Danele J. Rotharmel
I'd like to welcome Danele back to my blog. She's been here before, and I always enjoy our visit. She has a new book in her Time Travel Series. I know you don't want to miss this one. Listen in on our conversation while we drink coffee and eat cookies.
Who is your favorite character in your book?
I love all of my characters, but I have a special place in my heart for Crystal Stuart. Crystal works as a lab tech for the TEMCO program. She is incredibly smart and kind, but she’s also extremely klutzy. She has an enormous crush on Marc Kerry, a professional time surfer, but she always seems to make a fool of herself in front of him. In Time Search, Crystal and Marc go on a date, and Crystal has a rare opportunity to make him see her in a new light. What unfolds is heartbreaking and hilarious at the same time.
I love hilarious events, especially the unexpected. Is Crystal modeled after anyone you know?
Crystal is simply the product of my overactive imagination. Although she and I aren’t really alike—I couldn’t solve a calculus problem if my life depended on it—I have drawn on my own klutzy tendencies when I write her scenes. In Time Search, Crystal falls and gets her hair trapped beneath a door—that’s something that actually happened to me. Writing scenes for Crystal and Marc is an act of pure joy. I took up writing as a way of entertaining myself, and Crystal’s scenes always make me laugh. I really love her!
That's funny. I've had my hair caught in a car door. Who would you be if you were one of your characters?
Wow, Gay! That’s a hard question! I love all of my characters, and I don’t think I could choose between them. But I can tell you who I wouldn’t want be! I’d hate to be Drake. He’s so full of anger and hate that he can’t think straight. Revenge has become his entire life. When I try to see things through his eyes to make his scenes realistic, I always give myself the creeps. I think he’s pretty scary… No, I take that back—I think he’s AWFULLY scary. I’m extremely glad he’s not real.
Hmmm, That's intriguing, and you are right. He's scary. I'm reading the book, and he gives me nightmares. If you were Drake, what kind of clothes would you wear? What would be your hairstyle?
Drake is a very handsome man, and he’s also a master of disguise. He is used to manipulating people with his charming manners and his gorgeous face. What he chooses to wear and how he does his hair depends on how he is trying to further his vendetta. At times, he dresses as a businessman or a doctor. At other times, he dresses casually and appears nonthreatening. Every human has a soul, but somewhere along the line, Drake lost his humanity. He is evil personified. If I could figure out a realistic way to redeem him, I would. But gracious, he’s awful! I’m just not sure that redeeming him would be possible.
Aren't we glad God can redeem the most evil of people when we can't? If you could go back in time, where would you go? Why?
There are so many historical events that I would love to witness! But setting those aside, I would really enjoy the chance to be present at my parents’ wedding. Being part of that special day would be a blast!
That's one event I hadn't considered. I think I'd like that too. If I could go back in time, I might choose the day my hubby proposed to me. If you could go forward in time, what year would you choose? Why?
I would choose to go forward to the year 4017. I assume that by that time, space travel will be a normal, everyday occurrence. I’ve always loved studying the stars. It would be so much fun to hop on a transport ship and travel to them.
I think we'll all be able to do that. We'll be in heaven by that time. We won't do it on a transport ship, we'll just transport ourselves. How long did it take to write this one?
I wrote Time Search when I was ill and enduring a seven-year stretch of quarantine. I can’t remember exactly how long it took me to write it, but I would estimate around eight months to a year. During quarantine, I was addicted to writing. It was a way of distracting myself from pain. I would spend eight to eighteen hours a day at my computer. Even after Time Search was written, I spent quite a few years polishing it up. Books one through three have been published, and books four through six have been written. I love sitting down at my computer and randomly picking a chapter of one my unpublished books to edit. I write books for fun, and I try to make sure that every part of the process is a joy. Life is too short to be drudgery.
How did you feel when you wrote “The End”?
Fabulous! Wonderful! Accomplished!... And very eager to start writing Time Awakening, the fourth book in my series. In fact, I think I started writing Time Awakening the same day.
Do your characters like to eat?
Absolutely! And so do I! It’s pretty funny, but while I was in quarantine, I really missed going to restaurants. Sometimes, I would literally dream about food. Because I wanted to go out to eat, my characters ended up going to a wide variety of restaurants. I had such a blast dreaming up what type of food would be on the menus.
I love to eat too. What’s your favorite food?
Cookies! Cookies! Cookies! Did I mention cookies??? I love them!
Here, have another one, and while I freshen the coffee, here's a question for you. Do your characters worry about having a family and leaving them for time travel?
Danger is part of a time counselor’s job, and all TEMCO employees understand the peril. Unfortunately, knowing the risks doesn’t make leaving your family any easier—it makes it more difficult. In Time Search, TEMCO’s enemy isn’t content to stalk employees while they are on assignment. He visits their homes—a situation that makes things extremely frightening for the staff.
I know in real time, you’ve traveled with your mom. How do you two decide where to go? Do you stay on the interstates or do you prefer the byways?
For seven years, I couldn’t leave my house overnight—the danger to my health was too great. I live in farming country, and during that time, the fields around my house were in hay. Hay is a wonderful crop that doesn’t need much spray. My neighbors were very considerate, and they avoided spraying their hayfields as much as possible. Now that I’m out of full quarantine, I have the ability to travel. This is fortunate because fields can only be in hay for a certain number of years. The fields around my house are now in corn, and corn needs sprayed several times a season. I have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and pesticides/herbicides make me very ill. Because of this, when my neighbors get ready to spray, I have to evacuate my house at a moment’s notice for several days at a time. Sometimes, I hunker down in a local hotel, but occasionally, my wonderful mother will travel with me, and we will hit the open road. Car exhaust no longer makes me ill, so we can travel on a variety of interstates and byways. Most of the time, we don’t have a clue where we are going—we just know that we have to be gone for a certain number of days. We can’t make reservations because I have to sit in a prospective hotel room for several minutes to see if the detergent and cleansers will make me ill. So basically, we just go where the wind blows us, and we never know where we will end up. It’s been rather fun. We’ve been north to Mt. Rushmore. Another time we went south to the Grand Canyon. Last time, we turned west and kept going until we hit the Oregon coastline. I had such a blast wading in the ocean! As far as travel, I think that unpredictability is part of the fun.
I’ve traveled all over most of the United States and all the way to Uruguay, but my favorite place is still Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s located about thirty minutes from my home, and it’s absolutely lovely.
Do you return to the same places or choose new ones?
When I first started traveling after quarantine, I always went to the same hotel in South Dakota. Now that I’m better, I’m able to branch out and travel just about anywhere. My car is safe zone that’s kept free of chemicals and perfumes. My only real danger of chemical exposure comes when I leave the car, and through experience, I’ve learned how to limit the risks.
Besides health issues, what is the most difficult issue in life for you?
I would have to say my tendency to worry. I’m the type of person who likes being very organized. I like having plans, contingency plans, and backup contingency plans for everything that I do. I’m addicted to lists, and I have Post-it-note reminders all over my house. Before I became ill, I would plan vacations months in advance. I would start packing a week before I left. In light of this, my seasonal evacuations—which end up taking place at a moment’s notice—have been very good for me. There’s nothing like the unpredictability of evacuations to help a person combat an unhealthy tendency to excessively plan and worry. Believe it or not, I’m actually discovering the joys of being impulsive.
Do you long for a mate and children?
Naturally, I do. One of the hardest things about my illness was the knowledge that life was passing me by. After all, it’s hard to meet “Mr. Right” when you can’t leave your house. Actually, my longing for a husband hit a crisis point during the writing of Time Search. I wrote Time Search years ago in the middle of a seven-year stretch of quarantine. If you look, you will find a chapter in which Angelina feels desperately lonely and longs for a spouse. I wrote that chapter at midnight during a thunderstorm. I can still remember how awfully tragic I felt. Oh, Gay, I was so incredibly full of woe. I was literally crying at my keyboard. But later, after a long bout of feeling sorry for myself, I had to laugh. That’s one thing about me—I know when I’m behaving silly. And I was being totally silly about my situation. Quarantine and loneliness were horribly hard, but they taught me that I can be a complete person without a man in my life. I’ve come to realize that marriage and children are wonderful gifts from the Lord—but so is the state of being single. I can honestly say that I’m content now. I don’t feel awful about being alone; in fact, sometimes I rather enjoy it. Now, that doesn’t mean that if God sends the right man my way that I’ll ignore him—but it does mean that I’m not going to settle for a man who isn’t God’s best for me. And it also means that I’ll still feel content and happy with my life even if I never marry. Paul said in Philippians 4:11b-13 that “I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the SECRET OF CONTENTMENT in every situation…I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.” It took me seven years of quarantine, but I understand what Paul was saying now. Through bitter experience, I’ve learned the secret of contentment. Contentment comes when you stop being angry about your situation. Contentment comes when you stop longing for what you don’t have. Contentment comes when you decide to be happy with your life. And most of all, Contentment comes when you stop leaning on your own understanding and start trusting that God knows what’s best for you.
What do you do for fun?
That's a beautiful insight. What do you do for fun?
I enjoy listening to Christian music while going for long walks. I also enjoy going to the mountains. There’s nothing quite as wonderful as the smell of the woods and the sound of the wind in the pines. And did I mention shopping? I don’t care if I buy anything—I just love wandering through stores. For over seven years, stores were off limits to me. The closest I could come to shopping was driving slowly by a store and looking through the windows. In light of this, you can understand why it’s a small slice of heaven for me to stroll through a grocery store or the mall. One of the thrills of my life was walking into Safeway and choosing my own bananas for the first time in seven years.
Tell me something I don’t know. Share a secret.
When I diet, I always empty my cupboard of cookies and hide them from myself. Unfortunately, that means I know where they are, and I tend to indulge in them at 2:00 a.m. I’ve tried hiding the cookies in the bottom of my freezer, but do you know what? Frozen cookies taste even better than room-temperature ones. Ah, me! Life is SO hard… And please don’t tell me that I should throw the cookies away—that would be a crime against nature! It would be a horrifying and truly heinous thing to do!
Now that we've had our cookies, I'm taking you to my favorite Mexican place for cheese enchiladas. Ready to go?
Wow! More food. Let's go, and Gay, thank you so much for interviewing me today!
You can catch Danele on these sites.
Danele’s Blog: https://dragonflydanele.wordpress.com/
Danele’s Testimony: https://dragonflydanele.wordpress.com/welcome/
Danele’s Books: https://dragonflydanele.wordpress.com/my-books/
Here's a blurb from Time Search
Time Search—The Time Counselor Chronicles #3
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 Rotharmel’s Author Bio:
Danele Rotharmel grew up with a love of the literary word, and by age five, she knew she wanted to be a writer. However, her life took an unexpected turn when a mysterious illness brought her close to death. Eventually, she learned that a low-level carbon monoxide leak from a faulty furnace in her home was slowly poisoning her. This poisoning triggered severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and partial amnesia.
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/
Danele has other blog tours lined up. I hope you'll visit these sites too!