The West

Collins rides high waves
Collins rides high waves

Set on a yacht in Cabo, San Lucas, Jackie Collins' 30th novel, The Power Trip, revolves around a group of fabulous, famous people - including the owner of the vessel, a Russian billionaire, and his super-sexy and high-spirited supermodel girlfriend.

Added to the mix are the cheating politician and his wife; the handsome fifty-something movie star and his much younger, needier girlfriend; the gay Latin singing star and his older English boyfriend; and the black British footballer with his high-maintenance wife.

Also in attendance are a journalist and his just-good-friends sidekick. Throw in a few Somali pirates, Russian and Mexican gangsters and, of course, the crew, and all told, you've got yourself one hell of a ride.

It's been a long time since Collins wrote mystery and mayhem on the high seas, and as with her other novels, this story was conceived from her real life.

"I was on a super-yacht in Sardinia and the captain told us we had five hours before we'd hit any kind of land," she says. "I realised how perilous the situation could be - what if something went wrong, what if pirates boarded the ship. There was no help for hours. I realised the combination of the luxury yacht with a cast of successful, sexy passengers was perfect for an international blockbuster beach read."

Collins is spot on. The Power Trip is a return to vintage Collins, and there's something reminiscent of her earlier bestsellers, with the bonus of it being current and fresh.

Asked about her favourite characters in the book, Collins cites Flynn, the handsome, fiercely intelligent and moral journalist. "He's the kind of guy that if you were lying in bed and heard a crash downstairs you'd want lying next to you."

Collins was also pleased with her first attempt at writing a significant Australian character. "I have visited Australia a few times and I love it, especially Melbourne, Sydney and Perth with its beaches, though I wish WA was easier to get to."

She credits time in the country with helping her write an authentic Aussie bloke. "I know you guys bear little resemblance to the throw-another-shrimp-on-the-barbie- mate stereotype, and I'm really pleased at the feedback that suggests I've created a believable guy."

Collins credits her love of all things pop culture as her ongoing source of inspiration. "Pick up a paper or a magazine, or watch the latest reality show, pick out a headline or a scenario, and the imagination takes over. I can craft my own story of what happens next - and truth be told, it's usually more toned down than the real deal."

As well as Twitter, Collins cites television as her main distraction from writing. Dexter, Shameless and Gavin & Stacey are all favourite programs. She also counts driving to the beach to watch the ocean, going out for dinner with friends, movies, photography and music among her favourite things to do in her limited downtime.

The Power Trip is spicy - and the ending is not quite what you may be holding out for - yet you'll be left far from disappointed. And as I suspected, it's primed for a sequel. "The way this has ended gives you closure but at the same time, a lot of doors have been left open, so I will definitely be writing about these characters again."

But it won't be anytime soon, because Collins is working on multiple projects. "I'm working on the The Lucky Santangelo Cookbook - a bunch of Italian recipes with illustrations of Lucky and little scenes I've written."

Fans of Collins' Santangelo series will be happy to know there is more news on this front. "I'm also writing Confessions of a Wild Child, which looks at Lucky's life when she was a teenager, and a new novel called The Santangelos, which will focus in on Lucky's children, Max and Bobby."

The West Australian

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