Guest Post: Keith Rommel, Nurturing a Baby

“I quit!”
Those were the words I had said and I meant it. I really did.
It was a swell of emotion roused from a rejection letter that had been sent by an agent that had The Cursed Man manuscript for over six months. I remember thinking how I could have had a baby in a few more months!
So I did quit…
But several weeks after I stopped writing, I received a message from someone belonging to a critique group I often dabbled with. He asked me where the story was that I had been posting and I responded how I had shelved the book. That person responded in kind, telling me that I was making a mistake, that the book was marketable.
With that brief interaction, I suddenly realized I already had a baby and that I just needed to nurture it.
It had taken me five years to write and breathe life into The Cursed Man and I couldn’t simply abandon it because of a disappointment. I needed to care for it and help it along. This thought filled me with a burning desire to defy that letter of rejection and every other one I had gotten before that.
Uncertain what the next steps were going to be for The Cursed Man, I kicked around the idea of self-publishing for several weeks. When I finally started the process, I happened upon Sunbury Press. They are a small press publisher that does things in a very professional way.
I decided to give it one last shot and I sent them a query letter. To my surprise, they requested the manuscript and only a short time later, they offered me a contract for publication. Within a few months time, the manuscript went through the editing process and was released.
I had gone from completely quitting writing to publication all within a few short months because of a random note sent by a stranger.
The industry is crowded with writers clamoring for the attention of reviewers, bloggers and magazines so that they can get their work in front of you and I realized I needed to do something and fast. I needed an edge. So what was I doing differently that was going to set me apart from everyone else?
I’m just a regular guy that has a passion to tell a story. So what? So does every other writer that wants to entertain you with his or her work. Forced to run the race, I tried desperately to find my place and create enough of a buzz to try and lure readers my way. I contacted reviewers, bloggers and anyone else I could think of to read and review my book. I needed to find people to believe in my baby and to help me get it to grow. I couldn’t imagine how incredibly emotionally draining this child of mine would be.
But wait. When did this baby of mine suddenly become a child?
In October of 2011, just seven months after The Cursed Man was released, I had gotten an email from a man claiming to be a film producer. I thought this had to be a scam. Remember, I’m just a regular guy. Besides, what had I done so differently to gain the attention of a movie producer?
I don’t know.
But it wasn’t a scam. He was really interested in the story I had written and we spoke for over a year. We wrote a calling card for actors to audition for the movie and the response was overwhelming and exciting. And now that the auditions are done, I am able to pause long enough to wonder what I did that he chose The Cursed Manover so many other really good stories out there…
But I learned something very profound in all of the struggles and joys: if you have a dream, don’t give up on it because if you do, then you might be missing something special.
Auditions for The Cursed Man movie can be seen at:
Alister believes death is in love with him. A simple smile from friend or stranger is all it takes to encourage death to kill.
With his family deceased and a path of destruction behind him, Alister sits inside a mental institution, sworn to silence and separated from the rest of the world, haunted by his inability to escape death’s preferential treatment.
But when a beautiful psychologist arrives at the institution and starts offering him care, Alister braces himself for more killings. When none follow, he tries to figure out whether he truly is insane or if death has finally come to him in the form of a woman.
“Wonderfully creepy, well told story.”
The Cursed Man is available in paperback and for your favorite reading device.
For further information on this feature film in development, please contact James L. Perry at

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