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Vero Beach, FL — Sunbury Press has released The Silent Woman, Keith Rommel’s fourth novel in the Thanatology series of psychological thrillers. The first two books, The Cursed Man and The Lurking Man, have already been made into Hollywood movies and are winning awards on the festival circuit. Both movies are slated for release and distribution later this year. The third novel, The Sinful Man, is scheduled for filming in April.

About the Book:

The past. 

A little girl is nearly kidnapped. A wild man runs loose, terrorizing a neighborhood. An older sister stops at nothing to protect her younger sibling from outsiders. 

The present.

A woman sits in a prison cell, left to rot alongside a ruthless tormentor on a mission to break her. But, little does she know, the prison holds more insidious monsters than the beastly cellmate who steals her food and trades away her belongings for seemingly irrelevant trinkets. 

The past.

Secret murders. A clandestine friendship. A broken pact between sisters. In an effort to cover up a string of devious acts, an unlikely coalition unites to bury their shared dark past. 

The present.

A woman continues to be tortured by her mocking bunkmate, as well as by her own past—and all the things she can’t recall about it. What has she done? Why is she here? Where is she? As she ponders and pieces together the mysteries of her history, she traverses a place that incarcerates her not only physically but also forces her deeper into the prison of her own mind.

 

The Silent Woman: A Psychological Thriller

Authored by Keith Rommel
List Price: $14.95
5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm) 
Black & White on White paper
204 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620064412 
ISBN-10: 1620064413 
BISAC: Fiction / Thrillers
For more information, please see:

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WOODS HOLE, Mass. — Sunbury Press has released the climate fiction (Cli-Fi) thriller Ice Canyon Monster, Keith Rommel’s novella about the consequences of global warming.

What Others Are Saying:
When a Greenland shaman decides to fight back against global warming and the harm it is doing to his people, a powerful series of events unfolds in this cli-fi thriller. Keith Rommel knows how to spin a great yarn!
– Dan Bloom, The Cli-Fi Report

About the Book:
icm_fcHUNGER WILL BRING ANYTHING TO THE SURFACE …
The Eskimo people of Greenland have grown tired of the damage being done to their country. Global warming from emissions that stem from the shipping lanes that run between Canada and Greenland has made people that live close to the coast sick. Cancer, asthma and as many as 5,000 deaths a year have been attributed to this pollution. A single cargo ship in one year burns more emissions than 50 million gasoline burning vehicles.

When Akutak, a Greenlandic Shaman Eskimo, decides to take action against the things that are destroying his country, he uses the ancient arts and creates a tupilak and with it and conjures a curse. Designed in the form of an octopus, this Goliath is going to become Greenland’s guardian and do everything within its power to stop the erosion of the ice sheet.

But not everyone sees the Tupilak Octopus as a champion and they seek to destroy it. But the only way to destroy it is to conjure something more powerful and Akutak may be Greenland’s most powerful shaman.

This novelette is part of the Cli-Fi movement and contains stunning facts surrounding Greenland and the danger this beautiful country faces from big oil to overused shipping lanes. Akutak and his Tupilak Octopus has one message: leave Greenland alone! – Read this highly educational novel with a great fiction story intertwined within the startling facts.

Excerpt:
Akutak knelt down on the hard, cold surface of a mountainous ice sheet that overlooked the valley’s deep ice canyon. A large rivulet carried fast-moving glacial water, and the sound of the running river was loud enough to reach Akutak even at this altitude.

Located in the interior of Greenland, beneath the ice sheet and river flow, was a canyon that snaked around and reached the Petermann Glacier on the northern coast. The water melt also flowed beneath the ice and was released into the Arctic Ocean.

True to old tradition almost lost throughout the centuries, Akutak wore the skins of animals that were captured for their meat. The skins were sewn together by his wife. She was a skilled seamstress and made him kamiks, trousers and anoraks, gloves and a hat. It was her skill that protected him against the harsh elements and kept him alive. Knowing she made the clothing, the frigid cold was of no concern; in Greenland it is said a man is what his wife makes him.

Opening the flap of an animal skin sack that was slung over his shoulder, he peered inside and saw what he had placed there before he left home at first light.

The wind whipped and reminded Akutak that where he was was inhospitable and unwelcoming. But still, he continued to move forward with the plan that took him nearly two years to complete; shrouded in silence even to his kin. What he created and what he was about to do was never shared with anyone else. It couldn’t be because that was the way.

He carefully reached into his sack and pulled out a hand-sized tupilaq. This carefully handmade avenging monster was created to keep people away from his native land, which was shrinking each year because of global warming.

The shaman began to chant in his native tongue of Inuit. He called forth in a repeated rhythmic sound, reciting his desire to make those who caused it to pay for what his country was suffering. He wanted to instill fear and summoned a beast, large and unstoppable, filled with the rage of his ancestors. This beast would do terrible things to keep people away from Greenland.

He looked at the tupilaq, made the traditional way to ensure its effectiveness; the design represented exactly what he foresaw as being the bringer of fear and order, death, and a reluctance to challenge the waters around Greenland. Made from carved bone, dried and stretched skin, woven hair and sinew, the totem even contained parts from dead children.

Drawing himself close to the ridge, each footfall carefully placed so as not to plunge to his death, his chant continued as he looked over the edge and into the clear water. He held onto the tupilaq, looked at his work one last time to make sure it was good enough, and then held it out and released it over the flowing water.

About the Author:
Keith Rommel is the author of numerous fiction thrillers, best known for his Thanatology Series, which includes The Cursed Man, and The Lurking Man, both of which are becoming Hollywood movies. Keith is also a screenwriter.

Ice Canyon Monster
Authored by Keith Rommel
List Price: $9.99
5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
136 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620067222
ISBN-10: 1620067226
BISAC: Fiction / Sea Stories

Also available on Kindle

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Ice-Canyon-Monster-9781620067222.htm

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.Oct. 24, 2015PRLog — Sunbury Press has released Keith Rommel’s second installment about the Devil Tree entitledThe Devil Tree II: The Calling, a super-natural thriller.

tdt2_fcWhat drives someone to kill? Is it something within them, or an outside force that influences them?

One of Florida’s most overlooked serial killers (Gerard John Schaefer) wrought havoc along the Treasure Coast and Hutchinson Island in the 1970s. His reign of terror consisted of unspeakable acts of torture, rape, and murder by an ancient oak tree. He hanged people there, buried their bodies, and came back often to pillage what remained. It is believed that Schaefer’s evil seeped into the tree and surrounding area, leaving a blemish on the otherwise beautiful nature walk in Oak Hammock Park in Port Saint Lucie. When night descends around the tree, the atmosphere changes completely; hundreds of stories are offered up about personal experiences of a true-life haunting.

Continuing with the legend that is pulled into modern day, Satanists commune by the tree in honor of their fallen idol. Terrible things happen around the tree, which seems to have a certain allure to it . . . making peoplecommit unimaginable acts.

This sick and grizzly legend is so deep, so convoluted and wicked, you won’t believe what you read. Whatever you do, don’t visit the Devil Tree after dusk. You will never be the same. This is not just a blurb for the back of a book, but a warning from many people–including uniformed officers who have come forth to share their experiences at the tree. I have seen both confusion and truth in their eyes.

This is a must-read series for all Floridians and those intrigued by legends, the supernatural, and the occult.

EXCERPT:

tgt2_bandThe big oak tree remained firmly planted in the soil and blocked out the moonlight with its thick overhead canopy draped in Spanish moss. It towered there like a sentinel of bad omens with a history it didn’t ask for and a reputation it couldn’t shake.

A dozen people gathered around, all dressed in long black robes with silk, ropelike belts with tassels and red plastic masks to disguise their faces. Two from the group placed candles around the tree and one followed behind them, lighting the candles. The flicker of candlelight added to the eerie scene that had begun to play out.

Everyone backed away and two others stepped forward. Unlike the others, their masks were white with a bloody teardrop underneath the left eyehole. They brushed away the leaves and acorns that covered the forest floor, sat down on the cool ground, and set a Ouija board between them.

Gentle fingers rested on the planchette, the small, heart-shaped movable indicator, and everyone around remained perfectly quiet. Palpable tension hung in the air as if something wicked shushed everyone with the promise of something terrible to come. The onlookers waited while the two chosen ones who had been called forth spoke to the Ouija board. With that, the ritual had begun.

“We have come here and gathered for you, and we respectfully ask that you give us a sign of your presence,” a male voice said, muted by the mask without a mouth hole.

The planchette started to move slowly, without purpose, and the leaders stared at each other.

“Have you been expecting us?” the female said and shook her masked head.

The Devil Tree II: The Calling
Authored by Keith Rommel
List Price: $19.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
202 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620066522
ISBN-10: 1620066521
BISAC: Fiction / Thrillers / Supernatural

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/The-Devil-Tree-II-The-Ca…

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.Keith Rommel’s latest novel, The Devil Tree, based on the Port St. Lucie, Florida legend is has been released in hardcover.

tdt_fcAbout the Book:
Back in the 1970s, 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 gory 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.”

Excerpt:
PICNIC
The past.
The big oak tree had crooked limbs that reached for the sky and a trunk over twenty feet in circumference. The thick canopy above blocked the midday sun, making the air seem ten degrees cooler than the scorching ninety-degree heat beating down from the hot Florida rays.

Port Saint Lucie was a quiet town and seemed to be a world within its own. Dirt roads and cheap housing had the allure to invite northern folks in hopes of escaping the bustle of city life, high costs of living, and the brutal cold winters that took their toll on the mind, body, and spirit.

For Marion, so far the change of pace was nothing short of perfect. The house she lived in was beautiful, her neighbors were pleasant; the air seemed cleaner and the sky a different kind of blue.

Looking at the ground surrounding the oak tree, she thought it the ideal spot to have a picnic with her two children, Bobby and Judy. She had Bobby carry the white and red checkered sheet, which was folded into a neat and manageable square. Judy helped by carrying the wicker picnic basket but struggled with the weight. Neither her mother or her brother offered to help her because she insisted she could do it and didn’t want help from anyone. Headstrong and full of temper, she was a handful.

Marion fiddled with a transistor radio and tried to get a clear signal so they could listen to music while they spent some quality family time on this perfect day out.

“Right here,” Marion said to Bobby, pointing at the flat ground underneath the giant oak. She mopped the sweat from her brow and looked up the hulking trunk and into the intricate weave of branches that was marvelous to the eyes. Spanish moss hung down, and if it wasn’t daytime the oak might have left the impression of a creepy Halloween prop.

Bobby placed the blanket down and did a fine job of getting all the wrinkles out of it. Marion assisted Judy in placing the basket down on the corner of the blanket, and although she didn’t say so, Marion thought she was thankful for the assistance.

She kicked off her shoes and stepped onto the squares and sat cross-legged. The ground was soft enough, and a coolness from the soil seeped up through the blanket, adding to the relief of being out of the direct sunlight.

“Yes, this is perfect,” Marion said, and the radio caught the marvelous chorus of “Norwegian Wood” by The Beatles. “Put your shoes off to the side before you step on the blanket,” she told the children. “I don’t want you tracking dirt all over the place before we eat.”

The kids did as they were told and Marion looked around, admiring the spot she had chosen. It was the first time she had been to this particular part of town and was glad she’d come across it. She had seen a couple of fishermen on her way in, tugging on the invisible lines they had cast and drinking Blue Ribbon beer. The men had looked over their shoulders at the sound of her car, but she had pulled far enough into the oversized lot that she couldn’t see them from her space.

The water in the canal looked clean enough to cool their feet if they needed, and the flow of water was slow enough that it posed little to no threat of sweeping them away. But she would decide whether or not they would go into the canal after the children had eaten and if they behaved well enough.

Bobby and Judy sat on the blanket, their legs folded Indian-style just like their mother. Bobby’s face lit up as he admired the giant oak and the things that dangled over him.

“Do you think I can climb it when we’re done eating?”

Marion thought about it. There was no question the tree was strong enough to hold him. But the sharp angles of the branches and clumps of Spanish moss made her nervous. She’d heard something about there being chiggers in moss. Despite the warm weather, she shivered just thinking about those nasty biting mites.

“I don’t know, Bobby, let Mommy think about it,” she said but already knew the answer to be no. She just didn’t want to start the picnic on a negative. “Let’s eat some lunch then afterward I’d like to go down to the water there and have a look. Maybe we can get our feet wet.”

“Neat, Mom,” Bobby said.

Static filled the Zenith 500 transistor radio, and Marion fiddled with the small dial, delicately turning it until the tuning was sharp. The Beatles came back to life and she couldn’t help but sing along in an emotional whisper.

She opened the basket and handed Bobby and Judy their bologna sandwiches, which were cut into fours. The children placed them into their laps and ate neatly and with manners.

“How did you find this place, Mom? It’s really neat,” Bobby said and was unable to keep his eyes out of the canopy. The tree seemed to invite him up the hefty trunk and into the tangle of branches. The vantage point from up there must be spectacular, he thought, and he bit into his sandwich with an ailing whine in an attempt to sway his mother’s thinking.

Marion ignored him and continued to take in her surroundings. Their 1966 Studebaker Wagonaire was parked about thirty yards away, cooking in the midday heat. She grabbed her own sandwich and unfolded the foil. As she sat there, taking tiny bites, a sudden chill rocked her body. The cold that came up through the ground and the shade of the giant oak maybe took away too much of the warmth, she decided. Marion looked at her children with the flesh goosed on her arms.

“Are you guys cold at all?”

“No,” Judy said. “It’s nice here. I like it, Mommy.”

“Yeah, Mom, it’s really neat here.”

The Devil Tree
Authored by Keith Rommel

List Price: $29.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
192 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620065884
ISBN-10: 1620065880
BISAC: Fiction / Occult & Supernatural

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/The-Devil-Tree-9781620065884.htm

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.Keith Rommel’s latest novel, The Devil Tree, based on the Port St. Lucie, Florida legend is now available for pre-order on the Kindle platform.

tdt_fcAbout the Book:
Back in the 1970s, 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 gory 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.”

Excerpt:
PICNIC
The past.
The big oak tree had crooked limbs that reached for the sky and a trunk over twenty feet in circumference. The thick canopy above blocked the midday sun, making the air seem ten degrees cooler than the scorching ninety-degree heat beating down from the hot Florida rays.

Port Saint Lucie was a quiet town and seemed to be a world within its own. Dirt roads and cheap housing had the allure to invite northern folks in hopes of escaping the bustle of city life, high costs of living, and the brutal cold winters that took their toll on the mind, body, and spirit.

For Marion, so far the change of pace was nothing short of perfect. The house she lived in was beautiful, her neighbors were pleasant; the air seemed cleaner and the sky a different kind of blue.

Looking at the ground surrounding the oak tree, she thought it the ideal spot to have a picnic with her two children, Bobby and Judy. She had Bobby carry the white and red checkered sheet, which was folded into a neat and manageable square. Judy helped by carrying the wicker picnic basket but struggled with the weight. Neither her mother or her brother offered to help her because she insisted she could do it and didn’t want help from anyone. Headstrong and full of temper, she was a handful.

Marion fiddled with a transistor radio and tried to get a clear signal so they could listen to music while they spent some quality family time on this perfect day out.

“Right here,” Marion said to Bobby, pointing at the flat ground underneath the giant oak. She mopped the sweat from her brow and looked up the hulking trunk and into the intricate weave of branches that was marvelous to the eyes. Spanish moss hung down, and if it wasn’t daytime the oak might have left the impression of a creepy Halloween prop.

Bobby placed the blanket down and did a fine job of getting all the wrinkles out of it. Marion assisted Judy in placing the basket down on the corner of the blanket, and although she didn’t say so, Marion thought she was thankful for the assistance.

She kicked off her shoes and stepped onto the squares and sat cross-legged. The ground was soft enough, and a coolness from the soil seeped up through the blanket, adding to the relief of being out of the direct sunlight.

“Yes, this is perfect,” Marion said, and the radio caught the marvelous chorus of “Norwegian Wood” by The Beatles. “Put your shoes off to the side before you step on the blanket,” she told the children. “I don’t want you tracking dirt all over the place before we eat.”

The kids did as they were told and Marion looked around, admiring the spot she had chosen. It was the first time she had been to this particular part of town and was glad she’d come across it. She had seen a couple of fishermen on her way in, tugging on the invisible lines they had cast and drinking Blue Ribbon beer. The men had looked over their shoulders at the sound of her car, but she had pulled far enough into the oversized lot that she couldn’t see them from her space.

The water in the canal looked clean enough to cool their feet if they needed, and the flow of water was slow enough that it posed little to no threat of sweeping them away. But she would decide whether or not they would go into the canal after the children had eaten and if they behaved well enough.

Bobby and Judy sat on the blanket, their legs folded Indian-style just like their mother. Bobby’s face lit up as he admired the giant oak and the things that dangled over him.

“Do you think I can climb it when we’re done eating?”

Marion thought about it. There was no question the tree was strong enough to hold him. But the sharp angles of the branches and clumps of Spanish moss made her nervous. She’d heard something about there being chiggers in moss. Despite the warm weather, she shivered just thinking about those nasty biting mites.

“I don’t know, Bobby, let Mommy think about it,” she said but already knew the answer to be no. She just didn’t want to start the picnic on a negative. “Let’s eat some lunch then afterward I’d like to go down to the water there and have a look. Maybe we can get our feet wet.”

“Neat, Mom,” Bobby said.

Static filled the Zenith 500 transistor radio, and Marion fiddled with the small dial, delicately turning it until the tuning was sharp. The Beatles came back to life and she couldn’t help but sing along in an emotional whisper.

She opened the basket and handed Bobby and Judy their bologna sandwiches, which were cut into fours. The children placed them into their laps and ate neatly and with manners.

“How did you find this place, Mom? It’s really neat,” Bobby said and was unable to keep his eyes out of the canopy. The tree seemed to invite him up the hefty trunk and into the tangle of branches. The vantage point from up there must be spectacular, he thought, and he bit into his sandwich with an ailing whine in an attempt to sway his mother’s thinking.

Marion ignored him and continued to take in her surroundings. Their 1966 Studebaker Wagonaire was parked about thirty yards away, cooking in the midday heat. She grabbed her own sandwich and unfolded the foil. As she sat there, taking tiny bites, a sudden chill rocked her body. The cold that came up through the ground and the shade of the giant oak maybe took away too much of the warmth, she decided. Marion looked at her children with the flesh goosed on her arms.

“Are you guys cold at all?”

“No,” Judy said. “It’s nice here. I like it, Mommy.”

“Yeah, Mom, it’s really neat here.”

The Devil Tree
Authored by Keith Rommel
List Price: $7.99
Kindle platform
BISAC: Fiction / Thriller

For more information, please see:
http://www.amazon.com/Devil-Tree-Keith-Rommel-ebook/dp/B0…

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Originally published on the blog Icon vs. Icon: All Things Pop Culture on December 4, 2014

(Ruth Connell appears in the movie The Cursed Man based on the novel by Keith Rommel)

ruth-connell-2014-feature-BAs a child, Ruth Connell spent her days on her family’s farm in the middle of nowhere dreaming of one day becoming an actress. As time went by she continued toward her goal; no matter how impractical it may have seemed. Today, with years are hard work and dedication under her belt, this inspiring young actress has made those dreams become a reality. An accomplished actress in the UK, Connell will soon be a very familiar face to science fiction fans as she bursts onto the American scene in the critically acclaimed, long running and hugely successful “Supernatural,” airing Tuesdays in The CW. The show follows brothers Sam and Dean Winchester as they travel throughout America hunting for supernatural creatures, their main adversaries through out are Demons. Ruth takes on a pivotal role with the character of Rowena, who is poised to make a big impact on the series this season.Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Ruth Connell to discuss her amazing journey as an actor, her work on stage and scene, making the transition from the UK to life in Hollywood, her time on ‘Supernatural’ and what the future might hold for her in the years to come!

ruth-connell-2014-3How did you get started on your journey in the entertainment industry and what made you know acting was something you wanted to pursue as a career?

When I was 4 years old, my cousin Ruby wanted to go to dancing lessons. I was sent along to keep her company! I had a natural aptitude for dancing and I was eventually picked for Scottish Ballet where they do classes for young dancers that you have to audition for. I got involved and they put me in some of their productions. Eventually, I was Clara in “The Nutcracker.” I remember walking out on to the stage and feeling like it was my living room. It was Clara’s living room but I felt so at home. I loved being in the company of The Scottish Ballet. I am an only child, so I think, for me, it was that instant thing of having camaraderie and having people around you. I grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere and was an only child, so I really did love being in the company. That is really what started me on my journey. I thought maybe I could get into acting by doing musical theater, a side-step into acting. Eventually, it became an overriding feeling that I really wanted to commit to being just an actor. I went to drama college when I was 24 years old, so I was a very old and mature student! [laughs] Even though things weren’t easy when I left drama college, I have never regretted my decision to do it.

Who were some of the influences who had a big impact on you as an actor early on?

As I said, I grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere. I would watch movies and, I have to admit, I was kind of obsessed with “Gone With The Wind” and “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,” the American cartoon version. I grew up loving Vivian Leigh and she has always had a special place in my heart. Recently, I played Blanche Dubois in a workshop and it has to be one of my favorite things I have ever done. All sorts of people have inspired me and I have always been lucky with the dance teachers I have had, who believed in me and pushed me on. I did my dance ballet and I didn’t get to dance school eventually, I had failed my medical, but I kept dancing and one of my teachers worked with me and got me through my dance ballet. That is something I am still really proud of! Some of my teachers from drama college, I am still friends with now. I just got a message the other day from a teacher who has been following now that I am working in America. That was really cool.

ruth-connell-2014-4I wanted to ask you about the work you did with The Avenue Theater Company in Greenwich. What can you tell us about it and how it impacted your career?

I was used to working a lot as a dancer. When I was at drama college, I booked some theater jobs. When I graduated from drama college, I was picked as the Critic’s Choice, which was great, but all of a sudden, nothing happened! That happens to actors, where all of a sudden there are six months where there is no audition. I hated that feeling! I couldn’t stand it, so me and my friends, Joanne Morton and Joseph Raishbrook, created this theater company so we could be in something, direct something or produce something for ourselves and for all of our friends to be in. I didn’t realize quite how much I had bitten off more than I could chew with a cast of 13 and a girl from London Fashion College. It was pretty much all put on my credit card at the time! [laughs] It was a great success and we sold out with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for a week in Greenwich Royal Park. The following year we devised our own piece. Really, the only reason it stopped is because I started to book more work as an actor. One of the big jobs I had as an actor was a number one tour in the UK of a play called “Men Should Weep.” Charlotte Gwinner, who is now my friend, directed it. The man that runs The Globe Theatre in London now, Dominic Dromgoole, helped cast me in it. I remember in an interview him speaking to me and the first thing he had ever done was an open air Shakespeare, so he understood what I had managed to accomplish! He had done it himself, so he knew where I was coming from and I think that helped me get my first proper big acting tour.

What impact has moving from the UK to Los Angeles had on you?

Ok, so I had always had a thing about America in my head. When I was a teenager, I thought it was going to be like “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” to be a teenager in America. [laughs] One of my friends, who is also an actress, had made the move. I remember discussing with other friends in London the fact that the year before I moved to LA I had had four really big projects, which all didn’t come to anything. I had worked my way up in theater and I was being seen for TV and I was penciled in for some really good stuff but it wasn’t coming through. It was very frustrating. I had booked a series regular and then the series didn’t run. It was things like that, so I said to my friend, “I am thinking about going to LA.” He said, “You have been talking about this for seven years!” I thought, “Aww man, I better hurry up and get on with it!” [laughs] There came a point in my life where I needed a change and a life challenge. It wasn’t just about my career, it was about moving to a new continent on my own and experiencing the challenges of setting up a life here. I needed that challenge. My masterplan, so to speak, was to get a lot more experience in film and television because there is so much more getting made out here. In Britain, you tend to cut your teeth on theater, where out here people tend to cut their teeth on costarring roles and the like. From when I got here until now, I feel like I have been lucky because I have always had a project, even if it was low budget, to work on. I will never regret having come to LA. It has been a journey! [laughs] The people that I have met have been great. I feel like a tourist in many ways! I am still getting a kick out of the fact that I am at so-and-so’s house or at such-and-such’s party. I am sort of a fangirl myself with some of the people I meet. I am friends with a director named Kevin Connor and he directed “Moonlighting.” I was like, “Oh my gosh! You directed ‘Moonlighting!’” I was really young when it was on but stuff like that gives me such a thrill! That is one of the things I love about LA!

ruth-connell-2014-1You have some great things happening at the moment. One of the biggest is your role on the hit series, “Supernatural.” How did you get involved with the project and made you know it was a role you wanted to pursue?

My friend sent me the breakdown and said, “I think you should try and get seen for this!” When I read it, I just thought, “This is written for me!” I did say to a friend, “If I can’t get seen for this, there is no point in my being in America.” It was just so up my street. I was pretty determined at that point in time that I would do whatever it took to get seen for it. I wasn’t sure if I could get an audition. I had been working steadily and I knew I had a bit of a breakthrough last year but I had to go home for six months. I was back in LA and I wasn’t sure if I was going to get an audition. I hadn’t been in the room for a TV job in about 18 months. I just couldn’t seem to get in the room. I decided, at that point, to put all of my Scottish clips on tape, I sent it to the casting director’s office and the casting office in Canada. I knew I had to get seen for it! At the end of the day, they came back to me with an audition in the normal way! [laughs] I cleared my calendar for the weekend and had the weekend to prepare, luckily, because that doesn’t always happen. I watched about 14 episodes of “Supernatural” in about two days to immerse myself in the world and familiarize myself with the character I was seeing on the page. My first meeting was so positive and I could see a little light go on when they met me and saw I was authentically Scottish and I could do the role. That doesn’t happen often as an actor that you think, “I have quite a good feeling about this.” The next day, I was in front of producers and the next day I had network approval! I absolutely feel that this is one of the reasons I was meant to be in America, to play Rowena. If you believe in anything supernatural, perhaps this is my little piece of magic and maybe it was meant to be!

ruth-connell-2014-5What did you bring to this character that wasn’t on the written page?

I didn’t even realize how Scottish I was until I came to LA! When I was in Scotland, I was like, “I not the most Scottish person, I’m a child of the universe … ” and then you travel 5,000 miles. You quickly realize how much you have been influenced by the place you grew up in, the sensibilities you have and the language. They are a couple of instances in the script where I have made tiny suggestions, where things could be more Scottish. These are things I see as second nature because it is where I am from, so I hope I brought some real authenticity to Rowena. She is really funny on the page and hopefully I bring my own little twinkle!

Aside from featuring a lot of great talent, one of the cool things about “Supernatural” is how everyone involved seems so invested and excited about the project. What was the vibe like on set and what have you picked up from working with the cast?

It has been truly fantastic. When you hear people talking about how the cast is a family and how great things are, it’s not lip service. You can’t fake that stuff for 10 years. There really is an amazing atmosphere and there is a lot of care that goes into each show. The producers of the show have always listened to the fans of the show on social media and were one of the first shows to respond and take onboard what the fans were feeling. They keep in touch with their fan base and are really making the show for the fans. It does feel like you are family and I think that is a really cool thing. There is such an atmosphere of respect on the set. Everyone has been in it for a long time and there are no egos or anyone trying to prove their worth. Everyone is pretty secure in what they are doing. As a newcomer on the American television scene, I realize how lucky I am to have landed in that kind of environment where there is so little stress and everyone is really engaged with what they are doing.

Whether it is on stage, television or film, what is your process for bringing a new character to life?

I am a bit of a magpie when it comes to process. I am one of those actors that still goes to class. That is one of the great things about coming to LA. Coming from Britain, we had different ways of approaching things. I have done a couple of turns with The Groundlings and that is something I wouldn’t ever have dared to do in Britain. I have really enjoyed doing that and worked with a really cool teacher named Diana Castle. I did a lot more imagination work. When I am looking at parts, I use my instincts mainly but then I ask myself all of the actor questions. I come from a dance background and I can usually feel the character in my body, if that makes sense. I was aware when I saw the episode of “Supernatural” last night that I had made a strong physical choice when Rowena glides in with her hands in the air. [laughs] I think that always helps me too.

ruth-connell-2014-2You have quite a few projects in the works. What should we be on the lookout for in the near future?

I am so excited about “Supernatural” and how that is going to roll out. I can’t say for how long but I am still looking forward to that! [laughs] I am going to be going to some of the conventions next year! This whole journey I have been on is overtaking everything at the moment and it is wonderful! That is what I had wanted to happen! This show has given me everything I have wanted all in one goal! I have been waiting a long time and all of a sudden it’s like, “Bingo!” [laughs] I have worked on a few other projects this year. I often do voice-overs. I do voice match for a really cool character for Disney, a Scottish character for Disney, who is also a feisty redhead! [laughs] I’ve recently worked on a Dogma-style movie for my friend, Henry Alberto. It is called “Hara-Kiri.” It was really cool and I had never done anything like that before. I also filmed a movie at the beginning of the year called “The Cursed Man” based on the cult novel by Keith Rommel. One is very experimental and the other is very sci-fi. Those will be coming out next year. I am really looking forward to seeing what opportunities doing “Supernatural” leads to. Maybe I will get in some more rooms and get some auditions now! [laughs]

What is your biggest evolution as an actress since first starting out?

That is a good question. Coming to America has really been part of my process as a person and an actor. I did a play last year where I played Mrs. Darling and Captain Hook. It was a really good version called “Peter Pan: The Boy Who Hated Mothers.” It was really cool to play the heartbroken mother and then to play the diabolical Hook. I think that part really stretched me and has informed Rowena in some way. It was quite metaphysical as well. It was a big step up. I had been in “Peter Pan” 10 years before playing Tigerlily, which is a really fun part but a much smaller part. I think when I did the play last year, I realized how far I had come in 10 years.

ruth-connell-2014-6Is there a role or genre you are anxious to take on at this point in your career?

I think of myself as this serious theater actress but usually, with everything I do, there is a little twist of humor in it. I realize that now, looking back. I am really drawn to really dark drama, independent and French films. There is so much amazing television around now with really strong writing and it is really inspiring seeing women in their 30s or older really doing it. It seems that we are breaking through and people are happy to watch women as they mature with the strength and power that they have. Hopefully, I can evolve into being one of those women! I would love to be one of those leading actresses in a few years who are taking that forward. On another note, I also lived “Flash Gordon.” [laughs] That was my first sci-fi memory! I I wanted to be like Dale Arden [played by Melanie Anderson]. I think I really liked her orange two piece and the fact she was tied up and rescued by Flash, which is very un-feminist of me but she was a savvy reporter as well. [laughs] I have always loved sci-fi and was a huge fan of the TV series “V.” When I was really young I remember when Diana pulled off her human face to reveal the reptile underneath, I said to my mom, “I always knew there was something wrong with her!” [laughs] I recently met the actress who played Diana, Jane Badler. I love when life comes to a freckle like that! When you meet someone in LA who you watched on your farm in Scotland, you realize life is pretty magical.

What is your best advice for someone out there on a farm in the middle of nowhere who aspires to make their career in the entertainment industry as you have?

Every day, do something towards your goal. I think sometimes, as an actor, the frustration is that you don’t know what to do to move things forward. Every day, even if it is just watching film, picking up a speech and working on it or reading about acting, you have to chip away at it. I think sometimes we wait for dramatic changes in luck or lightning bolts from the sky, and those can happen, but in my experience they happen when you are already on the path and doing the hard work. That is what you have to do to make it out there!

Thank you so much for your time today, Ruth! You have been an absolute delight!

Thank you, Jason! Very deep questions and I look forward to speaking to you soon!

Get all the latest news from Ruth Connell at her official website, www.ruthconnell.com. Connect with her via social media on Facebook and Twitter!

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.Sunbury Press has released Keith Rommel’s thriller novel You Killed My Brother, the first book of the Cultures Collide series. Sunbury Press acquired the title from GMTA Publishing (Enigma Press imprint) in August.

ykmb_fcAbout the Book:
Rainer is a successful doctor and father of two. He’s a celebrated member of the community for his exceptional care and charity work. Brick is a local street thug that can’t keep his nose clean. When fate brings the two together through tragedy, the life of Rainer is changed dramatically. Glenn is a seasoned cop and Rainer’s younger brother. Trusting the justice system, he keeps his desire for revenge in check as Brick is brought to trial. But when the jury hands Brick a lean sentence, Glenn sets out to avenge his family’s suffering. But what he forgets in his rage is that for every action, there is a reaction.

Excerpt:
If murder were legal, there would be dozens of bodies left in Jennifer’s wake.

“Damn it,” she whispered, and heaved a sigh. She stared at the caravan of cars that inched forward and squeezed the steering wheel. They went on as far as the eye could see, hardly moving. She rested her elbow on the armrest and pushed taut fingers through her hair.

“Mom?”

Jennifer looked into the rearview mirror and both Emily and Hannah stared back.

“Yes?” Jennifer said with the most patient voice she could muster.

“You shouldn’t say words like that mommy,” Emily said.

“You’re right, I shouldn’t. I’m sorry.”

“Do you think we’re going to be late, is that why you’re mad?” Emily said.

The clock on the car radio read 4:00.

“I hope not,” Jennifer said, but deep down inside she didn’t think their tardiness was avoidable. She clamped her eyes shut and tried to ignore a deep pain that pulsed and hid tactfully behind her eyes.

“Are you not feeling well, mommy?” Hannah said.

“Mommy’s fine,” she said. “I am just worried that we are going to be late and that will make me and your daddy late for the event.”

“It’s okay,” Hannah said and looked out the side window. “You shouldn’t worry so much. Daddy is the star and they can’t do anything without him.”

Jennifer laughed. “I suppose you’re right.” She watched as a car rode the shoulder all the way to the next exit.

“Mommy, you should follow him,” Emily said, and pointed at the car that Jennifer watched. “He’s going fast!”

“I…” Jennifer thought to protest the suggestion, but knew it was the only way. The risk of getting a ticket was worth the time she could save. She cut the wheel hard right and stepped on the gas. The powerful car raced up the shoulder and approached another long line of cars that led to a blinking traffic light. She pressed the brake pedal hard and stopped the car just short of the vehicle in front of her. The force of the abrupt halt pushed everyone forward in their seats and snapped them back.

“I’m sorry,” Jennifer said. “I didn’t mean to do that.”

“You don’t think daddy will leave without you, do you?” Hannah said, her eyes wide with the question.

“No, I don’t suppose he would.”

The vehicles ahead of her managed to merge their way into traffic quicker than she anticipated.

“He loves you too much to do that,” Hannah said. “He tells you that all the time.”

“You are very smart.” Jennifer smiled.

About the Author:
Keith Rommel authored the critically acclaimed dark suspense Thanatology Series which includes The Cursed Man (book 1), The Lurking Man (book 2) and The Sinful Man (book 3). Keith has dabbled in psychological crime with the fast-paced You Killed My Brother and his new supernatural release where angels and demons face off in Among The People. His next release will be The Silent Woman (book 4) Keith is the co-screenplay writer for The Cursed Man movie being filmed in Los Angeles, California as a major motion picture under the same title.

You Killed My Brother
Authored by Keith Rommel
List Price: $14.95
5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Black & White on White paper
196 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620065082
ISBN-10: 1620065088
BISAC: Fiction / Thrillers / Crime

Also available on Kindle & Nook
For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/You-Killed-My-Brother-97…

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