The Spectral Drive-by: Simon Marshall-Jones

Simon Marshall-Jones, he of the rambling tattooed head, is an editor, publisher, artist, blogger and writer. Not content with this list, he is also a reviewer for Beyond Fiction and BookGeeks. He started Spectral Press not so long ago, earning rave reviews with the first two limited edition chapbooks (Gary McMahon’s What They Hear in the Dark and Gary Fry’s Abolisher of Roses), which sold out at light speed. The third, Cate Gardner’s Nowhere Hall, looks set to follow suit. He collects books and would prefer donuts, if he could.

1. You get to travel with your favourite Doctor – where and when do you go? How much trouble do you get into?
Now this is actually an easy one – I’d go to Ancient Egypt during the Golden Age of pyramid-building, just to see how they built such astonishing structures. As to how much trouble, I may just end up in quite a bit, either stealing some precious object to prove I’d visited the era OR altering the course of history with one of the many wives of Pharaoh (acting as my guide – what did you think I meant? O_O). Oh, and I can’t decide whether I would accompany Jon Pertwee or Tom Baker…. hard to decide really….

2. What’s your favourite thing about art?
Serious answer: the sheer ability of art, in whatever form, to move people, emotionally and intellectually. Not so serious answer: because some art just looks great hung above the mantelpiece.

3. The impetus behind Spectral Press was …
… simply to promote great storytelling in the ghostly/supernatural vein, and to wrap them up in gorgeous artwork – other words, to remind people that books are little works of art in themselves. Combine that with top-notch authors, and you have the perfect book.

4. Name the ten stories that would go into your perfect anthology.
Oh hell… hmm…. here goes (in no particular order): “In the Hills, the Cities” – Clive Barker, “The Baking of Cakes” Simon Kurt Unsworth; “My Grandfather’s Ghosts” Gary McMahon; “Nothing Heavenly” Tim Lebbon; “Turn Again” William Meikle; “Opheliac” Cate Gardner; “At the Mountains of Madness” HP Lovecraft (novella); “’Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad’” MR James; “The Thief of Broken Toys” (novella) Tim Lebbon (again); and “The Hell-bound Heart” Clive Barker (again).

5. Donuts or danishes?
Oh, I can’t, I’m sorry – I’m diabetic (or is that diabolic?): but if I could, it would be a donut, probably. 😀

He doth ramble here.

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