Renee began her writing career by winning a poetry prize in the 5th grade. Part of the prize was spending a week working one-on-one with poet A.J. Hovde at Eastern Washington University. She finished high school at the University of Washington at 15 focusing on comparative literature. In her early 20s, she wrote her first book about the history and theory of the Picturesque landscape architecture design style which was sponsored by Doris Buffet, the sister of Warren Buffet. The switch to non-fiction began here.
For over 20 years Renee's writing was related to her work as Founder and Principal of Bright Star Grant Consultants, Inc and as consultant to 149 global university, government and non-profit clients. She wrote for widely divergent audiences and purposes: hundreds of grant proposals, some up to 1000 pages, with an 80% success rate; Reports to the Department of Justice and Congress; and as a monthly correspondent for the national publication The Fund Book to name a few. Most of her work, aside from grants and reports, was related to organizational development, funding strategy, program innovation and working on the ground with humanitarian projects.
Renee is co-author with Susan Howlett of the best selling book Getting Funded: The Complete Guide to Grant Proposals 5th and 6th editions, a silver place winner of the international Axiom Award for business books. Until two years ago, she was a Senior Lecturer in Non-Profit Management at the top ranked Daniel J Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, Graduate School, University of Washington. Her most recent focus is writing Travel in Dangerous Places, a memoir of overcoming and resilience in 14 countries that answers "What happens when good intentions go wrong?" and the sequel More Travel in Dangerous Places.