About Reena

Flowers ReneeLate 2009, while I was a stay-at-home mom, I decided to become a writer. That’s exactly what I did. Between 2009-2012, I wrote and published a few books, and checked writing off my bucket list. Then I moved onto something else.

You see, folks. I’m a polymath. I love to learn. I love to conquer life. One love I’ve taken with me throughout my twisty turns is my passion for entrepreneurship.

It’s been 2 decades since I first stepped on the path of entrepreneurship, as a Mary Kay consultant. I had my ups and downs with working for myself. Then I became a business advisor, assisting entrepreneurs with starting and growing their business. Oh what a wealth of experience that’s brought to my entrepreneurship game. I topped that with some formal coach training.

April 2015, I set off on my own again, enjoying the freedom of working for myself. I’ve always been transparent that Reena Jacobs is my pseudonym. Now I share my real name, Renee Townsend, owner of Backbone America. I specialize in helping Black Women run successful businesses. If you’re ready to treat your writing career like a business, schedule a free session with me. Let’s get you on the right path.


Tidbits about Reena

Animals and Children: Ever wonder why kids and animals seem to take to folks who really don’t care for them? I certainly do. 🙂 Cats rub against my leg, dogs prod me with their noses (not there, you silly–my leg). Smelly kids with snotty noses love to sit in my lap and force me to read books to them. Like a good adult who wants to make the world a better place, I pet animals then rush to wash my hands after. I read stories to children, then run home for a shower before I catch the cooties. Why am I telling you this? I don’t know.

I have three children which I love to death, even when they’re stinky. I’m happy to say that my two daughters  have survived me to make it to adulthood. My youngest, a boy, still has a decade to go. Wish him luck.

After years of trying out different animals, I’ve realized they’re more of a hassle than anything. My son and husband both want pets. My son broaches the subject at least once a week. I guess the ant farm I purchased him wasn’t good enough. Now my husband is obsessing over lizards and puppies. Every night, I swear it’s a YouTube/Facebook animal marathon. One of these days, I know the boys in the house will win out.

Early Family Life: My dad found his last girlfriend (do grown men call women girlfriends?) when I was about nine. He eventually married this lady who had 3 boys, add them to my brother and I, and we made a clan of 5. That’s right. One girl amongst four boys. Thank goodness, I already had the tendency to be a tomboy. Bigger bonus was that I was the oldest. When I wasn’t protecting my brothers from others, I was holding my own against them. We were a rough bunch, I’ll tell you that. Most of my childhood memories include sunshine despite living in Washington State. Odd that.

Reading Material: I don’t know when I started reading. I do remember is spending a lot of time in the library, starting with Junior high. What I did before that, I can’t say. Lots of outside play, that’s for sure (cause that’s what tomboys do). I combed through books, finding my interests in series. I’d devour entire author collections and anxiously wait for their next release. When I stopped writing in 2012, I also slowed down with reading. Whereas before, I was a lover of fiction, now I’m more a reader of non-fiction.

An Introvert in an Extroverted Society: I started off quite shy. A crybaby really. You’d never know from my tomboy act that I spent the first 8 years of my life crying in a corner for some reason or another. Thankfully I had a mom who taught me how to stand up for myself. I never grew out of my shyness though. In truth, I’m a loner. I can manage one best friend at a time. My husband has that role.

I can fake it in the Extroverted world in small sessions. It’s a learned trait. It all started in 9th grade when we had to do a speech in front of class. Nervous? Oh heck yah! But I did it. I scanned the room, made eye contact with folks and got through my speech. Later, I found myself in front of the student body for some reason or another reading. I’ve presented materials in front of large audiences, taught college classes to adults and high school students. For me, public speaking is like a roller coaster ride is for some peeps. It’s a thrill I quite enjoy… a little scary, but something I’m eager to do even as sweat drips down my back.

In truth, I’m more comfortable speaking in front of a crowd than a one-on-one conversation with a single individual or small group. Can we say, loss for words? Listen, listen, listen, my mind tells me. And then there’s a pause. Do I fill it? If so, what do I say? Should I ask a question? Should I say something in relation? OMG, I’m so out of my element. Mind if I go now?

Hi, I’m Reena Jacobs (Firm handshake). I already have a best friend, but we can still work together and have loads of fun. Cookies anyone? Folks who have broken through my inner shell say I keep people at a distance. It’s true. That’s who I am; I’m an introvert at heart. But like I say, I try to make it in an extroverted world. I try to share a little of myself and hope others will share a bit of themselves with me. It’s tough for me. I don’t always read the signs right. But I do my best.

By the way, I’m not one for those roller coaster rides. I came to realize several years ago, I’m not that kind of thrill seeker. Take me to the fair and buy me food. That’s all I need. 🙂

Anyway, thanks for listening to me ramble. 🙂