Friday, June 3, 2011




(1) Tell us about Keith, give us a look into your background and an idea of who you are.

In my personal life, the one word that describes me best is: average. I work hard, like being around friends and family and enjoy reading. I like sci-fi and horror movies the best, listen to heavy metal music, love baseball and football and collect comic books.

In my writing career I have had several writer how-to articles published and a novel released about ten years ago entitled The Spirit of Independence. I am not particularly proud of that novel and have a tendency to shy away from even talking about it. I have a love/hate relationship with it because it taught me a lot about the industry, but yet I feel it never should have been published. I was undeveloped and still trying to find a voice. But when I look back at it now, that experience helped me tremendously in setting reasonable expectations and goals for myself and my publisher with the release of The Cursed Man.

(2) The book "The Cursed Man" is extremely scary. Just the thought of being cursed like Alister causes chills to creep up the spine. What was the driving force behind writing this novel and how did it all start to develop for you?

I remember standing in the kitchen at my grandmothers house. I was in my late teens and my uncle was telling a story about his best friend and some tragic events that surrounded his childhood. That story always stayed with me, and it made such an impression that I based The Cursed Man off of that concept.

(3) What kind of research if any did you do in order to become more in tune with your main character in this book?

Any research I did only went into the particulars of the setting. When I began to write The Cursed Man, I had the three basic necessities: the beginning, middle and end. After the initial draft, I rewrote the novel several times. During that process is when the characters began to morph and take a life of their own. I have had many readers tell me the character they are most fond of is Alister because of his struggles and frustrations and his inability to find resolve.

(4) Do you have a sequel in mind for this book?

Yes I do. The Cursed Man is book one in the Thanatology series and is a stand alone novel. The sequel entitled The Lurking Man is the second book in the series and that will also be a self-contained story. And for those of you who are wondering what Thanatology is, a reviewer from Harrisburg, PA posted this comment on Amazon after reading The Cursed Man:
The Cursed Man is Book One of the Thanatology Series - I for one, am now a Keith Rommel fan and can't wait for more from this author! OH and for those of you (like me) who are wondering what is Thanatology - it is the study of death and dying. WOW !

(5) Are there other ideas for other novels that have not yet been put on paper that you are excited about getting out there?

Right now my focus is on The Lurking Man and it is shaping up to be a great counterpart to The Cursed Man. I have two other novels upcoming that are entitled: Among the People and You Killed My Brother. I have many other ideas that I am planning on developing, but for now, they are just short notes filed away for a later date.

(6) You have received some great reviews on this book, how does that make you feel when you see just how much people enjoyed it?

I am extremely grateful and humbled by the reviews The Cursed Man has been getting. I am hopeful that the reviews will inspire fans of horror and suspense to pick up a copy and that they too will share their thoughts on the book.

(7) I know The Cursed Man originally started as a self published project that got picked up by Sunbury Press. Can you tell me how that happened?

It all happened very fast and unexpectedly. After speaking with several agents and coming away with disappointment, I decided I would self publish. I began an early marketing campaign and came across Sunbury Press. I submitted The Cursed Man, and soon after, they offered me a contract. There is a detailed article on my website that explains this in greater detail.

(8) What is a typical day like in the life of Keith Rommel?

A typical day includes running a big box retail store with a thousand deadlines and many employees. My home life includes family time with my wife of seven years, my daughter (Cranky Pants) who is four, and my son (Captain Headbutt) who is two. After the house goes dark, I lurk in the shadows and try to pump out a few pages of writing.

(9) What should we be on the lookout for?

I would like to encourage people to visit my website ~ In celebration of my new novel, I am holding a competition where you get the chance to name the main character of The Lurking Man!

How to Enter:

1. Copy and paste these three questions about The Cursed Man and answer them correctly (you can get the answers right off the book blurb). 

- Why is Alister cursed?
- What is Alister sworn to?
- Who arrives at the institution?

2. Write a short story (300 words or less) using a fictional female character's full name. The short story must start with the sentence, "My brother has just married a despicable shrew..." and enter it into the body of your email.

3. The most creative stories will be published on the website and the public will vote on their favorite name. The winner will not only have their short story promoted on my website and have their own characters name used in the Lurking Man but also receive a signed copy of the novel once it is in print.

(10) Is there any advice you'd like to share with other aspiring authors?

Keep your dream alive by writing everyday and network with like-minded people. I have some great networking site recommendations: Critique Circle, Goodreads, Librarything and Shelfari. Remember for every no you get, you are one step closer to a yes. I am always open to questions from avid readers, authors or aspiring authors might have. I am also looking to network with other writers to create a think-tank group. Please share your thoughts, I love to hear them.
©2010, Kitty, all rights reserved.

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