By the late 1980s, Collins followed in her sister Jackie’s footsteps and published her first novel, which she sold to Simon and Schuster for a rumored $3 million. Despite critical pans, the book, Prime Time,
became a bestseller when it debuted in 1988. Two years later, Random House offered Collins $4 million in a two-book deal, paying a $1.3 million advance, with the rest due on delivery of the manuscripts. When Collins turned in the first of the two manuscripts in 1991, the publishing house claimed the manuscript was unacceptable and sued for the return of the advance. In 1996, the court ruled in favor of Collins and demanded that Random House pay her an additional $1 million for the work she turned in. Her zest for writing was apparently unquenched by the battle–she published the beauty book My Secrets
in 1994, followed by Second Act
in 1996 and a sequel My Secrets
, My Friends’ Secrets
, in 1999.