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Archive for the ‘author interviews’ Category

  • Sunbury Press: In September 2014, you came to Sunbury Press bookstore to celebrate the completion of the filming of The Cursed Man and Sunbury Press’ 10th anniversary. Can you tell us what that day was like?

Brahm_headshotBrahm Gallagher: It was an absolute honor to be a part of the 10th Anniversary as well as be able to support Keith at the book signing. Plus the chance to meet the man who wrote The Cursed Man was not an opportunity to be missed! I’m very thankful to Keith for writing a character that spoke to me and who, although was very troubled on the page, is at his heart someone who is trying to do good in the only way that he sees how at this point. It was also amazing to meet the fans who were fans already and hopefully some more that very soon will be.

  • SP: Alister, the lead character in The Cursed Man is a complex character. Can you tell readers how you prepared for such a complex role and managed to capture the essence of the character?

BG: I relied heavily on the book and in turn the script which was basically at its core a transcription of the written novel. I referred to the script countless times, over and over, and looked at hours of footage and interviews with incarcerated killers, both at the time of their arrests and subsequent interviews years later after spending time incarcerated; to find an essence of the isolation that Alister has imparted on himself based of his fear of the curse. What would that time of solitary do to a person? How would shutting out the world manifest itself in one’s being? Alister has chosen a path that only he can walk down till it is interrupted by the good Doctor. Those areas of mental cognizance were where most of my research went but I also wanted to know the feeling of being hungry for release from something so I lost twenty pounds in one month before the start of shooting by only eating baby food. Who would have known I’d be required to maintain that weight loss for nearly 4.5 months?!!? *chuckles*

  • SP: If you had to describe what genre The Cursed Man is and compare it to a more, well-known movie previously released movie or novel, what would that be?

BG: I believe it to be a psychological thriller. The monster affectation was added by our director but I always believed the demons to be in Alister’s mind. As an actor, I can only control the character and try to manipulate the world that I am thrust into, so for me, it was always about the anguish that Alister has lived through and continues to see through his own warped perspective. Looking at the story with that in mind, I can almost see parallels to the Stanford Experiment and to some extent Shutter Island – how the mind is the institution that holds Alister in check and is also his worst enemy.

  • SP: What was the biggest challenge you had bringing Alister to life?

BG: The production schedule was rough. An absolute hard experience to endure. Not just taking into account the sustained loss of weight but the mental toll, and trying to determine which reality Alister was in dependent on what we were shooting that day. It was also made more difficult by the very independent style in which the film was made. We would work flat out for a few days … running … then there would be a break in shooting, sometimes for an undetermined length of time, then we’d have to jump right back in and go full bore again. It went on and on. The struggle of holding onto Alister’s ever loosening grip on “reality” as well as determining what state he was in as timelines shift throughout the story was a real challenge.

  • SP: If there is a message you wanted to convey to the people reading this interview, what would that be?

BG: This film was a truly independent filmmaking endeavor based on a brilliant independently written book that hopefully will spark in the mind of the viewer/reader. There is a place for pieces such as this in our oversaturated, glam-style, pretty consumer society. Sometimes truths that are hidden aren’t also pretty or glamorous and mental trauma in whatever form it manifests is not to be taken lightly and we should be looking for ways to assist those suffering from it instead of ostracizing them for it.

  • SP: We know of something big on the horizon for you. Please tell the reading audience what you are up to and what you have coming in the near future.

BG: I’m not too sure how big it is at the moment but I have filmed a role for a certain show revolving around thrones with the very distinct hope of returning to that far off land again. I’ve also relocated from Los Angeles to the UK where I have had the great fortune to film a role with the BBC for an upcoming Sunday night drama series and also to work in Ireland, albeit briefly. I’m hoping to get back to other areas of Ireland again very soon.

  • SP: Would you recommend to people that they read the novel before or after seeing The Cursed Man Movie?

BG: I think that is a matter of personal taste. As I have no idea of what the finished film is going to be you may get a better understanding of the story from the book but I’d hope that Alister is both as alive to the audience onscreen as he was to me in the book.

  • SP: Without revealing any spoiler, what is your favorite part of The Cursed Man story or concept?

BG: The complete lack of knowing. Knowing what is real, what is not, what is real but only to one specific character at the time. The feeling of needing to know what the outcome will be because you don’t know where you are at the present. That’s a lot of fun in both a film and a book.

  • SP: If people wanted to follow what you’re doing, please let them know where they can keep tabs on you.

BG: Though I’m admittedly not the best at it I am on social media, but only one site. I don’t tweet, or instagram, snapchat, or use any other sites as I’m not sure I’d have the self-restraint not to say exactly what I’m thinking all the time if it was available to me. I believe mystery is still one of an actor’s greatest assets; knowing too much about a person can muddle the lines, eliminate the delineation of characters I play, and steal some of that mystery. Plus I like to keep people guessing, it’s my job.

About the Premiere:
World Premiere of THE CURSED MAN movie – Alex Theatre in Glendale, CA. Halloween Night October 31, 2016 – 7pm to 11pm – Party before and after. This may be the greatest movie premiere on Halloween Night in the History of the Alex Theatre.  For more information about the venue, please see: http://www.alextheatre.org/

tcm_fc newAbout the Book:
Alister Kunkle 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.

About the Author:
Keith Rommel is an award-winning author of ten novels and is an award-winning screenwriter. His writing has been called, “Horror for the curious mind.” His first two novels, The Cursed Man and The Lurking Man are at various stages of production to become motion pictures. 2016.

The Cursed Man
Authored by Keith Rommel
List Price: $14.95
5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Black & White on White paper
222 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620063682
ISBN-10: 1620063689
BISAC: Fiction / Thrillers

About The Cursed Man Movie (2016):

MV5BMTQzNDYxNjkyMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDE2MDUxMjE@._V1_UY268_CR6,0,182,268_AL_Alister Kunkle believes death is in love with him. A simple smile from friend or stranger is all it takes to encourage death to kill.

Director: James L. Perry

Stars: Brahm Gallagher, Brinna LockeMaritza Brikisak

The special edition movie premiere cover are only available through October.
For more information about the novel, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/The-Cursed-Man-PAPERBACK…

For more information about the movie, please see:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2614902/combined

For more information about Keith Rommel, please see:

http://keithrommel.weebly.com/

Read Full Post »

Sunbury Press: When you came into The Cursed Man movie, you’d already been in a very popular movie. Can you tell everyone what movie that is?

headshot3 edited without bowJim Tavare:  My biggest movie role to date was Tom the Innkeeper in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban but maybe The Cursed Man will change all that!  The Potter franchise has been very good to me despite being on screen for a mere 5 minutes. My kids went to all the after parties and met Snape and Dumbledore, I still sign at Harry Potter conventions all over the world and the royalties come in handy too!

SP: You play the role of ‘Terry’ in The Cursed Man movie. Can you tell us a little about the character?

JT: Terry is the janitor of the hospital. He fights hard to preserve the status quo of the institution he has worked in for many years but things change when the Cursed Man is admitted….

SP: You have a very successful career outside of acting. Can you tell everyone what you do?

JT:  When I first left drama school (RADA) I found the idea of waiting around for the phone to ring a little soul destroying so I embarked on a long stand-up comedy career culminating in my own TV series on BBC and a finalist spot on Last Comic Standing in the US. I’ve since built fans stateside and am able to eke out a pretty good living because acting can be a fickle mistress. I have played in the front of HM the Queen on several occasions and even briefly acquired a reputation as Prince Charles’ favourite comic.

SP: Producer Jim Perry just announced the release date as being October 31st … Halloween night, 2016 at the Alex Theater in Glendale, CA. Can we expect to see you there and what do you think of the venue?

JT: I will most certainly be there because I live right around the corner!  I’m excited because I have two films for release on Halloween.

SP: I know people are curious how comedians come up with material. How do you develop material to present to audiences?

JT: A lot of my material comes from my everyday experiences. I found when I moved to the US I found an entirely new angle of being the Englishman abroad and this led to a considerable amount of material. I use music in my act to punctuate my comedy. Think I’m the only comic in the world who does stand-up with an upright bass.

SP: Can you tell us what it was like to be on the set of Harry Potter, how well the costume fit and whether or not you got to keep it?

JT: My costume was fun to wear and I was in make-up about 3 hours in make each day.  When I first joined the cast Alfonso Cuaron told me his favourite movie was the The Young Frankenstein. I said “Hey – mine too!”
He said “Then just do Igor!”
That is where my huge hump came from.
I got to keep one or two of my costume items form the set – namely my prosthetic ears but they disintegrated after about 3 months. I also got to keep the silver garters that held my shirt sleeves up although I think my kids have them now.

SP: What is it like behind the scenes when filming a feature?


JT: Waiting, waiting and more waiting…
Stand-up comedy is way more solitary than acting but in a movie it’s fun being part of a team and a piece of the jigsaw that completes the story. I really like to collaborate with actors, writers and directors. Acting in film is very technical too and you never stop learning from other people.

SP: Did you find anything ‘special’ about the character of Terry you played in The Cursed Man movie?

JT: I always try to find some common ground between me and the character I’m playing. I try and make it interesting, however small the role. Acting is about making interesting choices.

SP: Please tell everyone what you are up to and where they can find out more about you and follow your career.

JT: I have a number of movies in production right now including a nice role in I Spit On Your Grave: Deja Vu and I’m currently working with Grammy Award winning singer Shelby Lynne on her movie The Magnificent Room. I’m always touring my comedy around the world. New tour dates can be found at jimtavare.org  or there’s always Twitter….

About the Premiere:
World Premiere of THE CURSED MAN movie – Alex Theatre in Glendale, CA. Halloween Night October 31, 2016 – 7pm to 11pm – Party before and after. This may be the greatest movie premiere on Halloween Night in the History of the Alex Theatre.  For more information about the venue, please see: http://www.alextheatre.org/

tcm_fc newAbout the Book:
Alister Kunkle 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.

About the Author:
Keith Rommel is an award-winning author of ten novels and is an award-winning screenwriter. His writing has been called, “Horror for the curious mind.” His first two novels, The Cursed Man and The Lurking Man are at various stages of production to become motion pictures. 2016.

The Cursed Man
Authored by Keith Rommel
List Price: $14.95
5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Black & White on White paper
222 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620063682
ISBN-10: 1620063689
BISAC: Fiction / Thrillers

About The Cursed Man Movie (2016):

MV5BMTQzNDYxNjkyMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDE2MDUxMjE@._V1_UY268_CR6,0,182,268_AL_Alister Kunkle believes death is in love with him. A simple smile from friend or stranger is all it takes to encourage death to kill.

Director: James L. Perry

Stars: Brahm Gallagher, Brinna LockeMaritza Brikisak

The special edition movie premiere cover are only available through October.
For more information about the novel, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/The-Cursed-Man-PAPERBACK…

For more information about the movie, please see:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2614902/combined

For more information about Keith Rommel, please see:

http://keithrommel.weebly.com/

Read Full Post »

Sunbury Press: Soon after you completed the filming of The Cursed Man, you had something major happen to you and your career. Can you please tell everyone what that is?

ConnellRuth Connell: Um well…I landed the role of “Rowena” in Supernatural which has completely changed my life and for the better!

SP: You play the role of Bonnie in The Cursed Man movie. Can you tell people who Bonnie is and what her role is in the movie?

RC: I liked the name Bonnie when I got cast as it sounds a bit Scottish already. I thought she was an interesting person to play in that she is a receptionist at the lets say the ‘dodgy’ Hospital and I could see there was scope to color her in creatively. These ‘smaller’ characters can have nuggets of joy within them – there is a freedom to test ideas when you don’t have as much plot responsibility.

SP: In the filming of either Supernatural or The Cursed Man, have you had anything on set that really stands out in your mind?

RC: I really liked James the Director of The Cursed Man and remember his wife catering for all of us when we were shooting in his house  – that was really touching. That and hanging out a bit with Jim Tavare and my new wee pal Ian Watson. The whole cast and crew were really open and friendly which is to be applauded and wished for on every set – Supernatural is the same and it makes all the difference in the world.

SP: If you had to place The Cursed Man into a specific genre, what would that be?

RC: I think it’s a law unto itself!

SP: What is it like to see yourself on television and on the big screen? Do you find yourself critical of your performance?

RC: Yup! Sometimes it’s useful to see where the work needs to go further. Mostly it’s hard not to hate on your own face blown up large and detailed!

SP: Do you have any big surprises coming up in the near future that you can mention to your fans?

RC: Well I already came back to life on Supernatural – that was a tricky spoiler to keep to myself for so long in front of so many people especially at the conventions with the fans.

SP: What do you find appealing about The Cursed Man? If anything, why do you think readers should give it a read before the movie comes out?

RC: I really enjoyed reading the book – if you like Supernatural and some of the themes of death and the devil, there is plenty for you in The Cursed Man.

SP: If you have any closing comments, the floor is yours.

RC: Ah – its been a pleasure to meet and work with the lovely people involved in The Cursed Man. Well done to Jim for getting it made and to Keith for writing it in the first place!

About the Premiere:
World Premiere of THE CURSED MAN movie – Alex Theatre in Glendale, CA. Halloween Night October 31, 2016 – 7pm to 11pm – Party before and after. This may be the greatest movie premiere on Halloween Night in the History of the Alex Theatre.  For more information about the venue, please see: http://www.alextheatre.org/

tcm_fc newAbout the Book:
Alister Kunkle 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.

About the Author:
Keith Rommel is an award-winning author of ten novels and is an award-winning screenwriter. His writing has been called, “Horror for the curious mind.” His first two novels, The Cursed Man and The Lurking Man are at various stages of production to become motion pictures. 2016.

The Cursed Man
Authored by Keith Rommel
List Price: $14.95
5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Black & White on White paper
222 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620063682
ISBN-10: 1620063689
BISAC: Fiction / Thrillers

About The Cursed Man Movie (2016):

MV5BMTQzNDYxNjkyMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDE2MDUxMjE@._V1_UY268_CR6,0,182,268_AL_Alister Kunkle believes death is in love with him. A simple smile from friend or stranger is all it takes to encourage death to kill.

Director: James L. Perry

Stars: Brahm Gallagher, Brinna LockeMaritza Brikisak

The special edition movie premiere cover are only available through October.
For more information about the novel, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/The-Cursed-Man-PAPERBACK…

For more information about the movie, please see:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2614902/combined

For more information about Keith Rommel, please see:

http://keithrommel.weebly.com/

Read Full Post »

Sunbury Press: Your role as “Michael” in The Cursed Man movie is that of a pivotal character in the story. Without giving away any spoilers, can you tell everyone a little something about the role you play?

Ian Watson TheatricalIan Watson: Oh my. That’s very difficult. There is a lot more to Michael than meets the eye but I shall do my best. Michael is an orderly responsible for taking care of Alister Kunkle (our “Cursed Man”) at the SunnySide Mental Institution. He cares about Alister and is deeply sympathetic to his mental disorder. That is a very shallow description but I shall leave it at that so I don’t reveal any spoilers.

SP: What was the most enjoyable and challenging parts of working on this film?

IW: The entire process was enjoyable! The Cursed Man has a very special place in my heart. It’s the first film I booked after graduating UCSB (go Gauchos!) so my entire family and I were all so excited! Also, the entire cast and crew are all so amazingly talented and kind people that every day on set and every scene shot really was a treat. The most challenging part (but still enjoyable) was playing the complex realities that exist in The Cursed Man world. There are elements that happen in this movie that would never happen in real life so playing the reality of those situations was a fun but challenging part of the film.

SP: You’ve done quite a bit of work since the filming of The Cursed Man was completed. Can you tell us what you’ve been up to?

IW: I’ve been lucky! Most recently, a film I have a supporting role in, Boned (trust me it’s not a porn) was released on iTunes and Amazon. The film is really well done and was directed and written by an amazing artist, Laura Lee Bahr. Also, I get to play a badass Goth, so what more can you want! Also released this year on iTunes and Amazon, I appeared in the film Selfie Shootout. I got to play the beautiful yet cunning Tiffany who wins the heart of one of the selfie judges. I had an absolute blast playing her! I have a couple of other films in post-production but those release dates are still TBD. Oh and I also have had the pleasure to play a multitude of “creepy” characters on different Investigation Discovery Channel shows which has been really fun.

SP: Come Halloween night, 2016, the premiere of The Cursed Man movie is going to hit the big screen at the Alex Theater in Glendale CA. What are your thoughts about seeing yourself on a screen … So large?

IW: It’s intimidating but very exciting! I can’t wait to see the finished product and hopefully a lot of familiar faces from the cast and crew.

SP: If you had to sum up The Cursed Man in a few words, what comes to mind?

IW: A glimpse into a man’s personal psychological thriller.

SP: When playing such a significant role as you have in The Cursed Man movie, can you tell everyone what sort of preparations you need to make before getting in set?

IW: Well, every actor has their own process. In every role I do, I always answer Uta Hagan’s Nine questions: Who am I?, What time is it?, Where am I?, What surrounds me?, What are the given circumstances?, What is my relationship?, What do I want?, What is in my way?, and What do I do to get what I want?. Then I add a tenth question, what is at stake? This gives me a really good foundation going into every scene. For this film specifically, I read the book to get as much information about my character as possible. The book is amazing by the way! If you haven’t read it, you’re missing out! I also, read a lot of information on mental health.

SP: Besides acting and trying to land your next big gig, what do you like to do in your spare time?

IW: I love improvisation and sketch comedy. I’m taking classes at the moment and writing just for fun. I love doing anything that’s creative. So, all the cliche things, dancing, singing, painting (I’m terrible).

SP: Do you believe Alister is cursed?

IW: I believe Alister believes he’s cursed. We can just leave it at that 😉

SP: We would like to give you the final word and pass any message along to your fans as well as fans of The Cursed Man. The floor is yours …

IW: Thanks for the awesome interview! And thank you to anyone who read it all the way through. I hope everyone thoroughly enjoys the film. It was created by an amazing group of actors and filmmakers who put in a lot of hard and great work. Oh, and follow me on twitter, @IanTWatson.

About the Premiere:
World Premiere of THE CURSED MAN movie – Alex Theatre in Glendale, CA. Halloween Night October 31, 2016 – 7pm to 11pm – Party before and after. This may be the greatest movie premiere on Halloween Night in the History of the Alex Theatre.  For more information about the venue, please see: http://www.alextheatre.org/

tcm_fc newAbout the Book:
Alister Kunkle 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.

About the Author:
Keith Rommel is an award-winning author of ten novels and is an award-winning screenwriter. His writing has been called, “Horror for the curious mind.” His first two novels, The Cursed Man and The Lurking Man are at various stages of production to become motion pictures. 2016.

The Cursed Man
Authored by Keith Rommel
List Price: $14.95
5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Black & White on White paper
222 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620063682
ISBN-10: 1620063689
BISAC: Fiction / Thrillers

About The Cursed Man Movie (2016):

MV5BMTQzNDYxNjkyMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDE2MDUxMjE@._V1_UY268_CR6,0,182,268_AL_Alister Kunkle believes death is in love with him. A simple smile from friend or stranger is all it takes to encourage death to kill.

Director: James L. Perry

Stars: Brahm Gallagher, Brinna LockeMaritza Brikisak

The special edition movie premiere cover are only available through October.
For more information about the novel, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/The-Cursed-Man-PAPERBACK…

For more information about the movie, please see:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2614902/combined

For more information about Keith Rommel, please see:

http://keithrommel.weebly.com/

Read Full Post »

Sunbury Press: Sunbury Press: Can you tell the reading audience who you play in The Cursed Man movie and how you approached preparing yourself in bringing the character to the big screen?

MBMaritza Brikisak: I’ll try to answer this and all the other questions without giving too much information away, I don’t want to spoil all the amazing surprises The Cursed Man is bringing to the screen. I play two characters, Alister’s Mom and Death. One challenge for me was to make my two characters distinctive enough and for ‘Death’ to feel more human than supernatural. So my approach was to make the ‘monster’ makeup subtle so not to lose the human connection I wanted to have between the two characters.

SP: Filming can be chaotic. Please share with us one of the funniest moments in the filming process, if there was one.

MB: Nothing specific comes to mind. The set was friendly and pleasant but like you indicated, the hectic schedule didn’t allow for blooper moments.

SP: If you had to pick a favorite thing about the character that you played, what would that be?

MB: I seem to enjoy playing ‘monsters’ a lot more than playing humans ☺ I think that’s because of all the makeup and the character transformation that comes with that type of role. I find it very liberating. You can be big, very expressive and loud while portraying the life of the character. When playing ‘human’ all emotions need to be contained and controlled. I applied for the role of ‘Death’ when I auditioned for the film. I was surprised when I learned later that I’ll also be playing ‘Alister’s mom’.

SP: Please tell the reading audience what you are up to now and what is coming down the pike.

MB: I am fortunate I am always working. I just finished playing ‘Juana’ in Felix Martiz’s short film ‘Kiko’, about a family broken up by immigration. I am currently working on the web series ‘True Passage’ in Michigan which is bringing awareness to the Foster Care Program; I filmed two episodes and am returning in May to continue. I am also working on my own film The Lurking Man. I play the lead role of ‘Cailean’, an abusive alcoholic mother who is given a chance at redemption if she accepts the job of ‘Death’. Based on the Novel by Keith Rommel of the same name. Keith and I wrote the original screenplay and was awarded first prize at the Zed Festival, so we are starting with a strong foundation. We are aiming for a 2017 release.

SP: If there was anything you had to say to someone reading this interview about The Cursed Man, what would that be?

MB: I am very excited to see it. Making a feature is a long process. It takes years. I can’t wait to see what Jim Perry (producer/director) has created. We caught glances here and there and it looks amazing!

SP: You have been in the business a long time and have played many characters in many movies. If people wanted to learn more about you, where can they go to gain that information?

MB: All my life and work is on my website at http://www.maritzaweb.com it has links to everything including my personal FB and IMDb (www.imdb.me/maritza). I am reachable and findable as well.

SP: What do you find appealing about The Cursed Man?

MB: I am a huge fan of psychological thrillers a la ‘Sixth Sense’, The Cursed Man is that type of film. A good solid story, with only enough special effects to create the fantasy and good characters played by wonderful actors … I am in great company!

SP: We’re giving you the floor. Is there anything you’d like to let readers know about yourself or anything else?

MB: Always follow your dreams, and like what you do. Happiness is inevitable that way.☺

About the Premiere:
World Premiere of THE CURSED MAN movie – Alex Theatre in Glendale, CA. Halloween Night October 31, 2016 – 7pm to 11pm – Party before and after. This may be the greatest movie premiere on Halloween Night in the History of the Alex Theatre.  For more information about the venue, please see: http://www.alextheatre.org/

tcm_fc newAbout the Book:
Alister Kunkle 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.

About the Author:
Keith Rommel is an award-winning author of ten novels and is an award-winning screenwriter. His writing has been called, “Horror for the curious mind.” His first two novels, The Cursed Man and The Lurking Man are at various stages of production to become motion pictures. 2016.

The Cursed Man
Authored by Keith Rommel
List Price: $14.95
5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Black & White on White paper
222 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620063682
ISBN-10: 1620063689
BISAC: Fiction / Thrillers

About The Cursed Man Movie (2016):

MV5BMTQzNDYxNjkyMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDE2MDUxMjE@._V1_UY268_CR6,0,182,268_AL_Alister Kunkle believes death is in love with him. A simple smile from friend or stranger is all it takes to encourage death to kill.

Director: James L. Perry

Stars: Brahm Gallagher, Brinna LockeMaritza Brikisak

The special edition movie premiere cover are only available through October.
For more information about the novel, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/The-Cursed-Man-PAPERBACK…

For more information about the movie, please see:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2614902/combined

For more information about Keith Rommel, please see:

http://keithrommel.weebly.com/

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Sunbury Press: You started your career at a very young age and have many talents. Can you share some of the talents you apply to your blossoming career in movies, commercials, and your  everyday life?

Paris Bravo

Paris Bravo

Paris Bravo: Martial Arts, Weapons, Stunt work and Dancing have been crucial to being successful in this industry. I have booked many jobs with those skill sets. My parents have made me very well-rounded by playing several sports like: basketball, soccer, softball, flag football and CHEER. I am also learning guitar, cello and piano. Being an athlete has helped me in my everyday life by being focused, fit and has made it easier to work on roles that require a ton of energy.

SP: The Cursed Man movie is a psychological suspense thriller with some horror elements. How did you feel about playing in a film of a dark nature?

PB:  At the time I had never worked on a dark theatrical role. It was a new challenge and has helped me in obtaining other roles. I thought it was pretty cool to be a part of such an amazing role…especially a novel turning into a movie. Some of the scenes were pretty scary for a kid but I could not wait to find what would happen in the next scene.

SP: In preparing for your role as Michael’s daughter (Ian Watson), what sort of preparation did you have to go through to understand the character you were playing?

PB:  I prepared for the role by reading the book with my parents to learn the acting style/genre. I also worked with Ian Watson to get a feel for him as my dad. I also envisioned something happening to my parents to make the role more believable.

SP: Do your parents help you in anyway in giving you advice in ‘how’ they think you should approach the way you act or portray certain characters?

PB: Yes, my parents help me a ton. We run lines and we all give our opinions. We all become the characters and pick the scene a part. On occasion I have had to hire an acting coach to assist and guide me in the right direction of what the Director is looking for.

SP: What is the most memorable moment for you in the filming of The Cursed Man?

PB: The most memorable moment for me was when “Duppy/Dr.Anna Lee began to choke my “Mom” in a scene. At first it really scared me, it was so intense. Then they were all done and everyone was laughing.

SP: If fans wanted to connect and follow you, please let them know how and where they need to go.

PB:  I have social media accounts: Instagram: ParisBravoOfficial  | Twitter: @BravoParis | FB: Paris Bravo |  Musical.ly: parisbravoninja

SP: The premiere is taking place at the Alex Theater in Glendale, CA. The theater is large and seats 2,500 people. What are your thoughts on the location of the premiere, the capacity and the idea that it is taking place on Halloween night?

PB:  Having it on Halloween Night will make it even more COOL! This movie is dark and scary, PERFECT for Halloween. The location is beautiful and I cant wait to see the final product.  I hope to see Mr. Rommel there. I was born in Orlando, FL and moved to Los Angeles at age 7 1/2 to follow my dreams. I am excited for the premier. Do we come dressed up in fancy clothes or shall we come in masquerade?

SP: Out of all the special talents you have, pick the one talent that you think expresses who you are as a person the most.

PB:   I think that Martial Arts is the one talent expresses who I am the most as I am strong, confident, respectful, communicate well, I am dedicated, I persevere and learn multiple steps very easy. Martial arts helps keep up my competitive edge.

About the Premiere:
World Premiere of THE CURSED MAN movie – Alex Theatre in Glendale, CA. Halloween Night October 31, 2016 – 7pm to 11pm – Party before and after. This may be the greatest movie premiere on Halloween Night in the History of the Alex Theatre.  For more information about the venue, please see: http://www.alextheatre.org/

tcm_fc newAbout the Book:
Alister Kunkle 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.

About the Author:
Keith Rommel is an award-winning author of ten novels and is an award-winning screenwriter. His writing has been called, “Horror for the curious mind.” His first two novels, The Cursed Man and The Lurking Man are at various stages of production to become motion pictures. 2016.

The Cursed Man
Authored by Keith Rommel
List Price: $14.95
5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Black & White on White paper
222 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620063682
ISBN-10: 1620063689
BISAC: Fiction / Thrillers

About The Cursed Man Movie (2016):

MV5BMTQzNDYxNjkyMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDE2MDUxMjE@._V1_UY268_CR6,0,182,268_AL_Alister Kunkle believes death is in love with him. A simple smile from friend or stranger is all it takes to encourage death to kill.

Director: James L. Perry

Stars: Brahm Gallagher, Brinna Locke,Maritza Brikisak

The special edition movie premiere cover are only available through October.
For more information about the novel, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/The-Cursed-Man-PAPERBACK…

For more information about the movie, please see:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2614902/combined

For more information about Keith Rommel, please see:

http://keithrommel.weebly.com/

Read Full Post »

Whether you’ve already fallen in love with medieval Spain or you have yet to meet the characters in Emeralds of the Alhambra, get ready for Dr. John Cressler’s newest book in the Anthems of al-Andalus series, Shadows in the Shining City. Book two of the ongoing series is a prequel to the story in Emeralds, but still explores and revives that special, peaceful time in history when religious and social coexistence was not only possible, but actually happening. Shadows in the Shining City is scheduled for a summer 2014 release, but meanwhile, check out the interview with the author, below.
Sunbury Press: Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions about your Anthems of al-Andalus series and specifically your newest book, Shadows in the Shining City. Apart from the “official” summary for book one, Emeralds of the Alhambra, can you give us a recap in your own words?

Dr. John Cressler: First, a bit of preamble. My historical fiction is intended to introduce readers to a remarkable, and for the most part, little-appreciated period of history: medieval Muslim Spain, a place known today as al-Andalus (Andalusia). This rich history, a Muslim history, spans almost 800 years, from 711 CE to 1492 CE, and had profound influence on the development of Europe and even America. The goal of my historical series, Anthems of al-Andalus, is to break open the rich history of al-Andalus for the modern reader by using compelling love stories.
Emeralds of the Alhambra, book one in the series, takes place towards the end of this 800 year history, between 1367-1369, a pivotal period in Spanish history known as the Castilian Civil War. This was a time when, remarkably, Muslims fought beside Christians against other Christians. The events of Emeralds unfold around the love story between a strong-willed Muslim princess of court, Layla al-Khatib, and a famous English knight, William Chandon. Their love story is set in the glorious Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. The Alhambra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the best preserved medieval Islamic palace in world (it still largely exists in its 14th century form), and is one of the most visited tourist sites in Europe. It is a magical place and was front and center in the 14th century Castilian Civil War . . . and it is a terrific location to set a love story! Chandon is seriously wounded and brought to the Alhambra to be used by the sultan as a political pawn. There he meets Layla. It is a forbidden love. Among other things, their love story explores the complexities of interfaith relationships (she is Muslim, he is Christian). In the end, there will be difficult choices to make, ones that not only affect their own relationship, but also the future of Muslim Spain. In my humble opinion, it’s a really great read.

Emeralds of the AlhambraSP: And for readers who are still unfamiliar with Emeralds of the Alhambra, here’s an excerpt , book trailer , and where to buy. Now, the same for your latest Anthems of al-Andalus book, Shadows in the Shining City, if you please . . .

JC: Again, some preamble. One of the most remarkable aspects of the 800 year history of Muslim Spain, al-Andalus, is that for a long stretch of time (a couple of centuries), Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived together in relative harmony and collectively helped launch one of the greatest intellectual and cultural flowerings of human history. That period of religious and cultural harmony is known today as convivencia (Spanish for ‘coexistence’). A casual glance at our world today, with its religious tensions and conflict, suggests that peace never was and never will be possible among Muslims, Jews, and Christians. However, peaceful coexistence did happen, for a long time, and I view it as vital for us as a global community in the 21st century to recall that fact. One of the central themes of my fiction is this rediscovery of convivencia as it unfolded in al-Andalus.
Shadows in the Shining City is a prequel to Emeralds of the Alhambra, and is set in late 10th century Córdoba (975 CE – 977 CE). It was a remarkable place and period. Muslim Córdoba was the largest, richest, cleanest, and most cultured city in Europe—by far. The Muslim Caliphs were collectors and lovers of books and knowledge, literature and art, and that diverse, multicultural society made pioneering contributions to medicine, science, agriculture, literature, and the arts. Jews, even today, consider this period of living in a Muslim kingdom to be their Golden Age. Jews and Christians were valued and welcomed members of that society. Like Emeralds, Shadows breaks open this rich history using love stories—in this case three running in parallel! The central love story involves Rayhana Abi Abir (a young Muslim woman of standing at court) and Zafir Saffar (a freed slave). In Shadows, I use this central love story to explore class differences in this fascinating society. I also show how one ambitious man orchestrated the unraveling of this great society; it is an archetypal tale of power and greed. Shadows is also a GREAT read!

Shadows in the Shining City

SP: And for readers who can’t wait to peek at your newest book, check out this excerpt and the Shadows in the Shining City book trailer . Now, Shadows is a prequel to Emeralds . . . was it part of your intended series structure all along to write one love story first and then follow up with its prequel or does your series structure evolve in response to each book? Please go on about your intentions for the structure for the remainder of the series.

JC: Actually, making book two a prequel was always the plan. So Anthems of al-Andalus is not a classical (sequential) trilogy. As I said, my aim is to break open 800 years of history. I started in 1367, but wanted then to go back and contrast that time period with this Golden Age in the late 10th century. I knew this before I began book one. I also wanted to show where my characters in Emeralds came from and how they ended up in Granada. The setting for book three in the series was also decided up front. I will jump back over Emeralds and into the future to 1492, to witness the fall of Granada and the Alhambra and show how the 800 history of al-Andalus ends. The descendants of the characters in Emeralds will figure in book three. I will say that this is a series, not a trilogy, so I do intend on writing books four through six, but the settings for those have not been decided yet. There are many fascinating options!

SP: Both books focus on central love stories set during historically significant times that highlight relationships among practitioners of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Why is it important to you to use a romantic love story as the central focus of the books? What do you think the element of romance lends to the broader history? What do you hope the reader draws from the romantic relationships and the other types of relationships in the books?

JC: The two central themes of my fiction include: 1) re-awakening the dynamic interaction among the three Abrahamic faith traditions in medieval Muslim Spain, and hopefully through that experience inviting readers to imagine a different future for our modern world (i.e., can convivencia be resurrected today, and if so, how?); and 2) exploring the nature of love. If you stop and think about it, these two themes are strongly connected, since at the deepest level, all religion has love at its core: the love of self, love of the other, and love of God. I believe the history of medieval Spain is fascinating in its own right, but rather than create a history book (I began my writing career with five non-fiction books), I wanted to awaken those memories using fiction, which, if well-executed, can much more easily bring history alive for most folks, allowing readers to literally step into events and see for themselves what it must have been like. Centering my fiction on love stories, especially love stories that cross religious and class boundaries, serves as an ideal vehicle for exploring these broader themes while simultaneously producing a compelling must-read. Truth be told, love knows no artificial boundaries; religious, cultural, class, or race, and hence is the ideal plot device to explore my basic themes. As a side note, I have been greatly blessed in my life with a 31+ year romance with my wife and soul mate, Maria. So, tapping into that experience was easy for me. I have found that writing love stories is a very satisfying way to reawaken that flood of memories from our early days together. Ahhh, young love! And simply put, writing romance is a ton of fun! But, even though my novels have some serious romance in them, it is history first, romance second, and hence I consider my novels historical fiction, not historical romance.

SP: An important distinction. What, if any, are the contemporary connections you have tried to make in terms of the relationships among the peoples/religions/cultures depicted in your book (and now)? What are the modern implications in your historical fiction?

JC: I am very much concerned with interfaith dialogue and inter-religious dynamics in our broken modern world, which so often seems to spawn conflict and shameful atrocities (e.g., Syria, Israel, Gaza, etc.). So, yes, my fiction is intended to help folks remember that the conflict we see today was not always so, and that a different future is indeed possible if we desire another answer. That is not to say that we can necessarily recreate what existed in medieval Spain, but it does mean that what we see today is not mandated; it can be different if we dare to imagine it. In my mind, remembering the simple fact of convivencia in al-Andalus is a powerful incentive to try and create a different future. Imagine for a moment a world without religious conflict. Seems hard, but that is the invitation in my fiction.

SP: So you approach each book with a moral/lesson/goal in mind? How do you go about weaving your opinions and ideals into the narratives?

JC: The broader themes—inter-religious dynamics and the nature of romantic relationships—were present in my fiction from day one and manifest in each of my novels. But, these are obviously VERY broad and complex themes and can be explored in so many ways. So, each novel will attack this problem from different angles. For instance, in Emeralds the love story is across religious boundaries (Muslim woman, Christian man); in Shadows, the central love story is across class boundaries (they are both Muslim, but one is high-born, the other a freed slave). I would say that my themes are not overt in my plot or characters; I am first and foremost trying to bring a period of history alive in front of the reader and invite them to step into that history. Second, I am trying to make it a compelling page-turner. But, the reader will always be able to discern my two themes at work, weaving in and out of the characters and plot.

SP: Excellent. What are your overall goals for the Anthems of al-Andalus series? What inspires you to write these books about these topics? Could you sum up the whole series (so far)? I know that’s probably difficult, so bonus points for answering.

JC: Ultimately, I want to show how medieval Muslim Spain came to be, how it flourished and what that means to our modern world, and how it then fell apart and why. It is an 800 year history with tremendous nuance and fascinating complexity. Plus, it is a history largely unknown to most readers. So, that is the goal: revive this history in a way that makes it fun to read.

SP: What should we expect from your next book?

JC: I am already working on my research for book three and beginning to mull over plot lines. It will be set around 1492, back in Granada during the fall of the Muslim kingdom. It is a riveting time period with MANY interesting topics to address: the conquest of the Muslim kingdom and the Alhambra Palace by Ferdinand and Isabella (lots of battles and conspiracy), the launch of Columbus’ discovery of the New World (he received his commission in Granada in 1492 at the fall), the Inquisition (which is launched to address the issues with the Jews in the Muslim kingdom), the ultimate decision (it was largely political) leading to the great Diaspora of the Sephardic Jews, and the collapse and expulsion of all Muslims from Spain. The list is long. I am still mulling over what kind of love story(-ies) I will unfold along the way. But the descendants of the first two books will be front and center. Trust me: it will be a roller coaster ride!

SP: Looking forward to it. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

JC: Sure, here’s something. As a professor for 22 years now, I have done a tremendous amount of research and teaching and mentoring of young people, as well as my fair share of writing (five non-fiction books and over 500 scientific papers). I have found, however, that my fiction is the single most creatively satisfying thing I have ever done in my life. It has become my lifeblood and will be with me from now until I die! And I am grateful to Lawrence Knorr and Sunbury Press for helping me bring my vision to the world. It has been a fantastic ride thus far!

SP: Thanks again for the insights to your latest book, Shadows in the Shining City (pre-order a copy!) and your series as a whole.

 

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