RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -

The Rancho Mirage Public Library will be closed part of next week for the inaugural Rancho Mirage Writers Festival, headlined by bestselling novelist Jackie Collins.

The festival is Jan. 15-18 at the library and Annenberg Center for Health Sciences at Eisenhower Medical Center. The library will be closed Jan. 16-18.

The festival's mission is to ``bring authors and readers together for an exchange of ideas where all will celebrate the enduring intellectual power of the written word,'' according to its website.

Collins will speak Jan. 18 at the Annenberg auditorium. Her talk will double as the first in the Rancho Mirage Speakers Series. She has written 29 books on The New York Times list of bestsellers and sold more than 500 million books in more than 40 countries. Her most recent bestseller, ``The Power Trip,'' was published in February and is a thriller set on a yacht off the coast of Mexico's Cabo San Lucas.

The festival will open with actor Laurence Luckinbill portraying Ernest Hemingway, and an interview of biographer A. Scott Berg, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1998 biography of aviator Charles Lindbergh.

Other authors include:

  • Alice Kessler-Harris, an American history professor at Columbia
    University who has written about labor and women
  • Crime fiction writer and former prosecutor Linda Fairstein, author of
    the Alex Cooper mystery novels
  • Former Wall Street Journal reporter, editor and publisher Karen
    Elliott House, author of a book about Saudi Arabia
  • Former state historian Kevin Starr, author of a multi-volume history
    of California, ``Americans and the California Dream

Collins' talk is an additional $50 for festival and speakers series ticketholders.

Tickets and information on the festival