he Next Stephen King? (Original Article from Florida Weekly) Keith Rommel "The Cursed Man"
Could author be the next Stephen King?
Port St. Lucie writer Keith Rommel’s horror novel is being made into a motion picture!
BY AMY WOODS
Special to Florida Weekly
The next Stephen King could surface in sunny South Florida.
With troubling titles such as “The Lurking Man,” “TheSinful Man” and “The Cursed Man” — now in productionas a motion-picture thriller— author Keith Rommel hastaken on the tendencies of horror’s highness.
Wrote a reviewer at United Kingdom based BookLore of“The Cursed Man”: “This is a very well-written book, witha little bit of Stephen Kinglike horror. It will keep the readerinterested, and it is a gem of a story.”
“I’m a fan of Stephen King, and to even be compared to somebody like that is very humbling,” Mr.Rommel said. “You’re your own worst critic, so I don’t necessarily agree with it, but I’ll take thecompliment.”
While the 43-year-old Port St. Lucie resident has read a lot of King’s bestsellers, other authorshave influenced the writing style of the hobbyist-turned hopeful.
ROMMEL “Iris Johansen, she’s a good writer,” Mr. Rommel said. “I reallyliked ‘The Search.’”
He also admits the “Left Behind” apocalyptic-fiction series has made asmuch of an impression on him as his collection of comic books.
“I am a comic book nerd — nerd, nerd, nerd, through and through,” Mr.Rommel said.
He started buying comic books in elementary school after a teacher toldhim he had a reading-comprehension problem and prescribed “pictureswith words.”
“I couldn’t put the pieces together when you asked me what happened in the story, and myteacher said to start reading books that had pictures in them,” Mr. Rommel said. “And here I amat the age of 43, and I still buy comic books, much to my wife’s dismay.”
By day, the father of two works at Rocky’s Ace Hardware inTequesta. By night, he pens passages filled with crime,suspense and psychological fiction.
“I grew up working in retail and started to write as a hobby,” Mr.Rommel said. “It has been a fine balance being able to maintainthe demands of running a store, raising a family and writing. Themajority of my writing is done at night when the house goesquiet.
Q: Can you describe “The Cursed Man”?
A: “The Cursed Man” is based off of a family friend’s young-adult life.His mother is living inside his head, and he’s just trying to escapeher. The whole book, you’re trying to figure out whether this guy isnuts or not. It’s about abuse.
Q: How did you land a motion-picture deal?
A: I realized I had no PR, so I looked for reviewers toreview the book. I mailed out 15 books and got ninereviews — one who compared my writing to StephenKing. Who knew when I licked that stamp and put iton the envelope and sent it to the United Kingdomthat this would ever get the attention of a producer?
Q: When is the movie coming out?
A: Production started in February, and it’s supposed to wrap at the end of September. IntergalaxyEntertainment and James Perry are producing the movie in Pasadena, Calif.
Q: You say your movie has something in common with Star Wars. What is it? Jim Tavaré as Terry in
“The Cursed Man.”
A: The moco [motion-control] crane that was used to film theDeath Star!
Q: How did your father serve as an inspiration for your work?
A: My father was a big advocate of my writing and oftenencouraged me to try and get published. When he passedaway from cancer, I was compelled to pursue publication andfound a home for “The Cursed Man” at Sunbury Press. Thefirst thing you see slapped in your face is my dedication to myfather.
Q: Where can readers buy your novels?
A: They can be purchased through any major bookseller,including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Q: What is your goal as a writer?
A: My ultimate goal is to share my work with people in hopes of removing them out of theireveryday stress and immerse them into a world of intrigue. If I was able to do my hobby as aliving, I would love to be able to write books full-time.
Q: Are you going to be rich and famous someday?
A: I can tell you right now if “The Cursed Man” is successful, “The Lurking Man” is going to be amovie. They have the book already.