Rene is the author of the acclaimed novels The Child Finder, The Enchanted, and The Butterfly Girl. Her literary thrillers explore themes of survival, resiliency and redemption, and have earned starred Library Journal reviews, glowing NYTBR reviews, and Indie Next picks. Margaret Atwood has proclaimed her work “astonishing” and The Butterfly Girl a “heartbreaking, finger-gnawing, yet ultimately hopeful novel.”
Rene was the Chief Investigator at a public defender’s office and has worked hundreds of cases, including death row exonerations and helping rape trafficking victims. In addition to her advocacy work, Rene has been a foster adoptive parent for over twenty-five years. She was awarded the Break The Silence Award in Washington, DC for her social justice work. In 2017 the New York Times named a 2017 named her a hero of the year.
The child of a difficult history herself, Rene is an accomplished speaker who loves connecting with others. Rene lives in Portland, Oregon, where she is the happy mom of three kids adopted from foster care as well as other foster kids.