About Carmen

Carmen Richardson Rutlen is an award winning author, having won awards for her book, Dancing Naked…in fuzzy red slippers, and for newspaper columns as well.  She also owns a successful advertising agency, Richardson Rutlen Advertising, in northern California.  Carmen has lived all over the world, including Germany, Okinawa and Venezuela.  Through this extensive international exposure she can count to ten in all three of those languages.  Carmen describes herself as a “hot blooded Spaniard” and although her mother’s parents did hail from Spain, her father was Danish and as such, she is more precisely a “Spandinavian.”     


Carmen majored in Psychology and minored in English and attended too many junior colleges to mention.  She did not graduate, however, as her dating life consistently took precedence over her homework.  Through sheer determination and strength of will she found a way to continue her studies in psychology as an independent researcher by just watching people, like her friends and people at the mall, on a case by case basis.  She has not written a formal treatise on her informal research and consequently is not accredited in this field in any way.  (Unless, of course, you count Dancing Naked…in fuzzy red slippers as a psychological treatise of sorts.)


Carmen was recently interviewed on ABC’s “View from the Bay,” by Spencer Christian, of Good Morning America fame, and Janelle Wang.  She was a nervous wreck, but did okay.  Carmen has done numerous media interviews on radio and television as well as for magazines and newspapers.  She was a nervous wreck then too, but also did okay.  Carmen was awarded “The Celebrity Award” from the National League of American Pen Women for her newspaper column, “The Prune Picker.”   While she was proud of this award, she was hoping for a nice trophy, but was instead given a little red felt cut-out of an owl as her prize.  Sadly, her dogs got to it.


On a personal note and worthy of mention, in 1963 Carmen was runner up to “Miss Okinawa of the Yacht Club” along with fourteen other girls who were also runners up.  (It turned out that the girl who sold the most tickets to the event was given the Yacht Club’s winning  title.  Carmen did not know this or she would have sold more tickets.)  In 1964, Carmen was awarded the coveted title of “Queen of the Voyage” on the USS Breckenridge on its trip from Okinawa to San Francisco.  She thinks her dad rigged the ballot boxes, but of course she said nothing of her suspicions because as the “Queen” she got to wear a rhinestone tiara and a blue velvet floor length cape outlined in ermine fur for the evening.  She also won a boxed collection of albums of show tunes which she got to keep as her prize.  (She would like to have kept the cape.)


Carmen’s first book, Dancing Naked…in fuzzy red slippers, has been translated into Korean and has won two national book awards, including the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Award as well as the BAIPA award for “Book of the Year” in Humor and Inspiration.  Carmen’s mother put it most succinctly when she said, “Oh Honey, your book is so good.”  Carmen is currently working on her second book.


At 61, Carmen is smack dab in the middle of middle age. (Assuming she’s going to live to 122.) She thinks its time to have some fun.

Joe O'Hehir Design