Author of the Month
Rima Rudner
[July 2008]
Chosen by reviewer and editor Nicole Merritt , MyShelf.Com


I wanted to highlight this author for her contributions to the world of freelance writing. Rudner has made a success out of her life aside from being a successful author. She has shown that anyone can overcome negative life forces and make sweet lemonade out of sour lemons; having triumphed over genetics, adversity, and illness, herself, making a successful career of writing.

Rima Rudner is a self made woman. If you read her website works and credits it is obvious that Rima has taken her own advice in her latest book,Choose to be Happy, A Guide to Total Happiness. She has successfully written television sitcoms, screenplays, comic scripts (she is cousin to comic, Rita Rudner), and yes, even children’s books: who says you can’t do it all? Rima is a perfect example of a multi-talented, multi-tasking, go getter. Look for more "Choose to" books in the future.


Our interview:

Nicole Merritt: What key factor in your discovery of genetic depression tendencies inspired you to write about it?  In other words how did you come upon that information and what made you decide to write about it?

Rima Rudner: I think the catalyst was my daughter when she turned 13 years old.  She is adopted and suddenly turned into this mean, unhappy person about that time.  Not just typical teenage stuff, horrible behavior that to explain would take another whole book.  She blamed her anger on the fact that she felt she was abandoned by her biological mother.  Knowing intuitively that her biological mother wanted her to be in a home that could give her more than she was able to, I contacted her birth mother.  It's a very long story, but I discovered that her biological father had a history of mental problems and had been in and out of mental institutions.  He looked just like my daughter, too.  This is about the time that I started reading about genetic happiness and unhappiness.  Time and time again I found that the people I knew who had adopted children were having similar problems. 

Nicole: When did you begin your writing career and what other works have you published?

Rima: I started writing in 1987 while I was an interior designer in Los Angeles.  I wrote articles for Better Homes and Gardens and other interior design magazines. My first published book was "The Complete Guide to Decorating Your Home" by Rima Kamen, Betterway Publications, 1989.  I've written many screenplays, sitcoms, standup comedy routines and articles for magazines and web sites.  I've ghostwritten many self-help books, including  "Who Moved My Birthday?" co-written for several doctors. You can find out more about my writing and see samples of my work at

Nicole: What was the defining moment that caused you to write about the subject in Choose to Be Happy or had you contemplated writing this book for a long time?

Rima: Happiness had always been a struggle for me.  I come from a genetically unhappy family and unhappiness is in my genes. Despite the many tragedies and illnesses I've endured in my life, I was always searching for a way to overcome the curse of sadness.  I noticed that some people were always happy, even when bad things kept on happening to them.  And other people couldn't seem to achieve happiness even when good things kept on happening to them.  This is when I realized that happiness is not about what happens to you, but your attitude about what happens to you.

Nicole: Do you practice what you preach in the book and what do you find to be the most rewarding tool for you personally?

Rima: Yes, I try to practice what I preach in my book, but I would be lying if I said I was always 100% happy.  Happiness is an inner-feeling of peace, enjoying life in the present, enjoying the things you do have, and not comparing your life to others.  Happy people can feel unhappiness when something bad happens to them.  Once they have the problem under control, however, they return to their happiness "set point." On the other hand, an unhappy person can feel happy when something good happens to them, but once that fleeting moment of happiness passes, they return to their unhappiness "set point."

Nicole: Have the ideas in the book produced any miraculous or surprising results for you personally since the writing or has anyone shared their testimony with you?

Rima: Yes, I find that some people love to engage me in a conversation about the pursuit of happiness and others think of me as their "Happiness Coach."  I've gotten a lot of feedback from people who are using my "15% Principle" and "Wait 24 Hours Theory" and they say it works and love it!  I've also found that the success of my book is testimony that when an idea feels right, it is right.  All the five-star reviews on Amazon are all proof that my insights and "happiness tools" do work.

Nicole: I see you co-authored a book with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, whose work I admire.  What did you learn from that experience and did it help in the decision to change your life at all?

Rima: I would love to tell you that the Dr. Sanjay Gupta that I co-write "Who Moved My Birthday" with was the same Dr. Gupta that is on CNN.  However, it is a different Dr. Sanjay Gupta.  What I did learn while writing this book is that backing up my theories with reliable, well-respected research is very important.  This is what I did in "Choose to Be Happy."

Nicole: Are you working on anything else at the moment?

Rima: Yes, "Choose to Be Happy: A Guide to Total Happiness" is just the first in a series of books.  (Much like the "Chicken Soup for the Soul and the "Dummies" series.)  The idea has been well received in the book industry and I have had numerous offers from companies in at least 10 other countries to buy the rights to my book(s.)

Nicole: You seem to be multi talented; what are your future goals.

Rima: My goal is to make the "Choose To" series of books into a brand that everyone worldwide recognizes and respects.  The next "Choose To" Books will be "Choose to Love and Be Loved" and "Choose to Be Successful."

Nicole: Do you have a final word of advice for those who might be suffering from the unhappiness syndrome, in addition to reading your helpful guide, of course?

Rima: Yes, never give up!  Happiness is an ongoing process.  You don't just achieve happiness and that's it,  you're happy forever.  Just like a "recovering" addict, you are a "recovering" unhappy person.  You can never give in to your addiction to unhappiness.

Nicole: Thank you for answering these questions.

Rima: Thanks so much Nicole.  I really enjoyed doing this.

Hope this helps you understand my extreme interest in the subject.

Thank you again ... Rima

2008's Honorary List

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