Rena credits her high school English teacher with uncovering her talent for writing. He entered her essay in a contest, it won and was published -- her first byline was all she needed to sense newsprint in her blood.
She turned to a career in journalism, working her way up from a part-time news reporter on a weekly newspaper in a Pittsburgh suburb to editor of that weekly -- and then on to the dailies. She has reported for two of the country's top twenty newspapers.
Her writing career has taken her into the sports arena, politics, feature writing, editorial writing, and, her favorite, cops and courts. She has chased fire trucks and police cars, covered all sorts of crimes, including murders, and reported criminal, civil, high profile and ordinary trials. Many of the ideas for her books come from real cases she is familiar with.
Plus, being married to a retired FBI agent provides a source for invaluable technical advice, among other things!
Along the way she received numerous journalism awards -- back as far as that tiny weekly newspaper in Penn Hills, PA., for editorial writing and feature writing, through to Cleveland, Ohio, where she was honored for feature writing. The Associated Press has awarded her more than a dozen journalism awards, in addition to state awards received in Pennsylvania and Ohio recognizing her writing.
She won the 2016, 2017 and 2018 Silver Medal in the Florida Authors and Publishers President's Book Awards competition for Broken Justice, Blind Love, Off the Grid For Love and Loving Gia To Death.
A Pittsburgh native, Rena now makes her home in Florida.