Could author be the next Stephen King?
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Port St. Lucie writer Keith Rommelâs 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 âThe Lurking Man,â âThe Sinful Manâ and âThe Cursed Manâ â now in production as a motion-picture thrillerâ author Keith Rommel has taken on the tendencies of horrorâs highness.
Wrote a reviewerat United Kingdom based BookLoreof âThe Cursed Manâ: âThis is a very well-written book, with a little bit of Stephen Kinglike horror.It will keep the reader interested, and it is a gem of a story.â
âIâm a fan of Stephen King, and to even be compared to somebody like that is very humbling,â Mr. Rommel said. âYouâreyour own worst critic, so I donât necessarily agree with it, but Iâll take the compliment.â
While the 43-year-old Port St. Lucie resident has read a lot of Kingâs bestsellers, other authors have influenced the writingstyle of the hobbyist-turned hopeful.
ROMMEL âIris Johansen, sheâs a good writer,â Mr. Rommel said. âI really liked âThe Search.ââ
He also admits the âLeft Behindâ apocalyptic-fiction series has made as much of an impression on him as his collection of comic books.
âI am a comic book nerd â nerd, nerd, nerd, through and through,âMr. Rommel said.
He started buying comic books in elementary school after a teacher told him he had a reading-comprehension problemand prescribed âpictureswith words.â
âI couldnât put the pieces together when you asked me what happened in the story, and my teacher said to start reading books that had pictures in them,â Mr. Rommel said. âAnd here I am at the age of 43, and I still buy comic books, much to my wifeâs dismay.â
By day, the father of two works at Rockyâs Ace Hardware in Tequesta.By night, he pens passagesfilled with crime, suspense and psychological fiction.
âI grew up working in retail and started to write as a hobby,â Mr. Rommel said. âIt has been a fine balance being able to maintainthe demands of running a store, raising a family and writing. The majority of my writing is done at night when the house goes quiet.
Q: Can you describe âThe Cursed Manâ?
A: âThe Cursed Manâ is based off of a family friendâsyoung-adult life. His mother is living inside his head, and heâs just trying to escape her. The whole book, youâre trying to figure out whether this guy is nuts or not. Itâs about abuse.
Q: How did you land a motion-picture deal?
A: I realizedI had no PR, so I looked for reviewersto review the book. I mailed out 15 books and got nine reviews â one who comparedmy writing to Stephen King. Who knew when I licked that stamp and put it on the envelopeand sent it to the United Kingdom that this would ever get the attentionof a producer?
Q: When is the movie coming out?
A: Production started in February, and itâs supposedto wrap at the end of September. Intergalaxy Entertainment and James Perry are producingthe movie in Pasadena, Calif.
Q: You say your movie has something in common with Star Wars. What is it? Jim TavarÃ© as Terry in
âThe Cursed Man.â
A: The moco [motion-control] crane that was used to film the Death Star!
Q: How did your father serve as an inspiration for your work?
A: My father was a big advocateof my writing and often encouraged me to try and get published.When he passed away from cancer, I was compelled to pursue publication and found a home for âThe Cursed Manâ at SunburyPress. The first thing you see slapped in your face is my dedication to my father.
Q: Where can readers buy your novels?
A: They can be purchasedthrough any major bookseller, includingAmazon 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 their everyday stress and immerse them into a world of intrigue. If I was able to do my hobby as a living,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 âThe Cursed Manâ is successful, âThe Lurking Manâ is going to be a movie. They have the book already.