An Evening with Adam Berg
January 11 | 7 PM | Orem Library, Ashton Auditorium
Meet Adam Berg, writer and actor for the comedy group JK! Studios, former cast member of BYUtv’s Studio C, and recently published author of two young adult fantasy novels, Rainbringer and The Broken Pantheon. Adam will discuss his career path from Studio C to the present, answer questions and share tips for writing, and sell and sign copies of his books. This event is free and open to the public.
Recently we asked Adam about his books and his experience as a local author and comedy writer/actor.
Interview with Adam Berg
Tell us about your first book, Rainbringer. What’s it about, and how did it come to be?
Rainbringer is about a young woman, locked in a hut on a tropical island. She’s sentenced to starve to death in order to save her island from monsters that rise from the ocean depths. But she and her best friend are convinced that there is something wrong with this tradition and they must uncover the truth before it’s too late. The idea for Rainbringer started with the title—something that happened during a class I took from Charlie Holmberg. I then wrote the first chapter as an exercise without intending to ever write the book. But then I won a contest with it and decided that I had to do it. At the start of the pandemic, I was waiting to have a hernia surgery and could barely get up and move. So, I wrote. And Rainbringer was born.
What was your favorite part of writing Rainbringer and The Broken Pantheon? What was the most challenging part?
I love how much writing feels like a puzzle. You get an idea you like and have to figure out all the ramifications of that idea and follow whatever thread your story creates (almost on its own). Rainbringer has a lot of my personality in it, especially in the journal entries. And The Broken Pantheon has a lot of action sequences that took a lot of time to create. I’m terribly bored of two people shooting lasers at each other and they meet and whoever has the strongest laser wins. Yawn! I wanted my battles to be unique and interesting, which takes a lot of time, but that was my favorite part of that book.
Which character was the most fun to write and why?
Yara—one of the protagonists in Rainbringer. She’s snarky, which is fun to write.
What made you decide to write YA fantasy? What are some of the books that made you want to write?
I chose YA fantasy because I enjoy those stories. Naruto has been particularly inspiring for me. But I mostly read nonfiction and try to dip my toe into everything. My favorite book is Artemis by Andy Weir, which is just so intensely smart that I am both inspired and jealous.
Comedy is currently a big part of your life. What draws you to create comedy?
My comedy background is something that informs everything I wrote. While I wouldn’t call my books comedies, it’s impossible for me not to put humor into everything. So it will always be a part of what I do. I think life is funny—so stories should be too.
What advice would you give your former self if you could about how your life and your career have turned out so far?
Don’t get discouraged! The Broken Pantheon took me six years and many, many drafts to figure out. I could have fiddled with it forever; it drove me crazy. But I love it and am proud of myself for finishing it and putting it out into the world.
What’s the most memorable moment in your career so far?
Filming “The Crayon Song Gets Ruined” will always stand out for me. It was a rare occasion where I felt good about what I wrote and the audience really responded to it. So many things I wrote, I loved, but they didn’t get a big reaction. And some things I wrote, I didn’t care much about, but they succeeded more. “The Crayon Song” was the best of both worlds. Plus, my parents and granddad were there when we filmed it and it was nice for them to see that live. Plus—hanging out with my friends all dressed in spandex suits will forever be funny to me.
Tell us about some of your favorite books or characters that really grabbed you.
I remember reading a children’s book about the Pony Express with my mom when I was in elementary school and really loving it. Honestly, I don’t remember much of the story, just how much I craved to find out what happens next. I think the best stories make us feel something and that’s what we remember more than the words on the page. As for characters, Arthur Dent from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was one of the first protagonists with whom I could really relate.
What literary world would you most like to be real?
The future Earth of Scythe by Neal Shusterman. It sounds really great having nanobots that take care of all your health issues (does this make me sound super old?).
Favorite thing you’ve read or watched in 2021?
Oh goodness. So many things. The Making of Biblical Womanhood by Beth Allison Barr has changed my world forever. And then maybe Ted Lasso, because it’s such a feel-good show and that’s what I and the world need right now.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently writing my third book, my first adult novel. It’s called The Curse Collector and is about a man in Hell who is trying to discover the origins of one of his curses.