Jackie Collins is really taking to the air to promote the publication of her latest novel, Lady Boss. On Oct. 19 the author’s televised image was beamed in brief, five-to-seven-minute interview-bytes to more than 20 regional daytime TV talk shows all over the country as part of a unique publicity stunt orchestrated by On the Scene Productions. Earlier this month, Collins completed a similar radio drive that hooked the author up telephonically with deejays from more than 25 markets. As Collins sat in a Manhattan office sampling a fruit platter, her voice reached more than 5 million people, according to Rick Frishman of Planned Television Arts, who masterminded the radio event. ”She’s a consummate professional,” says Frishman. ”By the end of the three-hour session we were calling her ‘Steel Bladder’ Collins.” The author’s steeliness seems to be paying off: Lady Boss has reached No. 4 on the Publishers Weekly best-seller list.
Anyone familiar with the glamorous life of Washington publicist Letitia Baldrige knows the former social secretary to the White House during the Kennedy administration is in the perfect position to kiss and tell. But those who expect the chronicler of modern manners (Amy Vanderbilt’s Everyday Etiquette, Letitia Baldrige’s Complete Guide to the New Manners for the Nineties, and others) to soil her white-satin gloves in her first work of fiction, provocatively entitled Public Affairs, Private Relations, will be sorely disappointed. While the book does contain oblique character references to both Clare Boothe Luce and Evangeline Bruce, whom Baldrige served on the foreign circuit, it steers clear of the turbulent Camelot that was the Kennedy White House. ”In the pre-Watergate era people who worked on the president’s staff remained loyal to their bosses,” Baldrige points out, giving a little lesson in literary/political etiquette. ”You’re blessed when you get a position in a high-powered place; part of the privilege is that you don’t tell tales out of school.”