A few weeks ago, I attended a local author event in Cocoa Beach. One of the speakers sat across from me, and to keep it fun, he would occasionally toss paper balls my way, especially if I was talking with a fan. I sat in on his talk and learned that he has co-written the screenplay based off his own book that Hollywood producers are filming, something I have wanted to do since I was a kid. His writing style has been compared to Stephen King by professional reviewers, and I am beyond excited to introduce today’s guest artist, award-winning author Keith Rommel:
Keith is an award winning author and screen writer. His writing has been called, “Horror for the curious mind.” The Cursed Man (book 1) The Lurking Man (book 2) The Sinful Man (book 3) The Silent Woman (book 4) The Devil Tree (based off of the Port Saint Lucie legend) Crime: You Killed My Brother Paranormal: Among The People Keith is the co-screenwriter for The Cursed Man movie.
ENGLE: Thank you very much for stopping by for an interview. Tell me about your most recent book. What’s it about? Where did the story idea come from?
ROMMEL: My most recent novel is entitled The Devil Tree. It was inspired by a local legend here in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. It is said a serial killer lured two people to an ancient oak tree in the middle of the woods and murdered them. The trauma and evil that surrounded this event is said to have been absorbed by the tree, creating the legend of The Devil Tree.
The tree was ordered to be cut down by local authorities. Chainsaws, ax and a two man saw all failed to cut down the tree and they even set fire to it and it wouldn’t burn. After this bizarre chain of events transpired, it was decided to leave the tree alone and now it sits beyond a public park, hidden by thick foliage.
ENGLE: That’s an awesome lure. I can’t wait to read it! I know all authors secretly dream that their book will be made into a feature length movie. You have had that dream come true. Tell us about adapting your book to film, and what it felt like to go through the entire process.
ROMMEL: It is certainly a dream most authors strive for. I am very thankful and blessed to have had the opportunity to work with a producer and see my novel, The Cursed Man brought to life. I co-wrote the screenplay with the producer and saw bits and pieces of the movie as they began to film it. But the entire experience wasn’t all pleasant. Delays, cancellations and more delays have taught me a valuable lesson in patience and learning to let go of the things that you cannot control. I am hopeful everything stays on target and we see the release of the film this October.
ENGLE: The movie industry is totally “hurry up to wait” and I can see how it could be an amazing and frustrating process, all at the same time. One of the challenges faced by authors is visibility in the market. What have you done to bring your book in front of the consumer? How has your publisher helped?
ROMMEL: The one constant that I did was to try and find reviewers willing to review my book. I tried to be realistic in the reviewers I was approaching thus broadening my chance at getting the review published. I also tried to look for trustworthy reviewers and I made it a rule to NEVER pay for a review. In fact, two of the reviews I received were responsible for gaining the attention of the movie producer.
My publisher helped by giving me a full edit, designing the cover, and creating a worldwide distribution format for my novels. They also work collaboratively on my marketing ideas as well as theirs.
ENGLE: What is an interesting or bizarre fact we don’t know about you?
ROMMEL: I love to fart. I think it’s funny. 🙂
ENGLE: Lmao! I think it’s funny too. Never gets old. Speaking of “never getting old”, how do you come up with your ideas and what’s a typical writing day like for you?
ROMMEL: My ideas are mostly based off of my own life experiences or the experience of friends. I’ve nabbed quite a few headlines out of the papers and twisted them just so and incorporated that into my books.
My writing days are usually a mix of promotion (the never ending branding of my name) and working on my next novel. Sometimes it’ll be for an hour or an entire day depending on my stamina and my ability to stay focused.
ENGLE: If you were trapped on a deserted island with one book, one drink, one friend from literature, and one song what would that look like?
ROMMEL: Jack Nicholson from The Shining while Iron Maiden was playing “Run to the Hills”. Although I’d be running for my life, I think he would keep me from getting bored. The drink would be Captain Morgan so I can get him sloshed and that would give me a chance to rest. The book would be The Search from Iris Johansen, but I don’t know how much I’d be able to concentrate. You know, crazy Jack strung out on the Captain might make me uneasy.
ENGLE: Sounds like a fun play date! Now that you’ve wet our whistles, where can we find your book?
ROMMEL: You can find my books at any major bookseller worldwide. You can also find them on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Recently my ebooks went exclusively to Kindle Unlimited.
My website: www.keithrommel.com
ENGLE: If you could be a Muppet, who would you be and why?
ROMMEL: Big Bird of course. Because I’d like to know what it’s like to be tall. I’ve been short my entire life.
THE DEVIL TREE BLURB:
Based on the Port St. Lucie Legend Back in the 1970’s, a series of bizarre incidents occurred at what has since been known as The Devil Tree. Beneath this ancient denizen, evil was wrought by a sick serial killer, calling upon forces most evil and dark. People were hung there … and bodies buried there … exhumed by the police. Overcome by superstition, some tried to cut down the tree, to no avail. Since then, it has stood in a remote section of a local park — left to its own devices — quiet in its eerie repose — until now! Best-selling psychological-thriller author Keith Rommel has imagined the whole tale anew. He’s brought the tree to life and retold the tale with detail only possible in a fiction novel. Action-packed, with spine-tingling detail, this thriller is beyond parallel in the ground it uncovers … one author’s explanation of what may have really been said — what may have really happened — under Port St. Lucie’s “Devil Tree.”
Author of The Cursed Man, The Lurking Man, The Sinful Man from the critically acclaimed psychological horror series. The Cursed Man is coming soon as a major motion picture. Also available from Keith Rommel: You Killed My Brother (crime) and Among the People (paranormal).
Author site: keithrommel.weebly.com