Yippee! Today I get to introduce you to a wonderful author and a terrific person, Danele Rotharmel. Danele writes page turners, the sort of book you can't put down until you've reluctantly come to those words, The End. Time Search, the third story in her Time Chronicles series, has been released and, believe me, it was worth waiting for.
Now I'm going to let the lady herself tell you a little more about the book, her writing process and herself.
Welcome to my blog, Danele. Zoey,my calico cat, has saved you a seat and it's still warm. Clio, my new puppy, will try to bite your toes so just ignore her. Now grab a cup of tea or a mug of coffee and get comfortable while I grill you.
Danele-Sharon, thank you for having me on your website! It is such an honor to be here!
S- Time Search is the third in your Time Counselor Chronicles, after Time Tsunami and Time Trap. Are there more to come? And did you envision them as a series from the start or write the first and go from there?
D-The Time Counselor Chronicles will eventually consist of eight books. When I was ill and quarantined, I wrote the first six books in the series: Time Tsunami, Time Trap, Time Search, Time Awakening, Time Inferno, and Time Nightmare. I also outlined the final two books: Time Flashback and Time Resolution. The first three books in the series have been published by Prism Book Group, and I’m currently editing the fourth book.
When I was writing Time Tsunami during quarantine, I hadn’t envisioned it as being the start of a series, but by the time I finished the last page, I was so in love with my characters that I couldn’t let them go. Books 2-6 flowed easily once I started writing them.
S- Was there a specific event that triggered the birth of Time Tsunami and its followers? What little voice first said to you, "What a marvelous idea. I'm going to write that"?
D-As you know, many years ago, I became very ill from a carbon monoxide leak from a faulty furnace in my home. This poisoning almost killed me, and it triggered Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. In other words, I would become very ill when exposed to perfumes, cleansers, and the other chemicals that make up our daily lives. My condition worsened, and eventually, I was quarantined in my home to keep me from exposure to chemicals. This quarantine lasted for seven years.
One of the other things caused by my illness was partial amnesia and the inability to think creatively. For several years, I couldn’t write. When I tried composing a creative sentence, it would be a stiff combination of uninteresting words. Writing was simply painful. After a few years of quarantine, my amnesia and writer’s block faded. I can still remember the day when I looked out my window and saw a picture in the clouds. The cloud looked like a mouse on roller skates. I kept looking, and I was able to see several other “cloud pictures.” I knew then that the “lock” on my creativity was dissolving.
A few months after I saw my first cloud picture, I decided to try writing again. I felt very nervous. I was afraid that I couldn’t do it. I was afraid I would fail. I found a box that held the short stories I had written in college. After reading them again, I felt there were two that could be crafted into full-length novels. One of them was Time Tsunami. My professor had written in the margin that Time Tsunami was a “sellable idea.”
When I went to my keyboard, my hands were shaking so hard that I could hardly type the first sentence. I was afraid my brain would freeze again, but once I typed the first letter, the words began to flow. During that time, I was in quite a bit of pain, but when I started writing, my pain seemed to recede. Suddenly, I was in another world—a world where time travel was possible and wrongs could be righted. A world where limitations could be overcome. A world full of intriguing people and ideas. As I wrote my books, my final years of quarantine passed quickly. I truly believe my novels were a blessing straight from God’s hand. They helped me get through a very difficult time in my life.
S-Out of all the characters in your Time Counselor Chronicles, is there one that's closest to your heart? Or maybe stole some of your own personal traits from you?
D-I love all of my characters, but Crystal Stuart is probably my favorite. Crystal always makes me laugh. On days when the pain was the worst, I would think up hilarious “Crystal” scenes. I can remember lying in bed—wracked with pain—but giggling as I pictured a “Klutzy Crystal” moment. I also enjoy the fact that Crystal’s mouth doesn’t have a filter. When she gets angry, she isn’t afraid to express herself. I had so much fun writing Crystal’s arguments with Marc. I would laugh as I wrote her lines. There was something very therapeutic about allowing Crystal to call an arrogant, handsome man a “muscle-bound moron.” Having Crystal take the “Campus King” down a peg was tons of fun.
Crystal is one of my characters who has definitely evolved. At first, Crystal’s job was to make me laugh on my dark days—but the more scenes I gave her, the more complex her character became. She morphed from a slightly awkward woman into a person of deep faith. As her complicated history unfolded before my eyes, I grew to respect her. I hope my readers will love Crystal just as much as I do.
As far as personal traits, all of my characters have part of me in them—I just exaggerate the traits I share with them. For instance, I’m a bit of a klutz—but Crystal takes klutziness to extremes. I was upset because I felt that God had allowed my illness—Phoebe is furious because she feels that God allowed her to be hurt. I tend to be stubborn—Gil can be so pigheaded that it puts her in danger. I see snatches of myself in all of my characters, and I think that’s one of the reasons why writing is so much fun. Looking at my characters is like standing in front of a fun-house mirror and seeing a distorted image of myself.
S- I sense that you're a definite romantic, Danele. Do you see your novels as science fiction with romance included? Or as romance that inhabits a science fiction universe?
D-I love rrrro-mance! (An emphasis on the first syllable and a rolling “R” is necessary when saying this word.) I suppose that my novels are romances that inhabit a science fiction universe. My characters are normal, everyday people—they just happen to have funky, cool jobs that include time travel.
S- I love the complexity of your Time Counselor Chronicles. You put layer upon layer of intrigue in your plotting, so that leads me to the question—Do you plot your complete novel before you begin to write? Or do you give yourself a basic outline and fill in as you write, chapter by chapter?
D-I used my novels as a way to escape the pain of my illness. Writing was a distraction from the harsh realities surrounding me. When I escaped into my imaginary TEMCO world, my pain faded away. I’ve always known HOW my series will end—I could tell you right now if I didn’t want to spoil the surprise—but I don’t always know how my characters will get to the end of each chapter. Although I use outlines, my characters are always surprising me and my outlines tend to fly out the window. Usually, my scenes end up flowing organically from one point to the next.
Because I wrote the first six books in The Time Counselor Chronicles before I sought publication, I was able to go back and edit each book several times. This allowed me to add intricate details along the way. For instance, in my third book, Time Search, there is a scene in which Phoebe opens an unsanctioned temporal portal. When Alex hurries to shut the portal down, he knocks over a chair. Because my books hadn’t been published yet, I was able to go back to my second book, Time Trap, and have Drake see a flash of light and hear a noise in the third chapter.
I enjoy weaving together quirky bits of information that span several books. For instance, in Time Search, Phoebe sees one of Alex’s paintings, and he explains that the painting was a practical joke. Because I hadn’t sought publication for my novels, I was able to put that practical joke into Time Tsunami and Time Trap.
I love books with deep layers. I love finding new things every time I reread a novel. Because of this, I try to include deep-layered plots and multifaceted scenes into each of my books. I want my novels to be so intricate and interesting that every time they’re reread, my reader finds new things.
Now here's the back cover blurb for Time Search:
A nameless evil lurks in the shadows…
In the wake of a recent wave of violence, TEMCO employees are left reeling. While some of the staff are put into hiding, others are left behind to discover the true identity of the mysterious nemesis who is determined to destroy them all. While Crystal, Marc, and Zeke search for clues to unravel the mystery of his real name, their enemy is lurking in the shadows searching for TEMCO’s missing leaders. It’s a race against the clock! And as the hours and seconds tick away, it’s anyone’s guess whose search will be completed first. It’s a classic battle of good versus evil, and the stakes couldn’t be higher!
Danele’s Blog: https://dragonflydanele.wordpress.com/
Danele’s Testimony: https://dragonflydanele.wordpress.com/welcome/
Danele’s Books: https://dragonflydanele.wordpress.com/my-books/
ACFW Fiction Finder: http://www.fictionfinder.com/author/detail/1331
Click here to find the purchase link for Time Search-Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MY7RGFJ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484259046&sr=8-1&keywords=danele+rotharmel+time+search
Read on and discover an excerpt to whet your appetite.
During this time, the hardest thing she faced was a crisis of faith. She had to quit her job and stop going to church. She couldn’t write, couldn’t drive, and could barely remember who she was. To say she was upset with the Lord was an understatement. She began reexamining her faith in light of her illness, and eventually, she came to the firm conclusion that God is real, God is good, God is interested and involved, and God is trustworthy regardless of tragedy.
When her illness became even more severe, she was put into quarantine and could only talk to friends and extended family through the glass of a window. This quarantine lasted for seven years. During this time, she wrote the first six books in The Time Counselor Chronicles.
Danele currently lives in Colorado where she continues to write. Although her journey back to health was long and difficult, it provided her with the opportunity to grow closer to God and to write her books. For that, she is forever thankful.
You can learn more about Danele by visiting her blog at https://dragonflydanele.wordpress.com/
“How do I look tonight?” Crystal asked in an innocent-sounding voice.
Marc swallowed hard. “You look sensational.”
She gave him a sideways glance. “Do you think I’m alluring?”
“Yes, I do. I…” Marc’s words trailed away. His face turned bright red. “Alluring? You overheard the mean things I said about your looks, didn’t you? Oh, Cris, I’m sorry. That was terrible of me.”
Her brown eyes twinkled. “Yes, it was. But I got my own back in a rather delightful way. It’s been medicine to my soul hearing you eat your words. In fact, you haven’t just eaten them, you’ve positively gobbled them down.”
Marc’s lips twitched. “You little devil! You and Nicole cooked this up, didn’t you? Well, all I can say is when you make a man eat his words, you don’t do it by halves.”
“Hearing that makes it definitely worth it.”
“Makes what worth it?” he asked.
“This dress,” she said, squirming. “It’s itching like mad!”
Marc erupted in laughter. “It serves you right, you little temptress. Is there netting underneath?”
“No. It’s all the double-sided sticky tape that Nicole plastered all over me to keep this silly bodice up. I thought Nicole was nuts when she suggested a strapless, backless dress, but she promised she had a secret weapon that would defy the physical laws of gravity.”
Marc gave a bark of laughter. “You’re taped into your dress?”
“I sure am! It’s going to take the Jaws of Life to get me out of this contraption when I get home. I’ll probably be skinned alive when I start peeling off the tape.” Grinning, she murmured naughtily, “Tell me again that I look alluring.”
His lips twitched. “Crystal Stuart, you don’t just look alluring—you look like a devastating bit of trouble headed my way.”
And now, I'd like to thank Danele for visiting me today and most of all, for writing such fabulous stories.
Danele-Thank you for allowing me to talk about Time Search, Sharon! I really appreciate it!
Don't forget to brush the pet hair off your outfit before you go! Zoey and Clio say thanks for coming, too.