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Uncomfortably Dark Interviews

Find interviews from all your favorite horror creatives here!




Tell us a little about Joseph:

I was born in Portland, Maine and spent a decade there later on in life in my 30’s, but before then I grew up in Lewiston/Auburn, Maine and then lived for a time in Exeter, New Hampshire where I ended up in foster care for a couple of years. My grandparents adopted me, and I moved back to Maine until recently when the pandemic found me living in Mobile, Alabama for three crazy years. Now I’m back in New England, living in Woodford, Vermont – inside the infamous “Bennington Triangle”. I began writing as a child, creating fantasy stories in which I placed people in my life like my aunts and uncles and myself. In high school, I wrote poetry and that’s when writing really sunk in. My hobbies include, but are not limited to; Drawing, Photography, Cooking, Video Games, Tabletop RPGs, Tabletop Wargames, Dancing, Film, Music, Reading, Collecting History, Cosplay, Ghost Hunting, and Social Media. No pets at the moment, sadly.

Tell us a little about The Little Coffee Shop of Horrors, 1&2, and how that process worked writing with your uncle Paul Carro. 
Well, my Uncle Paul approached me in 2019 after his mother/my grandmother (adopted mother) passed away. He had an idea for an anthology and pitched it to me as a collaborative project and I accepted, gladly, since he and I had lost touch over the previous few years. Covid made a mess of things, but we’re currently working on a third entry. We basically just go to various coffee shops and let the space inspire our writing in some way, writing horror stories fueled by caffeine.

You edited an anthology After The Burn with Franklin Ard that was released late last year. How was that experience for you and what was your most important lesson learned? 
Editing is sort of fun for me. I’ve been the proofreader/editor for the Glyphs Productions line of comic books out of France for a number of years now, and the anthology was no different. That one was kind of my baby, as I’d come up with the concept years ago and it was finally brought to life by Rogue Owl Press and my good friend Frank Ard (author of Back to Zero). My most important lesson is that working with multiple authors can be very hard but also very rewarding!

Tell us a little about your current WIP, from concept to publishing. When did you have the idea for the story, plotting or pantsing it, launch plans and release date? 
My current WIP is just a short story I submitted to Rogue Owl Press for a horror anthology of sea-centric tales, and mine is an epistolary format story in homage to Braham Stoker. It’s loosely based on the disappearance in the UK of three lighthouse keepers in the year 1900, though mine is based in Maine and only features two lighthouse keepers. It’s also very heavily reliant on the infamous “Battle of Blythe Road” between William Butler Yeats and Aleister Crowley. I just kind of pantsed the entire thing, and I used a lot of actual historical documents for reference.

Tell us about your writing process. Have you found that it changes with every story, or do you have an established routine? 
Mostly, I think it changes with each story from what I can tell. I’m an idea guy, so I have lots of ideas and just not enough time to write stories about them all so if I really hit a nerve with myself with a particular idea, I just go for it, and I’ll write nonstop until it’s done. I’ve done up to 30,000 words a day before. 

What one thing must you always do or have while writing and why?
Snacks. If I don’t have snacks, I find that my mind wanders a lot. For some reason, munching on something keeps me focused. Walks help, too. I need to get up once in a while.

What has been the best thing that you have learned about the writing craft and/or the publishing industry itself?
The best thing? I suppose it’s that indie publishing isn’t and shouldn’t be as looked down upon as it once was. There was a time when even I discounted indie or self-published authors, but there are so many good stories out there and not everyone is lucky enough to know the right people to get their work seen by the big publishers. Why not get your work out there if people will like it?

What has been your proudest moment so far or experience? 
My proudest moment? That’s tough. I suppose it’s right now. I have four books out there I’m involved with, and the number is only going to rise. That’s really cool, at least to me.

What is your favorite thing about being in this industry?
It feels like you’re really part of a club. Not many people are able to finish writing a book or even a short story, let alone several. I have so much respect for my fellow writers. 

If you could hold a dinner party and invite five authors, living or dead, which five guests are you inviting and what are you serving? 
Ooh, good one. Ernest Hemingway, F Scott Fitzgerald, Louisa May Alcott, Stephen King, Mary Roach. It’s such a strange assortment of writers that it would be amazing to just watch the interactions. I’d serve buffalo wings because that would be hilarious to watch on my part.

What other projects are in the works that you would like to mention?    
Nothing much right now that I’m working on that has a concrete publication date. I’m working on a couple of novels, a memoir, a graphic novel, and the third installment of The Little Coffee Shop of Horrors Anthology. We already have The Little Coffee Shop of Horrors Anthology 1 and The Little Coffee Shop of Horrors Anthology 2 available on Amazon and other book retailers. Additionally, After the Burn: A Post-Apocalyptic Anthology is available if you like post-apocalypse tales. Finally, Horrors of the Deep: Startling Sea Stories is currently running on Kickstarter as of the time of this writing and will be available everywhere once the campaign ends (but check it out now if you want lots of free goodies).

Bio for Joseph:  

Joseph Carro holds an MFA from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. He coauthored the Little Coffee Shop of Horrors anthology and serves as Community Manager for Headless Hydra Press, a publisher of tabletop roleplaying game supplements. Additionally, he has served as an editor and proofreader for the Glyphs Productions line of comic books since 2015 and has written for itcherMag. When not writing or editing, he can generally be found engaging in some sort of geeky/nerdy activity throughout the day. Oh, and he was also in a movie with Kelsey Grammer (and will say that every chance he gets). He currently resides in Woodford, Vermont inside the infamous Bennington Triangle, although he'll always be a Mainer at heart.

Ebook Cover Image.jpg


Startling Sea Stories

The sea roils. The siren calls. The kraken awakens. Will you join the voyage into the unknown?

In the murky depths lurk the strangest, most frightening creatures, things that thrive in the dangerous waters of the night. From wandering ghost ships to murderous mermaids to the horrifying kraken, the ocean is rife with dark legends that enthrall and fascinate us to this day.

Prepare to be taken under by an incomparable group of writers who have crafted a collection of unforgettable seafaring tales. Together, they explore deep into the mysterious aquatic realm, bringing back to the surface tales of terror, intrigue, adventure, and suspense.

Spanning numerous styles and genres, the stories in this volume will leave readers breathless and yet eager to continue onward to distant shores


New Release Interview
Garrett Boatman

Night's Plutonian Shore

Tell me a little about yourself: where are you from, when did you first begin writing and what other hobbies do you have?
I was born in Georgia, came up to New Jersey in the Second Grade when my daddy, an electrician, a union man, followed the work north. Lived three decades in Jersey City near the Holland Tunnel. I wrote my first story in the seventh grade. I enjoy cycling.

So, tell me about the concept for Night’s Plutonian Shore? When did this idea first hit you? What made it so appealing and how long did it take you to write the story? 
The doppelgänger or double has always fascinated me. I’ve read most of the traditional literature on the subject, fiction and non-fiction, from R.L. Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Dostoevsky’s The Double to Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club and Otto Rank’s The Double. Where Dorian Gray’s doom illustrates the destructive influence of narcissism and Stevenson’s Jekyll-Hyde depicts Victorian dual-brain theory, I portray my doppelgängers as manifestations of the reptilian complex, the primitive human old-brain, seat of primal drives. What Carl Sagan referred to as the Dragons of Eden. The doppelgänger represents the inner self we may spend a lifetime trying to fathom and never truly know. Don’t you think we all have an other inside ourselves that we’re sometimes aware of and don’t know what to do with?

The other influence was the psychotronic generator, a device I’d read the Russian had experimented with that was supposed to enhance latent psychic abilities. I wrote an earlier, longer, draft about a decade ago. It got to the second round in an Angry Robot competition. By that time, I was plowing into the second book and amassing notes for the third. So, I put NPS aside until I finished the rest, then rewrote them all for continuity. My Night trilogy took about seven years to complete. 

What was your favorite part of writing this story or favorite character? 
My favorite characters are Rick and Fergi. I enjoyed writing their oil-and-vinegar relationship. They don’t mix, but they add spice to each other’s lives. Their story is developed over the trilogy and my fictional universe could not be saved by either of them alone. It takes two to tango. 
My other favorite character is Jersey City, my personal Gotham. The settings in NPS—the cemetery, train yards, barge, abandoned warehouse, rooftops, streets—are all places where we hung out. Jersey City has gotten gentrified, but back in the day it was a dark and dangerous place. So, yeah, I wanted to capture its essence and portray it in all its grotesque, noirish beauty. 

What did you find was the hardest part of writing this story? 
Avoiding exposition. NPS, like Stage Fright, is sci-fi-horror, and science fiction requires exposition. While science fiction is cerebral, horror is emotional; and while amazing tech appeals to science fiction’s “gosh-wow” factor, it detracts from the emotional immersiveness of the terror tale. 

What has been the best thing that you have learned about writing and/or the publishing industry itself?
That writing lets me put my ideas into form. I love seeing the shape of the story emerge from the nebulous swarm of ideas. I guess it’s like a sculptor looking at a block of stone and knowing something’s in there that has to be chiseled out. 

What is your favorite thing about being in the Horror industry?
The wonderful people, like yourself, who really take an interest in their fellow writers. 

Have you always been a horror fan?
Yes. My mother let me stay up late to watch The Mummy, Frankenstein, and The Werewolf. My grandmother told me bedtime stories about Bloody Bones and about the headless man looking for his head on the train tracks. When I slept over my cousin’s house, we’d listen for—and hear—the head of the man his wife chopped off roll from the hall across the bedroom floor and under the bed. Cracks in the plaster ceiling always led somewhere.

Where do you draw most of your inspiration from? Real-life events, dreams, bits of movies?
All of the above and more. I’ve spent a lot of time in dreamland. I trained myself at one time to observe my dreams while I was dreaming and kept dream journals for years. I learned to control my dreams to an extent. Much of my writing comes from my dreams and imagination. Most of the dreamie sequences in Stage Fright are based on entries in my dream journals. The out-of-body experiences in The Clocks of Midnight are inspired by a series of dreams I had in my teens. The rest of my inspiration mostly comes from research, historical, scientific, and pseudo-scientific. 

Which author has most inspired or affected your writing style, alive or dead? 
When I decided I would write novels, I got my hands on Dean Koontz’ How to Write Best Selling Fiction. Then I dissected Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot and a couple of Koontz’ early horror novels. 

What current projects are in the works that you would like to mention?
I took a breather from novel writing to pen some short stories. Recent acceptances include Penumbra, Spectral Realms, and Weird House. I wrote a couple of stories on invitation to anthologies. I’ve also decided to develop Floaters, my Victorian historical novella, into a series featuring London’s 1890s hooligan gangs. Violent youth gangs keep having to work together to save the world from increasingly horrific adversaries. 

Garrett's Bio:
GARRETT BOATMAN is the author of Stage Fright, (originally published by Onyx 1988, reissued by Valancourt Books as Paperback from Hell 11 2020), Floaters: A Victorian Zombie Adventure, (Crystal Lake Publishing 2021), & Night’s Plutonian Shore, (Hybrid Sequence Media 2023). Garrett’s stories have appeared in The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories, Savage Realms, and Penumbra, among others. 
Garrett’s obsession with horror began with his grandmother’s Bloody Bones bedtime stories. Later, a steady diet of Chiller Theatre and horror novels left him with a burning desire to contribute to the madness. Garrett lives in coastal North Carolina with his wife Roberta and their rescue mutt Brisa.


S. A. Cosby

Author of Blacktop Wasteland & Razorblade Tears

What made you want to become a writer? Was it something you always wanted to do, or did you make a conscious decision one day that you were going to be an author? 
SA: I've always been a storyteller but the thing that really got me started was my mom telling me to write my own stories when I started complaining about the plot holes in the bedtime stories she was reading me, LOL (why don't the 3 Little Pigs just build all their houses out of bricks?) 

When did you begin writing professionally? 
SA: I sent my 1st short story out when I was 22. I didn't make my 1st sale until I was 33. So, never give up if this is what you really want to do. 

Are you an avid reader? If so, what do you like to read the most? And what do you consider a favorite but widely underappreciated book?
SA: Yes, I read voraciously. I don't have as much time as I used to, but I still read 2-3 books a week. I read mainly crime and horror fiction, but I'll read anything, honestly. One book that I think more people should read is THE RIB FROM WHICH I MAKE THE WORLD by Ed Kurtz. It's an underrated classic of horror.

Who are you currently reading? 
SA: I'm currently reading A MOVABLE FEAST by Hemingway and RED LONDON by Alma Katsu (I got an ARC of that one) 

Is there one book or author more than any other that inspired you to become a writer? 
SA: There are two. Walter Mosley and Stephen King 

How many hours a day do you write?
SA: Typically, no more than 3 hours. I don't believe in chaining myself to my desk, LOL. 

What would you say is the most difficult part of your creative process and how do you deal with it? 
SA: I think it's probably plotting. I do my best to anticipate plot holes, to make any twist surprising but fair, to make sure the story has a reasonable rhythm. For me, what works is writing a detailed synopsis that I can refer to as I write the book. 

How do you deal with bad book reviews and/or social media trolls? 
SA: I don't worry about bad reviews. Everything isn't for everybody. People are free to have whatever opinion they want about your work. As far as trolls go, I've learned to not give them the attention they seek. I mean, I try not to, LOL. Sometimes that's easier said than done. Some trolls think I'm some overnight success or I'm some black token plucked from obscurity by the Powers That Be, but I've worked hard my whole life. Nothing was just handed to me. 

What do you feel are common traps for aspiring authors and how can they be avoided? 
SA: One of the most common is pastiche or impersonation of a writer who influenced you. You absolutely should learn from other writers, but you have to develop your own unique style.

What does it mean to you, to be a black author, to be a role model for young authors of color, that are aspiring authors? 
SA: It means everything. I think whatever success I or other black authors may find means nothing if we don't use that success to uplift new and aspiring writers of color, LGBTQ writers or any writers from a community that has been marginalized. We all win, or nobody wins. 

What challenges, if any, have you faced as a black author?
SA: My first book was rejected 63 times. I was told more than once that I was talented, but people wouldn't relate to my black rural characters… yet my whole life I've been asked to relate to white characters from all kinds of backgrounds. As a black writer, that can be the toughest thing to overcome. The idea that everyone else's stories are universal but ours aren't. As my books have found an audience, I've had some racists attack my work, and me personally, but sadly I'm used to that. Being a black person in America means developing a strong sense of self from the time you're old enough to walk. 

Whom do you most admire in Black history/culture and why, living, or dead?
SA: Aw, that's a long list. I'll give you five people.
Chester Himes
Paul Robeson 
Barack Obama 
Shirley Chisholm 
Toni Morrison 

What other authors of color do you believe deserve more recognition in the field? 
 SA: Nikki Dolson, Kellye Garrett, Yasmine Angoe, Aaron Phillips Clark, Milton Davis, Glenn Parris, Vaughn Jackson, and a new writer, with a book coming out very soon, Jessica Byrnarsky.

What one piece of advice would you give to other black/brown authors/ artists in the industry?
SA: Know your worth and never settle for anything less.

What do you aspire to leave behind as your legacy and what message would you want to tell the world as a black cultural/creative leader? 
SA: That our stories matter, our hopes, and dreams endure. Personally, I hope people will recognize I did my best to tell the truth about the people and place that I love. I have a tattoo that says, "Writers tell lies to find the truth" and I firmly believe that. 

Can you tell us about your latest book and how the concept originated? 
SA: My next book ALL THE SINNERS BLEED is the story of the first black sheriff of a small southern town who discovers a serial killer has been using his county as a dumping ground. 

Please suggest two or three authors of color that everyone should be reading. 
SA: Jennifer Hillier, N. K Jemisin and Ed Aymar.

What else would you like my readers to know about you? Feel free to include anything that I might have missed or talk about any future projects. 
SA: I'm a pretty good chess player, LOL. 

SA Cosby is a best-selling award-winning author from Southeastern Virginia. His novels BLACKTOP WASTELAND and RAZORBLADE TEARS have won numerous awards and accolades, including The LA Times book awards, The ITW Novel of the Year. The Anthony, Barry, and Macavity awards, The Dashiell Hammet award for Crime Fiction among others. When not writing, he is an avid hiker, chess player, and whiskey enthusiast. 
You can follow him on Twitter @blacklionking73