Are you feeling bummed that the Halloween scares have ended? We’ve got you covered! It’s time to cozy up with a cozy sweater, a hot cup of joe, and an author in Mobile’s newest horror anthology: The Little Coffee Shop of Horrors.
About the Authors
Originally from Maine, Joseph came to Mobile to stay with a friend to regain his balance after his leaving his cheating wife and losing everything. Shortly after that COVID-19 struck, causing him to have to spend more time in the Port City than he initially anticipated.
Carro has made the most of the experience, and gained thousands of followers on TikTok by exploring the Port City and sharing his experiences as the “Northerner living in the South.”
However, TikTok isn’t the author’s only pastime.
“I am a cosplayer, and a writer of course, and also a freelance editor. I’ve written for publications like itcherMag, and I’m also the regular English translation editor/proofreader for the comic book Rage: Bane of Demons. I’m a graduate of the Stonecoast MFA program up in Maine where I’m from, and that’s where I met my good friend Frank from Mobile.”Joseph Carro, co-author of The Little Coffee Shop of Horrors
To create The Little Coffee Shop of Horrors, Joseph teamed up with his Uncle, Paul Carro. Paul is also from Maine, and is the author of the novel, “The House.”
The project is incredibly special to both of them.
“My Uncle, with whom I wrote the book, has always been someone I’ve wanted to work with something on, so my most memorable moment was when he approached me after my grandmother (his mother) passed away in 2019 and after he and I hadn’t seen each other in person in years. It was a reconnecting moment.”Joseph Carro, co-author of The Little Coffee Shop of Horrors
The Writing Process
One of the most difficult, and most interesting, parts of publishing a work is the process of creating it. The genre of horror is a difficult one to tackle, and Joseph notes that his life-long interest in horror has definitely helped him.
“I’ve always been into horror. As a kid, I watched films like Jaws and Faces of Death way too early. I also read lots of Stephen King because he was a fellow Mainer and if you live in Maine he is everywhere you look. As a teen I devoured any horror film I could find (nothing beats The Shining in my book). I even eventually formed my own paranormal investigation group because hunting ghosts seemed really fun to me.”Joseph Carro, co-author of The Little Coffee Shop of Horrors
Creating fresh, new ideas can be difficult and Joseph, like every other author, struggled with bouts of writer’s block. One of the most haunting struggles of writers is to find ways to get the creative juices flowing again. Joseph had several methods to beat the dreaded curse for writers.
“I overcome it in various ways. Sometimes, I’ll focus on another project. Sometimes I’ll read something in the same vein to inspire ideas or inject myself with some of the writing quality from the other author. Sometimes I’ll take a walk. I never quite know what will be the best method until it happens.”Joseph Carro, co-author of The Little Coffee Shop of Horrors
The authors visited 12 different coffee shops all across the United States to use as themes for their short stories. Inspiration came from everything about the coffee shops they visited: the interior, the vibe of the establishment and even the city the coffee shop resided in. What’s even better, each short story was mostly written in the coffee shops that inspired them.
Of course, our friend Joseph had to include a classic Mobile coffee shop in his list of inspirational coffee shops.
“One story that didn’t make it into the collection, but which will appear in another collection, was inspired by Serda Coffee in downtown Mobile. The one which did make it into the collection was inspired by Carpe Diem Coffee & Tea Company—where I typed out the story every night until it was finally finished. My friend Frank introduced me to the coffee shop and we would spend nights writing there before the pandemic hit us. The inspiration can take many forms. For me, some of the inspiration came from the music playlists chosen by the staff, or sometimes from a conversation overheard in a corner as I suffered from Writer’s Block.”Joseph Carro, co-author of The Little Coffee Shop of Horrors
Where can I get a copy?
The uncle-nephew duo’s anthology has been ranked #1 in New Release American Horror for a few weeks now and is available for $3.99 for Kindle e-book and $12.99 for the paperback version.
Not sure which short horror story to read from the anthology first? How about beginning with one of the author’s personal favorites? Joseph Carro recommends the stories “The Handoff” if you’re a fan of old monster movies and “You Can’t Get There From Here” for something inspired from real life events.