20 December 2011
Author Article: Ronni Cooper
The eighties are remembered for many things. Leg Warmers. Shoulder pads. Live Aid. Bananarama. Hair that was the approximate size of a herbaceous bush and sprayed to the consistency of steel.
But for me, one thing defined the eighties more than any other (yes, even more than my definite plans to marry the lead singer of Wham). The eighties were all about the bonkbuster.
Women like Jackie Collins, Judith Krantz, Jilly Cooper and Shirley Conran were writing about characters so glamorous they made Pamela Ewing on Dallas seem dowdy. These books oozed sex, scandal and glamour. But most of all, they featured strong, sassy women who weren’t afraid to go after what they wanted, or to fight for what they believed was theirs.
For a teenager on a council estate in the Scottish sticks, it sure beat the monotony of watching soaps on one of our four television channels.
I became a permanent fixture at our local library, thirsty for another date with Sidney Sheldon. I found myself dreaming about New York, Los Angeles, the avenues of Paris and Rome. I’d read late into the night, using the light of my electric blanket so my parents wouldn’t find out that I was skipping sleep in favour of a bitchy boardroom battle or an explosive act of deadly revenge. Looking back, it’s a wonder I didn’t get caught or suffer chronic heat exhaustion.
It wasn’t long before the books had a dramatic effect.
While my friends were planning careers, I was dreaming of travelling, of riches and of meeting sex-Gods called Lance. While my family was suggesting suitable university options, I was working out an entry strategy for a life of adventure. I’d been shown another world and somehow I was going to live in it.
Two decades later, all those dreams pretty much worked out.
I’ve lived in New York, Los Angeles, London, Hong Kong and Shanghai. I’ve met sexy, glamorous people that would be right at home on the pages of Miss Collins. I’ve danced with scandal and had my share of wild adventures. And every moment of this life was inspired and shaped by those eighties bonkbusters.
Now I’ve come full circle and I’m the one who is writing those epic, sexy tales that send the temperature soaring (with or without the aid of the electric blanket). Thanks to Jackie, Judith, Jilly, Shirley and Sidney, I can honestly say that the stories are based on experiences that were inspired by the lessons they taught me.
Well, most of them.
I’m still holding out for a sex-God called Lance.
You can read my review of Ronni's new book Manhattan, due out on 22nd December 2011, here. You can buy the book on Amazon.co.uk as a paperback or as an eBook. You can follow Ronni on Twitter and on Facebook.