To our great humiliation, we’ve just come back from standing in line with Steven Corfe at the Hollywood Borders to get our copy of Joan Collins’ book signed. Dynasty star Collins, who has written six “inspirational” books (talk about shelf life!) and four novels (her last was called Star Quality), has added an 11th tome to her oeuvre, The Art of Living Well, and is on a short book-signing tour in support of it. But at a Collins signing you don’t just buy a book and walk up to Joan with it thrust. You first have to say out loud to one of the line-minders what name you want Joan to sign, and they write it down in big block letters on a Post-It and stick it on the first page of the book, seemingly so Collins won’t have to say “Who do I make it out to?” over and over. And no last names – Joan doesn’t want to labor over, say, a Wiszinski or a Corfe. We said – and everybody heard – that we wanted it made out to “My biggest fan,” since we had every intention of giving the book away, possibly to you [more on that after the jump]. And, of course, we came off sounding like a couple of flamers. Oh, shut up.
Collins, a girlish 74-year-old in black trousers, white blouse, and grey vest, breezed in 15 minutes late, exclaiming “What a lot of people!” as she whisked by the scant queue of perhaps 30 or 40 fans holding books, posters, oil paintings, and other archival Collins treasures, as if it was Antiques Roadshow (which in a way it was). At the top of the store’s split level, Collins spoke to us, saying she had lost her voice and was under doctor’s orders not to talk too much, but said her book was “filled with all kinds of good advice.” Her people fussed over supplying her with hot tea, after which she finally settled in at her table to sign. When it was our turn, a tall, scruffy man in front of us told her in a posh English accent that he was Dudley from Dynasty and had sent her a letter about what sounded like “a massage.” As he was being quickly escorted away from Collins, she explained, “I don’t do massages.”
A Collins helper took our book, flipped it open to the Post-It and announced to Collins that we wanted it signed “To my biggest fan.” “Do you know how many times I’ve signed that?” Collins said rhetorically, starting to scribble. “How many?” we barked at her, wanting more, wanting her to look up. She stopped writing, looked up, gave us a quick appraisal, and said, “Hundreds.” And that was that.
(Listen to a bit of the Joan Collins experience here.)
Now that we have the book signed, we want to give it to one of our biggest fans (of whom we have “hundreds”). All you have to do is tell us – in 50 words or fewer (for real) – why you really are Joan Collins’ biggest fan. We’ll choose the explanation we think is the sincerest (even if it’s an obvious lie) and send you the book – with the Post-It – that its own author says is like a “bible.” Send your email to [email protected], put Joan Collins in the subject line, and include your mailing address. Good luck.
(Photo: Steven Corfe)