photo of Elizabeth Engstrom by Mary Bartnikowski

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photo of Elizabeth Engstrom by Mary Bartnikowski
photo by Mary Bartnikowski

Elizabeth (Liz**) Engstrom grew up in Park Ridge, Illinois (a Chicago suburb where she lived with her father) and Kaysville, Utah (north of Salt Lake City, where she lived with her mother). After graduating from high school in Illinois, she ventured west in a serious search for acceptable weather, eventually settling in Honolulu. She attended college and worked as an advertising copywriter.

After eight years on Oahu, she moved to Maui, found a business partner and opened an advertising agency. One husband, two children and five years later, she sold the agency to her partner and had enough seed money to try her hand at full time fiction writing, her lifelong dream. With the help of her mentor, science fiction great Theodore Sturgeon, When Darkness Loves Us was published.

Engstrom moved to Oregon in 1986, where she lives with her husband Al Cratty, the legendary muskie fisherman, and their Duck Tolling Retriever, Jook. She holds a BA in English Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing, a Master's degree in Applied Theology, and a Certificate of Pastoral Care and Ministry, all from Marylhurst University.

In addition to writing, she provides interfaith, non-denominational spiritual care through Love and Mercy Ministries. An introvert at heart, she still emerges into public occasionally to teach a class in novel or short story writing, or to speak at a writer's convention or conference.

You can find her on

Want to know what's on her mind? Here's Liz's blog.

Want to read something really wonderful? Liz has been a student of The URANTIA Book since 1978. "Divine truth is best known by its spiritual flavor." Check it out.

If you're interested in the perpetual sustainability of this planet, please go to, and read or listen to the archives. Learn about the Magisterial Mission and what part you can play in it.

Liz Highly Recommends these Books on Writing:

The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, 3rd Editionby Christopher Vogler

Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons from a Writing Lifeby Terry Brooks

On Writingby Stephen King

Write Away: One Novelist's Approach to Fiction and the Writing Lifeby Elizabeth George

The Novel Writer's Toolkit: A Guide to Writing Novels and Getting Publishedby Bob Mayer

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Lifeby Anne Lamott

Liz’s Master’s Thesis (Applied Theology):
“Spiritual Sustainability: A Personal and Social Imperative” is now available for the Kindle.

Spiritual sustainability begins with each of us, individually. As we seek the higher road, the betterment of ourselves, our spiritual brothers and sisters, and our earthly home, we automatically begin to understand a larger context of our short lives in the flesh. We begin to see that sustainability is not for the short term—not just our lifetime or even the next seven generations, but must be part of the grand design for eons into the future. We must sustain our personal spirituality and employ spirit to help us sustain our world. It is imperative that those of us who have been given this larger vision work to expand the horizons of all our friends and associates. This is the personal and social imperative. According to The Urantia Book,

The fruits of the divine spirit which are yielded in the lives of spirit-born and God-knowing mortals are: loving service, unselfish devotion, courageous loyalty, sincere fairness, enlightened honesty, undying hope, confiding trust, merciful ministry, unfailing goodness, forgiving tolerance, and enduring peace” (2054).

What a beautiful world this would be if this is how each person lived. Our civilization would be sustainable in every respect if each child was reared in love and taught that every other person on this planet was his or her sibling. We would have a peaceful, dignified citizenry, and society would be based on intention and values. Therein, perhaps, we would each discover the Kingdom of God.