Silverwood: The Door is the follow-up to Silverwood, an original video series from Tony Valenzuela’s Black Box TV (episodes are available on YouTube). Brian Keene acts as showrunner for a writers room featuring Cemetery Dance founder and publisher Richard Chizmar, Stephen Kozeniewski, and the Sisters of Slaughter – Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason. The result is a 10-episode series, released in weekly installments in both prose and audiobook formats beginning in October. The team promises a mix of horror styles encompassing slashers, splatterpunk, psychological, Lovecraftian, and more.
Collectively known as the Sisters of Slaughter, Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason have been published by Thunderstorm books, Sinister Grin Press and Bloodshot Books. Their debut novel, Mayan Blue, was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award. Recently we asked them a bunch of questions about their time working on Silverwood: The Door — here’s what they had to say.
CEMETERY DANCE: Tell us how you became involved with Silverwood: The Door.
SISTERS OF SLAUGHTER: We became involved in after becoming friends with Brian Keene. He read our debut novel and liked it, which was one of the coolest things that ever happened to us. He posted about doing some collaborative projects and we expressed interest in being a part of his team. We never thought in a million years we’d actually get selected to do it, so when we got an email asking if we’d like to be a part of Silverwood: The Door we both almost exploded from excitement.
What drew you to the project?
We were drawn into the project by watching the Youtube series created by Tony Valenzuela. It had a Twilight Zone/Tales From The Crypt vibe to it that really excited us because we have always wanted to write episodic horror like that. The cool thing about our contribution to the Silverwood world is all the episodes are connected and tell a bigger story and we think people will really dig it.
You’ve worked together your entire careers, so collaboration is nothing new. How was it different, though, working with a whole room of writers?
There were similarities in this collaborative process that mirrored how we work together on our own books. We sat together sharing ideas over an established outline, which Brian Keene put together in a series bible, and then we decided what would happen in each episode. The episodes were split between the group and we got to work. The differences here were we walked into a room with two of our idols and another writer who we admire so much that we could hardly contain the nervousness eating us alive. Anxiety nearly got the best of us. Those feelings eased when we discovered how comfortable we all worked together as a team. We were told working around other writers’ tables could be a very stressful situation because of people clashing when it came to storylines, etc.; luckily for us it turned out to be amazing. The other difference is we had to keep in communication through phone and email to be certain the storyline would flow continuity-wise; when we work at home it’s pretty easy to keep the story jiving since it’s only the two of us writing it.
Tell us about your contributions to the project.
We got to write three episodes. Each writer took two to three episodes and they all are part of a single story that we outlined during our writers’ retreat here in Arizona.
What do you feel was your biggest contribution to the project?
Our biggest contribution to the project, besides being the goofy nerds that made Stephen Kozeniewski laugh, was that we brought some of our own personal heartaches and experiences to the table to add to particular episodes.
How has working on this project impacted you as writers?
Working on this project not only was one of the coolest experiences we’ve ever had, but it showed us how other professionals, people who are way ahead of us, work and how much ass they kick on a daily basis. It inspired us to keep pushing ourselves to get better with everything we write and to keep aiming high. We also cherish the friends we’ve made in the process — we don’t crawl out of our hag caves very often and conquering our anxiety to join this team made a big impact on us.
Give us your sales pitch — why should readers and horror fans check out Silverwood: The Door?
Voices in the trees, scenes from a horrific past, an uncontrollable urge to kill — the forest of Silverwood hides many dark secrets. Who will survive once the bloodshed begins, and what will happen once the door is opened?
What other projects do you have in the works?
Aside from Silverwood: The Door, we have been working on a new story set in our Mayan Blue world, a collection of short stories and some edits on our latest book coming out through Sinister Grin Press at the end of September: Twin Lakes: Autumn Fires. It’s a story about a young woman who flees an attack by a stranger only to stumble upon the scene of a ritualistic murder. She finds out not only is this not the first murder, but they are being committed by something much more malevolent than the average serial killer.
Silverwood: The Door is now available for preorder. Preorder the ebook/audio bundle and use code “SILVERWOODSOS” to get 15% off!