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,” “The Sinful Man” and “The Cursed Man” — now in production as a motion-picture thriller— author Keith Rommel has taken 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, with a little bit of Stephen Kinglike horror. It will keep the reader interested, 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 the compliment.”
While the 43-year-old Port St. Lucie resident has read a lot of King’s bestsellers, other authors have influenced the writing style of the hobbyist-turned hopeful.
ROMMEL “Iris Johansen, she’s a good writer,” Mr. Rommel said. “I really liked ‘The Search.’”
He also admits the “Left Behind” apocalyptic-fiction series has made as much 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 told him he had a reading-comprehension problem and prescribed “pictures with words.”
“I couldn’t 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,” Mr. Rommel said. “And here I am at 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 in Tequesta. 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 maintain the 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 “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 escape her. The whole book, you’re trying to figure out whether this guy is nuts 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 to review the book. I mailed out 15 books and got nine reviews — one who compared my writing to Stephen King. Who knew when I licked that stamp and put it on the envelope and sent it to the United Kingdom that 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. Intergalaxy Entertainment 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 the Death Star!
Q: How did your father serve as an inspiration for your work?
A: My father was a big advocate of 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 “The Cursed Man” at Sunbury Press. 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 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 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 “The Cursed Man” is successful, “The Lurking Man” is going to be a movie. They have the book already.