Monday News: RIP Jackie Collins, HC’s global campaign, fake app reviews, and public domain martial arts movies
She claimed to offer her readers an unrivalled insider’s knowledge of Hollywood and the glamorous lives and loves of the rich, famous, and infamous inhabitants of an increasingly rackety Tinseltown. “I write about real people in disguise,” she declared. “If anything, my characters are toned down – the truth is much more bizarre.” After one reviewer warned that Hollywood Wives should be read under a cold shower, the actor Roger Moore said he just hoped no one recognised him from one of the characters in the book.Jackie Collins earned critical as well as popular acclaim, being hailed a “raunchy moralist” by the film director Louis Malle and, perhaps more gnomically, “Hollywood’s own Marcel Proust” by Vanity Fair magazine. Her fiction debut, The World is Full of Married Men (1968), set in “swinging” 1960s London, was said to have ignited the touchpaper of female sexual fantasy in much the same way as EL James achieved nearly half-a-century later with Fifty Shades of Grey. But, as Jackie Collins herself noted, there was one important difference: “My heroines kick ass. They don’t get their asses kicked.”
HarperCollins president and c.e.o. Brian Murray has ramped up the publisher’s “unique global publishing programme”, announcing the acquisition of thriller writer Karin Slaughter in a four-book deal spanning world English rights and more than a dozen foreign languages. Murray toldThe Bookseller that the “world is changing” and said HC was actively targeting other authors in commercial fiction, crime/thriller and YA. HC added more than a dozen international publishing offices to its operations when it acquired Harlequin last year and is now also rebranding four more offices as HC. . . .
Murray told The Bookseller: “I’m very pleased with the author response [to our global publishing programme]… There are more authors we are talking to, and I’m pleased with the momentum we have built in a very short space of time. The way we are building this programme is in the commercial fiction area – we are not so interested in literary fiction and non-fiction because it tends to be much more tied to local culture. The big commercial fiction authors are much more likely to travel – they show up in bestseller lists in many markets.”
On the Apple store, Nikita Baynes says the app is a “must have for any parent”. She says it has given her “countless ideas to help maximise the time I spend with my children. They love it too and I’m already feeling more involved than I’ve ever been in their education”.But a search of job networking site Linked-In shows Ms Baynes as an account coordinator at BCM.Indeed, many of the names attached to five-star reviews on both the Apple and Android stores correspond to those of BCM staff on Linked-In.
Everyone remembers their first kung-fu movie — or everyone remembers their first wave of kung-fu movies, anyway. For some, they came late at night on the less-explored frequencies of the television broadcasting spectrum; for others, they came on sparsely attended double- and triple-bills at the local discount theater. They looked faded and muddy, but somehow still vivid; they felt cheaply produced, yet full of life and energy; and as for how they sounded, time has turned their both hollow and theatrical English-language dubbing into an art form with connoisseurs of its own. They came from faraway lands, which rendered them exotic, but we experienced them almost as dreams, products of another reality altogether. And some of them you can experience again as public domain films.