Meet the Author: Danele Rotharmel (you won’t be sorry)

Yesterday I reviewed ‘Time Tsunami’ and we learned how Danele created a world of time travel.

Today you’ll get a chance to meet the remarkable creator of this world. I guarantee you have never known anyone like Danele or the near-death experience that led, in part, to the creation of Time Counselor Chronicles.

Here is Danele (aka Twanda):

Danele Rotharmel

And her very unique real-life story:

Danele Rotharmel’s life took an unexpected turn when a mysterious illness brought her close to death. Eventually, she learned that a carbon monoxide leak from a faulty furnace was poisoning her. This poisoning triggered Multiple Chemical Sensitivity causing her to be put in quarantine. For seven years, she could only talk to friends and extended family through a windowpane. During this time, she wrote the first six books in The Time Counselor Chronicles. The first book, Time Tsunami, was released in January. The second book, Time Trap, is scheduled for release this summer. Although her journey back to health was difficult, it provided her with the opportunity to grow closer to God and to write her books. For that, she’s forever thankful.

The links so you can buy this great book:
Danele tells us why she writes:

When I was in school, I wrote stories because it was a blast! When I was in quarantine, I wrote as a way to escape pain. Now, I want to write as a way to glorify God. God never left my side when I was ill, and He gave me back my joy and peace. I love Him, and I want to serve Him.

And shares which book made the biggest impact on her life:

If I were being dead serious, I’d say the Bible. But since I’m in a frivolous mood, I’ll say Where the Sidewalk Ends. Shel Silverstein’s poems captured my imagination when I was a child. I’ve always been a little bit nutty, but when I was a kid, I tried to keep most of my wackiness under wraps. I tried to be very polite, and very obedient, and very serious. Shel Silverstein’s poems were so absolutely silly that they made me realize it’s okay to be a wackadoodle.

Below, Danele tackles the burning questions:

Why were you given your particular name?

My mother originally wanted to name me Daniella—but my father said it sounded too much like vanilla. Eventually, they decided on Danele. Mom laughs and says they misspelled my name, but truthfully, they just wanted it to look unique. I really like my name—both how it sounds and how it looks. But most of all, I like what it means. Danele means God is my judge. When I was put into quarantine, some of my acquaintances didn’t understand Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, and as a result, they decided it wasn’t real. They began spreading rumors that I was an agoraphobic hypochondriac. Oh, Anita, those rumors really hurt! And the insidious thing about rumors is that you can’t really battle them. If you try, you just end up making things worse. Around the time the rumors were flying, I learned the meaning of my name–God is my judge. I clung to those words. When people were mean, I realized that what they said didn’t matter—only God’s opinion mattered. I think for the most part, people don’t mean to be cruel. But quarantine taught me that gossip isn’t harmless, and that in the end, the only one you need to answer to is God.

If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?

Twanda. Years ago, I watched a movie in which the main character called herself Twanda. It wasn’t her real name, but she used it when she wanted to feel empowered. I don’t remember much about the movie, but the name Twanda stuck in my noggin. When I was in quarantine, there would be days when I’d feel like I’d never get better. On those horrible days, I’d look at myself in the mirror, grit my teeth, and tell my illness to address me as Twanda. I’d tell my pain that I was going to win out in the end! It’s probably silly, and maybe Twanda doesn’t even mean what I think it does—after all, in high school I thought a poem about angels dancing on a needle was all about God’s power when it was really about heroin—but calling myself Twanda always makes me feel powerful…Come to think of it, I should probably look up the meaning of Twanda one day. It probably means something silly like sheep gatherer or beetle watcher. But for me, it means, watch out world—clear out, negative thoughts—I’m gonna come out of this sparkling and shiny and strong!!

You’ve been writing all day. You don’t want to cook. You do want to get out of the house. Do you get pizza, burgers, or Chinese?

What?? No Mexican???

Tortilla chips. Salsa!! They call to me. They speak my name.
Oh, I must go and nibble them.
Oh! I must devour their crunchy deliciousness.
Crunch! Crunch! Yum! Yum! Contentment reigns!

(Mexican food always moves me deeply. It inspires me to indulge in ghastly bouts of hideous, uncontrollable poetry. I must apologize. But then—you DID ask…)
What is your favorite sport?

PBR bull riding. I love it!! My grandfather used to enter rodeos, and the rodeo bug has definitely gotten into my blood. In my opinion, of all rodeo events, the one that’s the most exciting is bull riding. I grew up on a dairy farm, so I’m VERY acquainted with bulls. I can’t imagine the guts (or pure insanity) it would take to ride one. When I watch a round of bull riding, my heart is in my throat the whole time. It’s a rush!

Your favorite kind of music?

That depends on my mood. If I’m angry, I want something loud and fast—Skillet will usually do the trick. If I’m strolling around the lake, I want uplifting music—Rebecca St. James, Natalie Grant, Michael W. Smith. And if I’m relaxing, I want something mellow and soft—Michelle Tumes (she’s AWESOME!! I love her CD, Listen). And regardless of how I’m feeling, lots of times I reach for Christmas music—I play it year round. But if I have to choose my absolute favorite group, I’d have to say The Sons of Korah. They sing the Psalms, and I LOVE their music!! You should check them out if you get a chance.

Your favorite song?

Right now it’s “I Will Not Be Moved” by Natalie Grant. My illness really threw me for a loop, and it made me doubt my faith in God. Eventually, I came to the firm conclusion that God is real, God is good, God is intimately concerned with every aspect of my life, Jesus must be kept in the center of my faith, and God is trustworthy in spite of tragedy. Once I recommitted my life to Christ—that was it—no more wavering. I love the message in Natalie’s song: “I WILL NOT BE MOVED!!! ON CHRIST THE SOLID ROCK I STAND!!!” Oooo! Makes me want to stand up and cheer.

Would you rather be an Irish line dancer, a hula dancer, a clogger, or a cabaret dancer?

Oh, for Pete’s sake, Anita!! A klutz like me couldn’t be any of them. It would be dangerous for me to even attempt to dance—I’d end up falling over my feet. But secretly, just between us, I’ve always wanted to be a dancer. I know it’s laughable, but I can’t help it. I love watching dance. It’s so moving—so beautiful. I’m looking forward to heaven when my two left feet will suddenly be coordinated—or when my self-conscious brain won’t care about my clumsiness! But as far as your choices, I’d love to have the fitness level of an Irish line dancer, but I’d love to have the location of a hula dancer. If I had to choose, I suppose I would be a hula dancer. That way, after I made a complete idiot of myself, I could at least take a dip in the Hawaiian surf.

What three items would you take if you knew that you were going to be stranded on a tropical island for a year? (FYI: It has fresh water and plenty for you to eat and a flush toilet)

The first item I’d take would be you!! (Can I consider you an item??) If I had you around, I know that my time on the island would be full of laughter and fun. We’d have a BLAST!!

The second item I’d take would be a spice rack. I’ve seen quite a few episodes of Survivor, and they’re always wishing for salt and pepper to spice up their food.

The third item I’d take would be…hmmmm… I’ve got it!! I’d take satellite phone so that when we were tired of playing castaway, we could call for our luxury yacht to come and whisk us away to Tahiti. (You see—since this is my fantasy, I might as well make it a good one.) Once on the yacht, we’d be treated to foot massages, big juicy steaks, peppermint ice cream, and huge boxes of maple-cream chocolates. And pancakes. With syrup. And peanut butter. Yum!… (Can you tell that I’m still on my ghastly diet?? I’m starting to dream about swimming in marshmallow cream—I think it’s a sign that I’ve eaten WAY too many carrots.)

You get to be any household item you want in Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ What do you choose?

I’d be the bookcase so I could absorb all the literature I wanted without any effort at all. Can you imagine having tons of stories floating around in your noggin? What fun!! Yep. That’s what I’d choose.

Cooking, baking, or for pete’s sake can we please eat out?

I love to bake and cook, but after seven years of quarantine, going into a restaurant is pure heaven. Each time I go, I realize just how lucky I am!! Will you think I’m silly if I admit that I almost cried at McDonalds the other day? After so many years, being able to walk into McDonalds for a quick burger was wonderful. One thing about quarantine, I’ll never take the simple luxuries of life for granted again.
Which would you prefer as a second home: Mountain cabin, beach house or big city condo?

Seriously? You have to ask? I’m a Rocky Mountain girl clear to the bone. Give me a lovely mountain cabin deep in the lush green woods—preferably by a brook. Owning a place like that would be pure BLISS!! Especially if there was a bridge spanning the brook.
If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?

Wow!! What a stumper!! I write time travel suspense novels—you’d think I’d have a quick, pat answer for this type of question. Hmmm…..let me think…..Ooooo!! I’ve got it!!! I’d go back to the end of WWII. On V-J Day, I’d go to Times Square and gently nudge a certain nurse out of the way so the hunky sailor could plant that wonderful, historic kiss on me instead. I love the picture of the sailor kissing the nurse on V-J Day—it seems to epitomize absolute euphoric joy.

If you could learn any new skill, what would it be?

I’d like to say hang gliding, but I’m WAY too big of a chicken. So I will keep my feet firmly on the ground and say tennis. I bought a tennis racket on a whim once, and I’ve never used it. It think it’s high time that I start.

And now. folks, you know why I like Danele so much. She is sweet, slightly goofy, uniquely creative and a great encourager.

Check this back cover blurb from her book:

Time Tsunami (Book 1 of The Time Counselor Chronicles)

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 am looking forward to Book 2!

6 thoughts on “Meet the Author: Danele Rotharmel (you won’t be sorry)

  1. I love this interview! I’m going to write a book just so you will ask me such fun questions, Anita! 😉 Danele sounds like my kind of person–love her responses! I look forward to reading the book…it sounds great!

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