writer and motivational lecturer based in Santa Barbara, California.

Elizabeth Upton was a college instructor in the Department of Psychology at San Antonia College and at UCLA’s Extension Program in Creative Expression.

Her motivational lectures concentrate on the realm of self-esteem, overcoming stress, and the development of the spiritual and creative self. As a private practice, Elizabeth specializes in the counseling for family and marriage crisis.

Elizabeth Upton’s ancestors emigrated from Ireland and Spain to the United States in the late 1800s, with her grandparents eventually settling in the Montecito area. She and her twin sister were born in Los Angeles and her grandmother helped care for them until they were eight years old. They were then placed in an orphanage where they spent the next two years of their lives.

While living there, Elizabeth found herself deeply touched by the suffering she witnessed in the other children. Later, known for her wisdom and compassion, Elizabeth’s friends and high school classmates often came to her for advice and support when they were troubled. These experiences instilled in her a desire to help those suffering from emotional and physical abuse. This became a profound desire to make a positive difference in the world. At the age of sixteen she left home to live a spiritual life as a nun and to help people struggling with the effects of poverty.

She studied abnormal psychology, receiving a B.A. degree from Syracuse University and a Masters from Chapman University. She also did some work in a psychiatric hospital. She later pursued a career in criminal justice as a probation officer. She found the experience extremely challenging. Many of children she describes as “abused, deranged, and criminally dangerous.”

Elizabeth’s life as a writer began in the 1980s when she began keeping a journal of her experiences. While engaged in this process, characters and plot ideas for The Shaman and the Mafia emerged. Writing, she says, is a creative and exhilarating process. The characters “insist on taking on lives of their own. That is what makes the process so exciting.”

Through the years, Elizabeth has studied mysticism, reincarnation, and spirituality, all of which has influenced the creation of her novel.

Outside of writing she enjoys unwinding by playing ping pong with her husband at the gym, taking her dogs on hikes, and helping to care for her sister’s spirited horse.

She eagerly looks forward to the publication of more books in the months ahead.


  • B.A. Syracuse University
  • M.A. Chapman University
  • U.S C. Media Communication

Work Career

  • Social Worker
  • Internal Affairs Investigator
  • Drug rehabilitation clinics
  • Probation Officer
  • Private Counseling Practice
  • Writer
  • Published Author