Jackie Collins, the mega-bestselling author of Hollywood novels, died on September 19 at the age of 77. According to a statement on the author's website, the cause of death was breast cancer.

The author's most recent work The Santangelos went on sale in June from St. Martin's Press. "Jackie Collins was a dear friend and a wonderful storyteller who we had the pleasure of publishing for a decade," said Sally Richardson, SMP president and publisher. "She was an innovator whose creativity, fearlessness and wicked sense of humor entertained millions of readers around the globe. She took great pride in writing 'kick ass heroines' who took readers on a wild ride. We were thrilled and honored to go on that journey with Jackie. I speak for myself and everyone at St. Martin's Press when I say we will miss her beyond measure."

Collins, sister to actress Joan Collins, sold 500 million copies of her books during her career, according to her website, in more than 40 countries. Collins's first novel, The World Is Full of Married Men, was released in 1968, and according to the New York Times obituary for the author, was "so steamy" that it was banned in Australia and South Africa. In all, Collins wrote roughly 30 books, per the Times.

In what would be her last interview, with People magazine on September 14, Collins said "Looking back, I'm not sorry about anything I did..."I did it my way, as Frank Sinatra would say. I've written five books since the diagnosis, I've lived my life, I've travelled all over the world, I have not turned down book tours and no one has ever known until now when I feel as though I should come out with it."