On the final day of the book tour for Kat French’s new book called ‘A Summer Scandal’, we talk about the great authors of the bonkbusters.
Every year I write a summer book; this year my release is called ‘A Summer Scandal’, about a girl who unexpectedly inherits a pier in a south coast town she’s never heard of and packs her bags for a summer of adventure. I love writing a proper sizzler of a book – for me, a good beach read needs to turn up the heat! I’m hugely inspired by lots of writers, but I’d like to focus particularly on a genre that holds a special place in my heart – the bonkbuster! Bonkbusters, named affectionately as a mash up of a blockbuster and bonking, never go out of fashion. Fabulously over the top, they fizz with sex and scandal and absolute beach appeal; here are three of the most legendary authors in this genre.
Jackie Collins – The Queen.
Sadly no longer with us, Jackie was the queen of the genre by a long chalk. I think I’ve read every book she ever released, a steady diet of glitzy, glamorous scandal from the age of about fifteen! Thirty-two novels, more than five hundred million books sold and translated into forty languages – what incredible stats! I can’t imagine any one will ever topple Jackie’s crown, she oozed glamour in real life and seemed to live an LA lifestyle right off the pages of one of her racy novels. She lifted the lid on Hollywood and gave us all a peep behind the curtain. We salute you with champagne, Jackie.
What Jackie is to LA, Jilly is to the rolling English countryside. Her Rutshire Chronicles (‘Riders’, ‘Rivals’, Polo, etc.) are a delicious thrill, full of adultery and scandal set amongst the British upper-class Polo and foxhunting crowd. Huge, heavy books that you read slowly so as not to get to the end too soon, and the ultimate sexy anti-hero in Rupert Campbell Black. Often loathsome but as sexy as they come, he is the poster boy of all things bonkbuster.
I read ‘Lace’ at a rather impressionable age, and it has stayed with me ever since! I doubt there is a romance writer alive who doesn’t envy the line “Which one of you bitches is my mother?” – it’s a twisty tale of revenge and revelations set in the sixties and seventies, and is as much a story of four women’s friendship and self discovery as it is about Lily’s search for her mother. Anyone who has read Lace will never look at a goldfish in the same way again…
You can buy A Summer Scandal from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.