Sunday, June 8, 2008

Beth Cotten

My true name is Elizabeth Cotten. My pen name is Liza Spencer; derived from my first name and my husband’s first name. I was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, but from the age of four I lived in California until I retired and moved to Columbia, South Carolina in January of 2003. I now consider Columbia my home. The best years of my life thus far were the 49 years I spent married to my husband who passed away in October of 2007. Approximately 17 of those years were spent as a defense investigator; 11 as a licensed private investigator and six as criminal investigator for the San Diego Public Defenders Department. I hold a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology that promoted my employment in the field. I found it to be a very rewarding career.

I was influenced to write because I have a love for the written word and because I have always been successful throughout my life with written assignments- in both my education and career. Writing my doctoral dissertation provided excellent experience in the areas of research and writing skill. From the time of my childhood, I have been an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction. My preferred choice of genre is the fictional novel, but I am also interested in learning about short story writing.

My weaknesses in writing include procrastination and discipline. I do not write daily, as many writers do and I seem to write more easily when I am under pressure and have a deadline to meet. I took a course in novel writing about 12 years ago which helped me to write the first three chapters of a novel. Life circumstances interrupted that endeavor and I now have the time and desire to pursue writing again.

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