Carol Berg

MisCon 31 Attending Professional

Carol Berg’s fifteen epic fantasy novels have won the Prism Award, the Geffen Award, and multiple Colorado Book Awards. Her duology, Flesh and Spirit and Breath and Bone, won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature. Carol is a regular panelist/presenter at writers conferences and science fiction conventions and is a two-time Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Writer of the Year. All amazing to one who majored in math at Rice University and computer science at the University of Colorado to avoid writing papers. Her latest novel is Ash and Silver from Penguin Random House. A former software engineer, she calls writing “the hobby that ate my life.” She lives in Colorado.

I am a writer of epic fantasy novels: twelve published, one in progress, and several more in the process of bubbling up from wherever the ideas come from. So, where did I come from? Though my home is at the foot of the Colorado Rockies, my roots are in Texas in a family of teachers, musicians, and railroad men. What can I say - I loved school. A real grade grubber. But mostly I loved reading. Hot Texas summers were perfect for reading science fiction authors Robert Heinlein and Ray Bradbury, as well as classics, mysteries, spy thrillers, and historicals by the likes of Jane Austen, Len Deighton, Charles Dickens, Dorothy Sayers, Mary Renault, and Mary Stewart. I always had a soft spot for mythology and "otherworld" stories like Alice in Wonderland and adventure stories. I even read westerns when I didn't have anything else. Mysteries and historicals remain among my favorite reading. (See my favorites for some books that I can't stop reading no matter how many times I turn the pages.)

Inspired by the US space program, I charged off to Rice University, determined to have a career in science and engineering. But I also chose to take every English course offered that listed novels on the syllabus - just so I would have time to keep reading. I graduated with a degree in Mathematics and a pot full of hours in English and History of Art. And it was my college roommate that loaned me the copy of Lord of the Rings that changed my life...eventually. (It is so cool that she reads my books now!)

After teaching high school math for several years, I stayed home to raise three sons, finding time to teach childbirth classes, camp, hike, bike, read a lot of books - including a lot of fantasy - and get another degree, this time in computer science from the University of Colorado. For seventeen years I worked as a software engineer for Hewlett-Packard Company - a great company that gave me the elbow room to pursue this writing thing as it began to take more and more of my time. A few years into the engineering career, a good friend of mine teased me into writing fiction. The hobby got out of control and in 1999, I sold three novels to New American Library/Roc

Web site:

Scheduled Panels and Presentations:

Key: panel=On a Panel moderator=Moderating game=GMing


  • panel Fri 2:00 - 2:50 PM, Early Bird Book Signing, Ballroom C
    Moderator: Justin Barba; Panelists: Carol Berg, C.J. Cherryh, Jane Fancher, David Farland, Ann Gimpel, James Glass, Randy Henderson, Michael Hodges, Peter Wacks (pjwacks)

    Some of our authors will sign books.

  • Break Fri 2:50 - Fri 5:00
  • panel Fri 5:00 - 5:50 PM, The Women of Star Wars, Dragon Pavilion (1)
    Panelists: Carol Berg, David Farland, Julie Frost, Andrea Howe

    Padme, Princess Leia, Rey, Jyn Urso: the women of Star Wars kick ass. Don't they? Let's discuss the roles these protagonists play. How are they different from the leading men in their respective stories? Does Star Wars do a better job than most franchises at portraying women as characters and not just plot devices? How?

  • Break Fri 5:50 - Sat 10:00
  • panel Sat 10:00 - 10:50 AM, The Flawed Hero: Writing Realistic Characters, Ballroom C
    Panelists: Carol Berg, David Farland, Deby Fredericks, Randy Henderson, L.F. Patten (Laurey)

    There are workbooks full of exercises to create well-rounded characters, but how do professional writers really do it? Do they actually know what a particular character would eat for breakfast? Let's discuss characters from the very start and maybe even create one of our own to show one way it can be done.

  • Break Sat 10:50 - Sat Noon
  • moderator Sat Noon - 12:50 PM, Working With Subplots, Ballroom C
    Moderator: Carol Berg; Panelists: Carol Berg, David Farland, Peter Wacks (pjwacks)

    Learn how to weave subplots into your story without getting lost in the twists and turns of each story.

  • Break Sat 12:50 - Sat 2:00
  • panel Sat 2:00 - 2:50 PM, Author Readings: Berg, Hodges, Wells, Madison
    Panelists: Carol Berg, Michael Hodges, Dean Wells

    Join our authors as they read from their latest works! (15 minutes a piece)

  • Break Sat 2:50 - Sat 5:00
  • panel Sat 5:00 - 5:50 PM, The Power of Place, Dragon Pavilion (1)
    Moderator: Kyle Elliott (Big Kyle); Panelists: Carol Berg, Clay Cooper (Ol Scratch), Aaron Douglas, David Farland

    While people build places and things, places leave marks on people long after they’re gone. What places left marks on you after you were gone? Why? We’ll discuss the power places have over us, whether we’re talking about cities, restaurants, a nature spot, bad airports, etc.

  • Break Sat 5:50 - Sat 7:00
  • panel Sat 7:00 - 7:50 PM, Sue Bolich Memorial Reading, Dragon Pavilion (1)
    Panelists: Carol Berg, Andrea Howe, Jeff Howe, Krista Wallace

    Cancer took MisCon author (and extraordinary person!) Sue Bolich from us too soon. We're going to memorialize her at MisCon 31 by reading from various of her works. Please join us.

  • Break Sat 7:50 - Sun 11:00
  • panel Sun 11:00 - 11:50 AM, Horrible Writing Advice, Patio Tent (1)
    Moderator: Ann Gimpel; Panelists: Carol Berg, Ann Gimpel, Jason A. Holt, Tex Thompson

    We've all heard it. Let's talk about it!

  • Break Sun 11:50 - Sun 5:00
  • panel Sun 5:00 - 5:50 PM, The Revision Process, Dragon Pavilion (1)
    Panelists: Carol Berg, Julie Frost, Jason A. Holt, Todd Lockwood, J.A. Pitts

    Whether you write organically or from an outline, you'll have to revise your manuscript at least once before you send it out for publication. For some, this can be a daunting prospect. Let's break it down and discuss how you can revise without getting lost in the project or losing interest.

  • Break Sun 5:50 - Mon 10:00
  • panel Mon 10:00 - 10:50 AM, Intrigue!, Madison
    Panelists: Carol Berg, James Glass, Sanan Kolva, D.L Solum

    Intrigue keeps a reader reading. Whether it's a big intrigue of who murdered Betsy or a small intrigue of how your best friend found out you were cheating on your boyfriend. Let's discuss some types and levels of intrigue and how you can incorporate them into your writing.

Note: Guest and pro biographical information may have been updated since MisCon 31.

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