Stay­ing in touch

Jackie Collins is still Wild and still steamy.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - READS - By YVONNE VIL­LAR­REAL

AU­THOR Jackie Collins still has the steam en­gine chug­ging. Her new­est novel, Con­fes­sions Of Wild Child, re­leased two weeks ago, is a pre­quel to the Lucky San­tan­gelo books and cen­tres on the trea­sured hero­ine dur­ing her for­ma­tive teen years – the book has al­ready landed a film deal with Am­ber En­ter­tain­ment.

The 76-year-old scribe talks about fi­nally get­ting into char­ac­ter and stay­ing clued-up.

Con­fes­sions Of A Wild Child

is the sev­enth book to fea­ture the char­ac­ter Lucky San­tan­gelo.

I wanted to take her back in time and nav­i­gate her path through boys, rock ’n’ roll, drugs, how she han­dled it all. And what was weird was, I found that as I was writ­ing it in the first per­son as a 15-, 16-year-old, that there was a lot of me in it.

I was like, “Hmm, OK.” Be­cause I was in the south of France; I had an aunt who had an apart­ment in Cannes, who would let me go and stay there, and some­times she wasn’t there, so I would just run wild. I used to take the bus to Juan­les-Pins. That whole scene where the guys are play­ing ping pong back at the beach, it was all deja vu.

How was that? You’re usu­ally so quick to sep­a­rate yourself from your char­ac­ters.

I fi­nally dis­cov­ered that Lucky as a teenager was ex­actly like me. And older Lucky is the woman I would like to be in an­other life be­cause she be­comes so pow­er­ful and so strong. She’s such a great char­ac­ter to write.

Not at all. I had a cou­ple of god­chil­dren who were stay­ing here at my home who were both 18 and they would come with sto­ries ev­ery night, talk­ing about go­ing to clubs with their fake IDs and blah, blah, blah. They had all this en­ergy that I picked up on and tried to chan­nel. And I would read them bits.

But their en­ergy def­i­nitely helped me re­mem­ber what it was like and how the thought process is dif­fer­ent.

You are so ac­tive on Twit­ter. Did your em­brac­ing of it come eas­ily? Nonmil­len­ni­als seem so in a panic over it.

It’s re­ally im­por­tant. It’s a great way of con­nect­ing with the fans. Be­fore you would just get these pieces of paper, “Oh, I love you, Jack­ieeee! Please send me a pic­ture.” That’s if I can even read the hand­writ­ing in the first place. But with Twit­ter, you can com­mu­ni­cate with people. You can see what they think of your books – the good and the bad – you can tell them when some­thing is com­ing out or when you’re do­ing a book sign­ing. It’s a great tool to reach out to people. It does take a lot of time.

Some­times, I’ll come home late at night – like, re­cently I came home from Clive Davis’ Grammy party and I had taken a lot of pic­tures, of Mi­ley Cyrus, pic­tures of Phar­rell or Lionel Richie. The fans are al­ways dy­ing to see stuff like that, of the life I lead, so I got home and I post- ed all those. Some­times I live tweet when there’s a show on that I like.

I saw you tweet­ing about TV shows and But how do you have the time?

Black­list.

Oh, I am a TV ad­dict. I have four TiVos in my bed­room. I spend my life try­ing to catch up. I watch ev­ery­thing. I loved Dex­ter, but that’s over now. Ban­shee on Cine­max – have you seen that? I love it. I watch some of the sit­coms – Mom is kind of good. I like How I Met Your Mother, and I like the one with Ashton Kutcher ( Two And A Half Men). Wait. Par­ent­hood is just great. It’s got so many things go­ing on, which I love be­cause that’s how I write. Oh, and Nashville – that’s so juicy. And how can we for­get Scan­dal? I die for it.

You’ve writ­ten dozens of books – the wheels are clearly al­ways spin­ning. Where’s the weird­est place you found yourself writ­ing?

Prob­a­bly the strangest of all was when I would get my chil­dren af­ter school and ev­ery stop light I would stop to write. I’d pick up my note­book and just write away for a solid minute or so be­cause I didn’t want to lose the idea.

What are you read­ing right now – and do you do Kin­dle or iPad or the real thing?

I’m old school. I like the real thing. I like to look at the au­thor’s pic­ture, I like to read about them. I just fin­ished read­ing A House In The Sky by Amanda Lind­hout. Re­ally a good book. I’m just about to read the new Har­lan Coben book ( Six Years, Orion), which he sent me. I met him on Twit­ter.

Shame­less

Is there a rea­son you still pre­fer hand­writ­ing drafts ver­sus do­ing it on the com­puter?

First of all, I love my hand­writ­ing. Ev­ery­body can make it out. Sec­ondly, I love the fact that when a book is fin­ished, I can get it leather­bound and store it in my li­brary. To me, writ­ing is writ­ing. It’s not typ­ing it on the com­puter. I do a lot of

other things on the com­puter.

Pre­ferred type of pen? Ball points are not my friend. Same for you?

Oh, yes. It must be black felt pens. Or blue felt pens. And white typ­ing paper or yel­low le­gal pads. There’s no other way. – Los Angeles Times/ McClatchy-Tri­bune In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices

Yet an­other suc­cess: apart from sell­ing mil­lions of her books world­wide, Jackie Collins was hon­oured last year in Novem­ber with an Obe (Of­fi­cer of the Or­der of the bri­tish em­pire) from Queen el­iz­a­beth II. — aFP

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