen King fan? You have ONE DAY to win the biggest Stephen King Prize Pack EVER!)

Janelle Di Giglio

Dea Mackintosh

Lisa Gibson

Nicole Bowden

Shan Tee Rickus

Signed copies of Casey Stoner’s Memoir Pushing The Limits

Deborah Diele Nestola

Emma Hackett

Melissa Kossatz

Hneide Charif

Marketa Crowther

Congratulations to all the winners! Don’t forget to email us at promos@booktopia.com.au with your details so we can get your prizes out to you ASAP!

IN THE NEWS: Jackie Collins says teens must reclaim the pleasures of ‘almost’

Author: Jackie CollinsWhen a teenage Jackie Collins was seduced by Marlon Brando at a party, little did she know the experience would come in handy years later while writing her first YA novel…

New York Times bestselling author Jackie Collins was recently in Australia promoting her new novel, Confessions of a Wild Child, which tells the story of the teen years of her much loved character Lucky Santangelo. Jackie had hoped her publisher would promote the novel as a novel for teens. But Jackie’s publisher decided her fanbase would feel left out if they did so. And besides, they knew, just as Jackie probably did, that teens had been borrowing/stealing their mothers’ copies of her books since 1968 when her first novel, The World is Full of Married Men set tongues wagging and would read Confessions of a Wild Child whether it was published as a young adult novel or not.

Having read Confessions of a Wild Child I can see why Jackie would want young girls in particular to read it. Confessions is set in a world outside time, this could be the 1960s, the 90s or now and Jackie has gone to great trouble to write a very fast moving story in which her heroine, fifteen year old Lucky, learns very quickly about love, lust, boys, men, friendship, sex, betrayal and the value of ‘almost’.

The driver for Lucky is personal freedom and much of that is expressed in a desire to have as much fun as a young girl can have. But there are lessons along the way, and having been instructed in the pleasures of ‘almost’ by her more experienced friend, Olympia, (‘almost’ meaning kissing, fondling, touching and everything one can do with a cute guy without doing ‘it’) Lucky navigates her way through adventure after adventure fairly unscathed. The same cannot be said of Olympia, who abandons the wise course of ‘almost’ and repeatedly gets Lucky into trouble.

In a world where teens carry iPhones with unlimited access to the Internet, i.e. porn, Jackie’s hope that a novel like Confessions of a Wild Child might serve as some sort of antidote to the sexualisation of youth may seem a little naive considering the sheer size of the challenge. But then I couldn’t help but feel that the novel, by advocating the pleasures of ‘almost’, might get some readers thinking about what they are missing out on, and may encourage a handful to take the tourist route to adulthood.

Click here for Confessions of a Wild Child

INTERVIEW: Thanks wholly to Caroline Baum’s decision to go on holiday there was a vacant seat opposite Jackie Collins in an interview which was scheduled to be filmed for Caroline’s Bookshots. When Caroline asked me to take her place she did not have to ask twice. Here is my interview with Jackie Collins (and yes, I ask her about her fling with Marlon Brando):

Click here for more deatils or to buy Confessions of a Wild ChildConfessions of a Wild Child

Lucky Santangelo is a powerful and charismatic woman. But how did she become the woman she is today?

Many people have asked, and in Confessions of a Wild Child we discover the teenage Lucky, and follow her on her trip to discover boys, love and how she fought her father, the infamous Gino Santangelo, to forge her own individual and strong road to success.

Confessions of a Wild Child takes you on a trip and navigates the teenage years of a wild child who will eventually rule an empire. Even at 15 Lucky follows her own path and it’s a crazy ride, taking the reader from a strict girls’ school in Switzerland to an idyllic Greek island, a Bel Air estate, a New York penthouse, and a shuttered villa in the South of France. Nobody can control Lucky. She knows what she wants and she goes for it with no holds barred. Lucky at 15 – a true revelation.

Buy Confessions of a Wild Child from Booktopia before November 30th 2013 for your chance to win an incredible backlist prize pack – 29 books all signed by Jackie Collins herself! Woo! 

What a Great PRIZE!

Jackie Collins, Christos Tsiolkas, and the best-selling foreign books in China

Last week Booktopia’s John Purcell sat down, on separate days, with Jackie Collins and Christos Tsiolkas (two very different authors) to chat about their life, work, and new books Confessions of a Wild Child and Barracuda. It was a wonderful fly-on-the-wall experience to see these two writers at very different periods of their careers.

One resounding impression was that, while the world is getting smaller and smaller, the effect a book reaching a worldwide audience has on a writer is still excitingly tangible. These days Jackie Collins could sneeze onto a notepad and it would become a worldwide bestseller (thank goodness she hasn’t, her latest book is a thoroughly entertaining read), whereas Tsiolkas wrote acclaimed novels like Loaded and Dead Europe before finding recent global success with The Slap (copies of which he has been kind enough to sign, so don’t miss out if you haven’t read it yet).

John asked both of them about their popularity in unlikely territories, to which they both had the same answer.

Both Jackie Collins and Christos Tsiolkas, authors that at times have fallen foul of certain conservative sections of society, are both published and have found unlikely success in China.

Which got us thinking. What are the most popular foreign books in China? And low and behold, we’ve dug up the 2012 best-selling foreign books in China.

There’s some predictable titles, and some surprises…

Best-Selling Foreign Books in China


1. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez

2. Before I Go to Sleep, by S. J. Watson

3. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

4. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera

5. Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami

6. The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown

7. Byakuyako (“Into the White Night”), by Keigo Higashino

8. The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger

9. Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel García Márquez

10. The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown


1. Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson

2. The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne

3. The Greatest Salesman in the World, by Og Mandino

4. Rip It Up: The Radically New Approach to Changing Your Life, by Richard Wiseman

5. Youth, It’s Painful, by Rando Kim

6. On China, by Henry Kissinger

7. Dale Carnegie’s Lifetime Plan for Success, by Dale Carnegie

8. Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life, by Nick Vujicic

9. A Global History: From Prehistory to the 21st Century, by L. S. Stavrianos

10. A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking


1. Totto-chan: The Little Girl at the Window, by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi

2. Charlotte’s Web, by E. B. White

3. Pippi Longstocking, by Astrid Lindgren

4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J. K. Rowling

5. The Cricket in Times Square, by George Selden

6. Fantastic Mr. Fox, by Roald Dahl

7. Guess How Much I Love You, by Sam McBratney

8. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe

9. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J. K. Rowling

10. Tiger Team: Witch Swamp & Ghost Castle, by Thomas Brezina

Click here to see Booktopia’s 100 Bestselling titles this week
all discounted by at least 30%

Why I Love Bonkbusters – a guest post by Victoria Fox

Bestselling author Victoria Fox talks sun loungers, starlets and the secret to escapism…

Celebrity is the new religion. Today’s pop culture is fascinated by the rich and famous, the exclusive and the elite, and yes, while we might look to these exotic creatures for a glamour fix or a twist of scandal, for me their appeal centres around something more straightforward: a desire for escapism. To imagine a life different from our own is a basic human impulse. Celebrities epitomise this, marking as they do glittering gateways into new and exciting worlds that transport us miles from the cares and concerns of everyday life – in the same way, really, that books do.

Continue reading

The Incomparable Jackie Collins Answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Jackie Collins

author of

Poor Little Bitch Girl,
Married Lovers
, Drop Dead Beautiful
and a host of other bestselling titles

Ten Terrifying Questions


1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

Born in London. Dropped out of school at fifteen. Followed school with Hollywood – gaining invaluable research, and meeting characters that I still write about today.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

Everybody said you can’t be a writer, you dropped out of school, you need to go to college, etc. But I followed my dream and ignored everyone. At twelve I was writing unfinished novels. At eighteen I was doing the same thing. And at thirty I was a published author.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

The beliefs I had at eighteen have stayed with me today. Strive and you will achieve. Work hard at what you love and your passion will shine through.

4. What were three works of art – book, painting, piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?

Book – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. So mysterious and exciting. The painting – A Bigger Splash by David Hockney. I built my house based on that painting. And music – What’s Goin’ On by Marvin Gaye. All of the above filled me with inspiration.

5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a novel?

I am a born storyteller. One hundred years ago I would be sitting around the campfire saying “Let me tell you a story!”

6. Please tell us about your latest novel…

Poor Little Bitch Girl.Three twenty-something women, one hot, rich guy, two mega movie-stars, a drugs bust and a devastating murder. Poor Little Bitch Girl has it all!

There’s Denver Jones, the hotshot attorney working in L.A. and Carolyn Henderson – personal assistant to a powerful and very married Senator in Washington with whom she is having an affair. And then there’s Annabelle Maestro – daughter of two movie stars – who has carved out a career for herself in New York as the madame of choice for discerning famous men. The three twenty-something women used to go to high school together in Beverly Hills and Denver and Carolyn have always kept in touch, but Annabelle is out on her own with her cocaine addicted boyfriend Frankie.

Bobby is Frankie’s best friend – Bobby Santangelo Stanislopolous, that is, Kennedy-esque son of Lucky Santangelo and deceased Greek shipping billionaire Dimitri Stanislopolous. Now he owns Mood, the hottest club in New York, but back in the day he went to high school with Denver, Carolyn and Annabelle, and hung out with all three of them. Which means that Bobby knows everyone’s secrets – and he has some of his own, too. Read an ExtractClick Here

7. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?

I fulfil my fantasies of what Hollywood and life in the fast lane is all about. Mind candy with hidden truths. And plenty of sly humour!

8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?

Charles Dickens. A genius. Harold Robbins who took you to places you never knew you wanted to go. Enid Blyton – the best children’s author of all time.

9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

I’ve written 27 best selling novels. So my plan is to just keep on going!

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Don’t talk about it. Do it!!

Jackie, thank you for playing.

Follow Jackie Collins on Twitter – click here

One for the girls – A Blast from the Past – Jackie interviews George Clooney (circa 1998)

Once, When We Were Innocent – My Pre-Internet Pursuit of the Forbidden

Back when I was growing up, in the dark days before the Internet, there were very few ways to learn about sex.

There were, on occasion, a few glimpses of nudie pictures –  usually someone’s older brother’s Playboy. But these pictures were inert and added to the mystery surrounding sex, instead of offering illumination.

As a child of the eighties, I looked to TV for entertainment, for knowledge, for guidance. I shunned all books. In fact, I never noticed any books in my house, though I now know there must have been books, my father being a reader. Who needed books when they had TV? But TV never spoke of sex. At least not directly. Obliquely maybe, cleverly, but I was a boy who had no finer senses. Even as a grown man subtlety is still somewhat baffling.

It was my best friend who first drew my attention to the strange rectangular objects grown ups and dorks read. He was the first to show me that there was a link between books, reading and sex.

His father liked to read big, fat, trashy novels, which he left about the house when they had revealed their secrets and were useless to him. My best friend would have to move these spent entertainments from chairs before sitting, tables before eating and in the bathroom he would have to kick aside an overfull basket of novels to do his business.

It was in the bathroom that he made his discovery.

At twelve my best friend was my confidante, there was very little he did not know about me and little I didn’t know about him. By thirteen, however, there were secrets. One of which was knowledge of what was contained in these books. My best friend did not share his forbidden fruit with me.

Overnight, my best friend became a reader. This felt like a betrayal. Wasn’t TV good enough for him?

Every time I saw him he was reading a new book. I only lived two doors from him so I saw him at least five times a day. Five fat books a day? Boy! that kid could read...

Then I began to notice him using a patronising tone whenever our discussions turned to the subject of girls and sex. We were thirteen, all of our discussions turned to girls and sex. This tone was annoying and would have lead to a complete rupture had not his secret been revealed.

“I know because I read about it!” he said, in the midst of a heated of a dispute about the mechanics of sex.

“You read about it? There is sex in books!?”

To prove his point he had to find the book and the particular passage. We went into his house and wandered from place to place picking up this book and that. Each time he would do the same thing. He’d hold the book in his palm and let the book flop open by itself. He’d scan the open pages and then say, “No, that’s not it.”

Finally, he discovered the passage and showed me. Mamma Mia! My eyes almost popped out of my head. Here, in print were all the words we were told were forbidden. Here, in words, were all of the acts we were told were forbidden. The rudest, filthiest practices known to mankind were between the covers of these seemingly innocuous objects.

And my best friend’s father left them around the house for the whole world to see!

There was a book called The Godfather, another called Shogun, and books by James A. Michener, Wilbur Smith, Sidney Sheldon, Harold Robbins and on and on and on. Some opened easily on the pertinent passages, some hid their lessons deep within pages of boring clap-trap, and some made you feel like a prospector panning for gold, sifting through the mud and the slime for a few lines of smut.

And then suddenly you’d discover a copy of Clan of the Cave Bears and a cry would ring out of the mountains – Eureka! (Just imagine if our parents were more imaginative and owned copies of Story of ‘O’, Henry Miller’s Sexus or the Marquis de Sade?)

I certainly looked at adults differently after the discovery. Is that why they were always trying to get us to read?

And apparently, we were both slow on the uptake. We soon learnt that his sisters and my sisters had known all along that there was sex in books. Their books had sex in them. Virginia Andrews, Jackie Collins, Jacqueline Susan.

Even Judy Blume!

Years later, some of these books and their detailed accounts of sex lead to problems. One girl I knew had read in a Harold Robbin‘s novel that a girl will know she has lost her virginity because her lover will bite hard on her earlobe at the crucial moment. Another friend had almost ended up in traction trying to re-enact a favourite scene from an Eric Van Lustbader novel.

My best friend’s discovery lead to me reading. True, this was an inauspicious beginning to my reading life. In fact, it was years before I read an adult novel in its entirety, from cover to cover. And when I did, the choice, Jaws, did not encourage further attempts.

But by then I didn’t need books in the same way. So, after reading Jaws, I gave up reading for a time.

The beginnings of my other reading life, which began a few years later, had nothing to do with sex… well, not as much to do with sex. So I’ll leave that story for another time.

It all must seem a little quaint to modern kids who gain a thorough knowledge of the ins and outs of sex the first time they search for images of the Wiggles on Google or look up Enid Blyton‘s series of novels – The Adventurous Four, or watch music clips on Rage on a Sunday morning. But in the eighties if you wanted to know stuff, you had two options – TV and Books.

If you wanted to know forbidden stuff, however, there was only one option, the trash your parents read.


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