Riding the INFERNO: How Work as an Extra on a Horror Flick Led to a Book Deal, Movie Deal and Dream Job
It’s been over half a year since we announced that Our Lady of the Inferno by Preston Fassel would be the first novel published by the newly launched Fangoria Presents imprint. Now, Our Lady of the Inferno is about to sell out for the 4th time on Amazon; plus, Fassel has a movie deal and a dream job with Fangoria. While the writer put in years of hard work, it was a job as an extra in a horror movie that may have sparked his rise to literary horror stardom. It’s a story that also serves as a reminder to never pass up an opportunity to make a connection. You never know where it might lead.
“Later that year, I was attending Texas Frightmare, and I was hanging out in the lobby. This guy comes down the stairs and says, ‘Hey, Preston!’” It turned out to be Cinestate CEO Dallas Sonnier. Fassel mentioned that he had written a horror novel and wanted to give Sonnier a copy for consideration as a possible movie. “I didn’t hear anything for a couple months—and then I got an email!”
Sonnier told the author that he loved the book, Our Lady of the Inferno, and wanted to acquire the film rights. It was a dream come true for Fassel, but he didn’t plan on wasting this opportunity. “I explained to them that the publisher who released Our Lady of the Inferno had gone out of business. I said, ‘If you want the movie rights, why don’t you buy the publishing rights as well and we can re-release it.” Sonnier was definitely open to the prospect.
Then Fassel asked for a job.
This was before Cinestate had announced their plans to purchase and relaunch Fangoria Magazine.
Fassel got the movie deal, he got the book deal, and he now works as a story editor and staff writer at Fangoria. But career success isn’t the only thing he’s enjoyed since finding support with Cinestate and Fangoria. He’s affecting people’s lives with Our Lady of the Inferno, specifically, the book’s positive, human portrayal of sex workers in Times Square during the 1980s.
Our Lady of the Inferno was published last September; for an overview, check out the synopsis below:
“Spring, 1983. Sally Ride is about to go into
space. Flashdance is
a cultural phenomenon. And in Times Square, two very deadly women are on a
collision course with destiny– and each other.
“At twenty-one, Ginny Kurva is already legendary on 42nd Street. To the pimp for whom she works, she’s the perfect weapon– a martial artist capable of taking down men twice her size. To the girls in her stable, she’s mother, teacher, and protector. To the little sister she cares for, she’s a hero. Yet Ginny’s bravado and icy confidence hide a mind at the breaking point, her sanity slowly slipping away as both her addictions and the sins of her past catch up with her…
“At thirty-seven, Nicolette Aster is the most respected woman at the Staten Island Landfill. Quiet and competent, she’s admired by the secretaries and trusted by her supervisors. Yet those around her have no idea how Nicolette spends her nights– when the hateful madness she keeps repressed by day finally emerges, and she turns the dump into a hunting ground to engage in a nightmarish blood sport…
“In the Spring of 1983, neither Ginny nor Nicolette knows the other exists. By the time Summer rolls around, one of them will be dead.”
“I was at a book signing in Dallas last October,” Fassel tells me, “and this young woman approached me and said ‘I’m a sex worker and I just wanted to thank you.’ She wasn’t used to seeing positive representations of sex workers in the media. She thanked me for portraying these women as multidimensional and human without sugarcoating the realities of that life.”
We aren’t the only ones singing the praises of Our Lady of the Inferno; the book mage Bloody Disgusting’s list of the best horror books of 2018. The movie deal followed in February. Not only are we extremely excited to see how the film comes together (there’s no cast or director attached at this time), we can’t wait to see what Fassel produces next. His story should serve as inspiration for all horror writers and filmmakers hoping that, with patience and perseverance, their dreams will come true.