James and Lisa aboard the tall ship Californian.

Born in a naval hospital in San Diego, Lisa Jensen grew up in Hermosa Beach, CA, watching old movies on TV with her mom and brothers after her father mustered out of the navy. Migrating even further up the coast, she graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz, armed with a B.A. in Aesthetic Studies. She worked in a movie theater and a book store before launching her writing career as a film critic for the weekly Santa Cruz newspaper, Good Times, a position she has held since 1975. Lisa also reviewed books for the San Francisco Chronicle for 13 years, where her specialty was historical fiction and women's fiction. Her opinion columns on a wide range of subjects have appeared regularly in Good Times since 2002.

Lisa's film reviews have also been featured in the publications Monterey County Weekly, Movie Collector's World, Cinefantastique, and Take One. Her film and book reviews and short stories have appeared in the print magazines No Quarter Given and Paradox. Her feature articles have been printed in the Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times, and her pirate articles are posted on the website Pirates! Fact & Legend. For three years, Lisa co-hosted the film review program, Talking Movies on KRUZ TV in Santa Cruz. Her reviews have also been broadcast on area radio stations. Her swashbuckling historical novel, The Witch From The Sea was published in 2001.

Lisa continues to live in Santa Cruz with her husband, artist James Carl Aschbacher, and a rotating cast of irrepressible cats. She has never lived more than a mile from the ocean.

In January, 2005, Lisa and James were honored with a Gail Rich Award, "recognizing people in the Arts who inspire our Community," sponsored by the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County and the Santa Cruz Sentinel.


Lisa, age 2, hears the siren song of the media.


Lisa & James winning their Gail Rich award.