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Rene Denfeld

Rene Denfeld is the author of the acclaimed novels The Child Finder, The Enchanted, and The Butterfly Girl. Her literary thrillers have earned glowing reviews from the New York Times Book Review, among other venues. Margaret Atwood, who is the renowned author of The Handmaid’s Tale (among other books), has described Rene’s work as “astonishing,” and Rene’s latest novel, The Butterfly Girl, as 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. In addition to her advocacy work, Rene has been a foster adoptive parent for twenty years. She was awarded the Break The Silence Award in Washington, DC for her social justice work, and was named a 2017 hero of the year by the New York Times.

You can get Rene’s new book The Butterfly Girl at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Powell’s.

In this episode Rene and I discuss:

  • How living on the streets as a teenager inspired her latest novel
  • What helped Rene overcome feelings of shame over her past trauma
  • How she preserves the dignity of her fictional characters who survive trauma and abuse
  • How a librarian and a broken typewriter steered her towards careers in social justice and writing
  • The unexpected inspiration she found working with death row inmates
  • Rene’s biggest challenge in writing stories inspired from her personal experience
  • Why it’s never too late to start writing (Rene didn’t become an author until her 40s)
  • What advice Rene has for older aspiring writers

My book, Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life, is now available for pre-order(Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound).

I’ve been ecstatic about the early reviews. The book was named a “must read” by Susan Cain (NYT Bestselling Author of Quiet), “endlessly fascinating” by Daniel Pink (NYT Bestselling Author of Drive and A Whole New Mind), and “bursting with practical insights” by Adam Grant (NYT Bestselling Author of Originals).

If you pre-order the book, you’ll get digital access to the book to read on your favorite device within seven days of your pre-order. That means you can start reading it months before the book is released to the public.

You’ll also get pre-order bonuses worth at least 10 times the cost of the book. You can check out the bonuses at

Click here to see a list of popular streaming services and our step-by-step guide on subscribing, listening and reviewing the show!

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