Marion Zimmer Bradley is the creator of the popular Darkover universe as well as the critically acclaimed author of the bestselling The Mists of Avalon, its sequel, The Forest House, and Priestess of Avalon with her long-time collaborator Diana L. Paxson. She died in Berkeley, California on September 25, 1999. Diana L. Paxson was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1943, but moved to Los Angeles at the age of three and has been a Californian ever since. After attending Mills College in 1960, she received a masters degree in Comparative (Medieval) Literature from U.C. Berkeley. She married and became the mother of two children. In 1971 she began seriously writing. Her first short story was published in 1978 and her first novel in 1981.