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By Emily Greffenius
Hometown Weekly Intern
Recognized across the country, Berg’s work has been translated into 27 languages. Three of her novels have been adapted into television movies. Her novel, “Open House,” was an Oprah’s Book Club Selection, an honor she could hardly believe she received when she got the phone call.
“I was supposed to keep it a secret,” Berg said, remembering the conversation when she heard “Open House” had been selected. “They said I could tell one person, so I told five.”
Although Berg submitted her first poem for publication to “American Girl” magazine when she was just nine years old, she was not always a writer. Before picking up the pen full time, Berg was a registered nurse for ten years. She also worked as a waitress and sang in a rock band. With the exception of her singing career, her other professional choices exposed her to many of the themes and topics she likes to explore in her work.
As a nurse taking care of patients, she learned much about human nature and relationships, aspects of life she enjoys tackling in her writing. “I wanted to comfort people,” she said, and she found she could do so successfully both as a nurse and as a writer.
While Berg has been writing for many years, and she has become increasingly aware of the post-publication reception during her writing process, she still tries to keep the creative journey between herself and the material.
“I think the best way to work is when it only belongs to you,” she said. “Satisfy yourself first.”
The Westwood Public Library carries many of Berg’s novels and short story collections, and they are available for checkout. “Make Someone Happy” and “Still Happy” must be found elsewhere. “Night of Miracles,” her upcoming release and companion to “The Story of Arthur Truluv,” will be available in November 2018.