Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Interview with debut author Danele Rotharmel!!

To stop a cruel serial killer, she must travel twenty-four years into the past…

Gil Montgomery, a cadet in the Temporal Counseling Program, can’t wait to pass her field exam and become a professional time surfer. The TEMCO program targets death-row offenders for time-based counseling while they’re children.  For her exam, Gil will travel twenty-four years into the past to counsel ten-year-old Danny Winston before he murders his abusive babysitter, Rick Olsen.  Preventing the stabbing should stop the chain of events leading to Danny’s eventual execution. Gil’s assignment seems simple until her adviser, Dr. William Ableman, learns that Rick is a serial killer targeting Danny’s mother.  If Gil stays and protects the Winstons, she might not survive.  William wants the woman he loves to be pulled from the field, but if Gil fails to complete her assignment, it will unleash a Time Tsunami and destroy the timeline. As TEMCO undergoes an emergency lockdown, and Gil’s fellow cadets try to figure out what’s happening, Gil and William learn the importance of faith and the price of true love. Everyone’s fate is resting in Gil’s hands, but does she have the strength she needs to defeat a ruthless serial killer intent on annihilating everyone in his path.

Will she return from the deadly mission…

Time Tsunami is a fast-moving thriller with time travel twists that keep the reader guessing until the very last page. 

I bet I've got your attention now!! I'm so thrilled to welcome debut author Danele Rotharmel to The Diamond mine today! Time Tsunami is the first book in her series: The Time Counselor Chronicles. It promises to be quite an exciting series, and Time Tsunami becomes available on January 15th. You can pre-order it on Amazon! The link is at the end of the interview.
Let's all welcome Danele, and get right to the interview!

Hi Danele! It's great to have you here today. Tell us a little about the main people in your book.

I love to laugh, and I tried to cram as much laughter and fun into Time Tsunami as I could. Because of my quarantined isolation, my characters became my friends. They were literally my window to the outside world. I populated my book with people I’d like to be around—people who were goodhearted, not always perfect, and incredibly wacky.  Take Gil, for instance (her name is actually Gillyflower Meadowlark—but don’t call her that to her face!) Gil is kind, brave, and willing to put her life on the line to save the Winston family from a serial killer, but she sings off key, over indulges on cookies, can’t keep track of time, and has a really weird sense of humor—in other words, she’s human. I always enjoy books where the characters come alive, and that’s what I tried to do in Time Tsunami.

Sounds like you not only have a great plot, but intriguing characters as well. Quite a recipe! So, how much of yourself do you put into your characters?

When I create them, I put some of my personal strengths and weaknesses into each of my characters, but they grow from there. I love getting to know my characters—they’re constantly surprising me.

It can be a real roller-coaster ride, spending time with our created characters! What do you like best about the main people in your book?

I love their courage. When I was writing Time Tsunami, I was battling my own form of a serial killer. Multiple chemical sensitivity is a hideous condition from which many people never recover—some of them die from cancer. During quarantine, part of me wanted to give up and stop fighting, but instead, I fought tooth-and-nail to recover. I put that fighting spirit into Gil. She wasn’t going to back away from her fight any more than I was backing away from mine.

Good for you! I'm so glad you never gave up! And that you turned your challenges into a riveting story.
I'm curious. Do you find it easier to write heroes or villains?

I really enjoyed creating my heroes, but I also loved creating my villain. Rick was so incredibly creepy. When I was writing his scenes, I’d find myself cowering lower and lower in my chair. He was so nasty! He gave me the shivers. One of the best compliments I’ve received about Time Tsunami came from my sister-in-law. After she read one of Rick’s particularly creepy scenes, she looked at me and said, “Do you know what, Danele? You’re really twisted.” I got a kick out of that! It made me feel as if I’d brought Rick to life in a realistic way.

I love the visual of you sinking into your chair as you wrote your villain! I'm sure your readers will appreciate your ability to creep them out!!  :) 
When did you decide to write a novel, and what got you started on the writing path?

When I was five, I decided I wanted to be an author, but when I became ill that dream seemed to die. I was suffering from partial amnesia, and I lost my ability to think creatively. For years, I couldn’t write at all. It was like having a horrible case of writer’s block multiplied by a million. My health continued to decline, and eventually, I ended up quarantined in my home. This quarantine lasted for seven years. Although I had given up my dreams of writing a book, around my second year of quarantine my brain seemed to “unlock.” As my memories came back, I realized I was dreaming in color again and seeing shapes in the clouds drifting past my window. Suddenly, I knew that I could write! Energized, I began spending anywhere from 8-18 hours a day at my computer creating Time Tsunami. When I finished, I wrote the next five novels in The Time Counselor Chronicles. I used my novels as a way to distract myself from physical pain and from the loneliness of quarantine. Going through my illness was very difficult, and my novels were vehicles to explore my questions about God. In a very real way, my novels catalog my journey back to faith.

I can see that your personal struggles have had quite an influence on your writing. How do you get your unique story ideas?

Time Tsunami started out as a short story for a college creative writing class. I was a cadet teacher at the time, and I desperately wanted to make a difference in my students’ lives. I began daydreaming about having the ability to warn students against specific pitfalls they’d encounter in the future. Eventually, those musings expressed themselves in a creative-writing assignment. After my professor read my story, he told me I had a “sellable” idea. I toyed with the idea of turning Time Tsunami into a book, but I thought I was too busy. After college, life became even busier—and later, I became ill. My writing dreams lay dormant until that special day when I saw pictures in the clouds. Deciding to try my hand at writing again, I rummaged through an old box of my stories. Buried beneath a stack of papers, I found Time Tsunami. When I read it, I knew it had promise, so I began crafting it into a novel. When I finished, I couldn’t bear to abandon the characters I’d come to love, so I wrote the sequel, “Time Trap.” The rest of the books in The Time Counselor Chronicles flowed organically from there.

That's so cool! Do you work from an outline, or create as you go?

I work from a loose outline, but I love it when my characters change things up. For instance, in my original draft, Rick was Danny’s father and Sue didn’t exist. But when I transformed my short story into a novel, Sue suddenly appeared on the scene. Another surprise was my character Zara. Originally, she was a shy southern belle, but as the story progressed, she slowly transformed into a spunky lady with a Jamaican accent. Another big surprise was chapter forty-seven. I didn’t know what was going to happen when I sent Sam to the barn. I was sitting on the edge of my seat the whole time I was writing. I suppose I enjoy “creating as I go” because writing my books has been a distraction from pain. Writing a book is even more entertaining than reading one—especially if you love your characters.

Absolutely right! What’s your favorite part about writing?

I love getting caught up in the story. When I’m on a roll, I forget about everything—even eating and sleeping. The hours slip by without me realizing it. It’s like dreaming on paper.

You've expressed it so well-that unique experience of losing yourself in the writing process. It's a world all its own.
What message would you like your readers to take away from this story?

Underneath all the wrappings and ribbon, my book is an allegory about Christ and the cross. In my book, Danny is headed for death-row execution, but Gil steps in and helps him change his future. Love surrounded the cross, and love surrounded Gil’s decisions too. God’s love and faithfulness—that’s what I’d like my readers to take away from Time Tsunami.  

A beautiful message, Danele.
So, tell us. What are you working on now?

Prism Book Group has given me a contract for Time Trap, the second book in The Time Counselor Chronicles, and currently, I’m preparing the third book in the series, Time Search, for consideration by my editor. The fourth, fifth, and sixth books in the series are also written—they just need a little tweak here-and-there. After I finish polishing them, I plan on writing the seventh and eighth books in the series. I enjoy editing, but I’m looking forward to the creative rush of writing again.
Thank you so much for having me on your blog today! I really enjoyed talking with you and your readers! 

And I so enjoyed interviewing you! Thanks Danele!!

Here's a short excerpt from Time Tsunami:

As a blue glow filled the room, Gil looked through the time portal at William and Director Matthews. Her heart missed a beat. She didn’t know what was going on, but judging by the men’s tense expressions, it wasn’t good.
       “Hi, guys, what’s up?” she asked in a deliberately casual tone.
       “We’re thinking of pulling you from the field,” William replied.
       “Rick’s more dangerous than we thought.”
       “I don’t care if he’s Jack the Ripper,” she said flatly. “I’m staying.”
       Director Matthews picked up a handful of printouts. “He isn’t Jack the Ripper, but he might as well be. I’ve found evidence that he’s killed at least ten women.”
       “I don’t care.”
       “You’re facing a serial killer,” William said. “You must realize the seriousness of the situation.”
       “I do realize it. You don’t. Today’s Danny’s D-day. If I abandon him, he’s gonna die on death row. I love that kid, and I’m not about to let his life be destroyed. Where’s Dr. Nelson? She’d agree with me.”
       “She said it was our decision,” the director replied.
       “It’s my decision too, and I’m not about to abandon—”          
       “It’s not abandonment,” William interrupted. “GAP’s only predicting a fifty percent chance that it’ll make a difference to Danny’s future if you stay. Regardless of your hard work, Daniel Winston may be destined for death row. We’re not risking your life over a hopeless—”
       “There’s no way you’re getting me out of here! If there’s a fifty percent chance that Danny can be saved, I’m taking that fifty percent chance. It’s my life I’m risking. Not yours.”
       William ran a hand over his face. “We’re all risking a lot.”
       “I don’t care. I’m not—”
       “Enough of this!” William said harshly. “Let the director speak. When he finishes, we’ll discuss things.”
       “Here it is, Gil,” the director said. “Bald facts. Fact number one: Rick’s a serial killer. He strangles women with a red cord and hangs their bodies to mimic suicide. He does his murderous work so well, that unless a coroner’s an expert, the homicide is missed. At this time, it’s impossible to know how many murders Rick’s committed.
       “Fact two: Rick’s meticulous and methodical—that means he’s dangerous. He’s undoubtedly been planning to kill Sue for weeks. He’ll already have things set in motion.
       “Fact three: GAP’s predicting a 98.8 percent chance that if you stay, you will be hurt. Since Danny has only a fifty percent chance of escaping death row, you’ll be risking your life on a gamble.”
       Gil sat quietly for a few moments. “I’ve heard what you’ve said and understood it. Will you respect my decision?”
       “Yes,” William replied. “It’s your decision to make.”
       “Then my answer’s the same as it was from the beginning. I’m staying. Now, give me all the information you can about what I’m facing, and please do it fast. I don’t have much time, and I need all the help I can get.”

Can't wait to read it!! And now, here's a short bio about the very interesting Danele Rotharmel!

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 here: 
Link to her Blog’s welcome page:


LiteOfTheNite said...

Welcome to the Mine, Danele! It's great to see you here! :) I can't wait to read Time Tsunami.

Mary L. Ball said...

Wonderful interview. I know Danele Rotharmel's books will be awesome.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for letting me be a guest on The Diamond Mine, Nancy! I appreciate it so much! I love how the interview turned out--it is so pretty! You did such a great job! Thank you!!! And Renee and Mary, thank you for your kind words! They've made me so happy!

Deb Piccurelli said...

Oh, this book sounds like a story I would really enjoy! Can't wait to read it, Danele! And you are such a courageous woman with all you have been through. What a sweet savor you must be to our Father in Heaven.

Lisa Lickel said...

So excited for you--can't wait to read it. I'd better clear some of my schedule.

Unknown said...

Wow, Deb & Lisa!!! Thank you so much for the lovely comments!!! You've really made my day!!! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Nancy Bolton for an excellent interview with a wonderful friend of mine, Danele Rotharmell, whom I have become very close to during the past several months. Her time travel series and her characters sound amazing and I can hardly wait to get into her books! She has lived through some incredible trials during her refinement by God and is truly an inspiration to everyone she shares her testimony with. He is using her mightily! Joyce * Heartwings. j

Unknown said...

Dear Joyce, you are so awesome! Thank you so much for all of your love and support! You are such a beautiful person. I'm so very blessed to be your friend!

Rebekah Millet said...

Nancy - Great interview!
Danele - Welcome to the Diamond Mine! Your book sounds like a real page-turner!

Sharon McGregor said...

Time Tsunami is a wonderful book-full of twists and turns. I was lucky to get to read it in advance. Great luck with your release, Danele!

Unknown said...

Thank you for your welcome, Rebekah! I was so excited when Nancy invited me to be here! I really appreciate The Diamond Mine's willingness to feature my book! It made me so happy!

And Sharon, thank you so much for being part of the proofreading process for Time Tsunami! You did such a great job! I really appreciate you! I'm glad that you enjoyed the twists and turns in my book. I had so much fun thinking them up--they made me feel extremely crafty and devious!! LOL! I got such a kick out of writing Time Tsunami. It was lots of fun to create!!

Unknown said...

Great interview. I so love hearing more about you and your life's journey, Danele. You are such an inspiration! Can't wait for my pre-order of Time Tsunami to arrive.

Sandy Tilley said...

Wonderful interview. You are a fountain of knowledge, energy, and inspiration! Great way to take a difficult time in your life and make it into something great.

Just pre-ordered Time Tsunami. Can't wait until Jan. 15th.

Congratulations! I'm so happy for you!

The Prude said...

So nice the see the tables turned (in the best possible way) and read an interview about YOU! I'm getting excited about your book. What a treat, to get a sneak peek at them! Thanks Nancy, for a great interview with a very beloved lady.

Lynn Lovegreen said...

What an unusual plot for a novel! I am looking forward to reading this one, Danele.

Unknown said...

WOW!!!! WOW!!! WOW!!!! Jan, Sandy, Anita, and Lynn, I'm BLOWN AWAY by your lovely comments!!! Ladies, you've made me feel ten feet tall and very loved!! Thank you so much!! I hope you all have a wonderful day!!! I'm sitting here beaming!!! You've made me very, very happy!

Diana Flowers said...

I am so very proud of you, Danele! You took a situation like Joseph went through and that that the enemy meant for bad, you let God use it for good! I can see why the serial killer idea came to you now, but at first I was rather tickled that a genteel woman such as yourself would write a suspense book period! lol Your book sounds intriguing and definitely unique! I hope it's a bestseller and congratulations once again!

Love and hugs,

Unknown said...

Oh, Diana!!! You are so cool!! Thank you for your wonderfully sweet comments! They made me feel so special!! I appreciate you so much! And your comment about the serial killer made me laugh!! It was so much fun creating Rick and having my characters fight against him. Every time one of them got a blow in, it made me cheer!!!

Unknown said...

This is a fantastic interview from two incredible women who have both discovered a deeper understanding of God through a long, loooong bout of pain and separation from what most of us would call "normal life." It is heartwarming, comforting, and vastly reassuring to those of us who quail at the thought of such a difficult trial to see such a transformative outcome. God is indeed good, and even better than good when our world shatters and everything looks dire. That's a powerful message, Danele and Nancy, for all of us to hear. Thank you both!

Unknown said...

Dear Linda, your comment brought tears to my eyes! When I was sick, I spent so much time doubting God, yelling at God, and even denying God. But God never gave up on me, and through it all, I learned the truth of Ephesians 3:18-20. God's love truly is wider, higher, and deeper than we can imagine. It truly passes all knowledge. And God really is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask or think. I could have died, but God let me live. And now I want to spend the rest of the time I've been given glorifying Him and proclaiming that He is faithful and trustworthy--even when life seems totally unfair. God has a wonderful way of taking the things that seem destined to destroy us and using them to do something beautiful in our lives. I never would have had the time to write my books if I hadn't been in quarantine. God is so amazing!

Carlene said...

I'm sold - completed my preorder of 'Time Tsunami".

Unknown said...

Wow!! Thank you so much, Carlene!! That means a lot to me!! I hope you really love Time Tsunami!! You'll have to tell me if my plot twists catch you off guard. I tried to be really sneaky with them! But at the same time, I tried to put clues into the text so that when the twists are revealed they'll make total sense and feel like a foregone conclusion. It was a delicate balance to achieve. LOL! I had so much fun writing this book--I hope you have just as much fun reading it!

Unknown said...

I enjoyed the interview with Danele. I am certainly looking forward to reading her book.

Unknown said...

Oh, Ann! I appreciate you so much!! I'm so glad that you enjoyed the interview! I thought that Nancy did such a great job with it. She made the process extremely easy and fun. I had a blast! I can't wait until you read Time Tsunami. I hope you really love it!!! Over the last few days, I've been doing another editing pass on my second book, "Time Trap." I've been having a bit of a problem, though. I keep getting so wrapped up in the story that I forget to proofread! LOL! I hope you have a really wonderful day, Ann!! Thanks for being so great!

Lee Carver said...

I'm SO looking forward to reading your books, Danele. Your reviews of my books--and everyone else's--have been so appreciated. I'll bet your sales and review numbers soar from the very beginning! I'm laughing at myself because a time travel crime series is NOT what I expected you'd write. Hmmm. There are facets of you that we least suspected!

Gail Kittleson said...

I'm just getting to know you, Danele, but thank you for this post - interesting to read how you enjoyed your villain. Incredibly creepy - love it!! I have a villain that could also fit that description, and once I got going, he wasn't that hard to bring to life. Smile…didn't know I could do it!

PS, thanks for liking my author page!

Unknown said...

Hi, Lee!!! You make me smile!!! I'm so glad you are looking forward to reading my book! That makes me very, very happy! I love to let my imagination run away with me--I always have--and in this instance, my imagination ran right to time travel!! LOL! I had so much fun writing Time Tsunami. I used it as an escape hatch from quarantine, and also as a reminder that everything passes--even illness, loneliness, and pain. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. It meant a lot to me!

Unknown said...

Dear Gail, it's so nice to have the opportunity to get to know you too! Bringing characters to life is so much fun. I love rereading my books, getting caught up in them, losing track of time, and then realizing that I'm the one who actually wrote them! Being an author is so surreal! I'm so excited about the release of Time Tsunami! I've been spending a lot of my time pinching myself--and I'd better stop--I'm turning black and blue!! LOL! I hope you have a wonderful day! Thanks so much for commenting!