At Home with the Writer

Sunday, August 27, 2000

— Where else would Jackie Collins live but dead-center in Beverly Hills, where so many of her fictional characters have caroused and cavorted?

The exterior of her custom-built house is startlingly white, a modern minimanse on a main street, where guests were greeted one recent day by a man named Ziggy. This would be a bad sign for any visitor who has actually read and absorbed Collins' books and learned that Beverly Hills etiquette demands hostesses personally greet all A-list guests. The riffraff gets met by the help.

Ziggy Kozlowski turns out to be a public relations representative for Collins. He ushers guests through a pale marble entry hall with a 40-foot-high ceiling, dominated by a staircase so vast, broad and artfully curved that it could be a character in one of her novels. A perfect bridge to the boudoir, fit for Rhett and Scarlett, Fred and Ginger, or perhaps for Lucky and Lennie, who are the passion-plagued protagonists in some of Collins' Lucky Santangelo novels. Lucky, Collins admits with a smile, is her fictional version of herself.

She is in the beige, book-lined drawing room that opens onto a white courtyard with a large, rectangular pool copied from a David Hockney painting.