30-Second Interview from Stephen Jones – Editor of Curious Warnings and A Book of Horrors

Today we have a thirty-second interview for you from the editor of two JFB anthologies – A Book of Horrors and Curious Warnings – Stephen Jones. We have recently received copies of Curious Warnings here in the office and my god is it stunning! The first thing I did was sniff it (gross to admit?) but I think any book lover will know the delightful scent of the leatherbound book – oh yes, it’s leatherbound. It also has beautiful sketches and paintings throughout by none other than Les Edwards (for someone who did art as a degree, like me, this was one of the real attractions of the book) not to mention the fact that this is the first collection of the entire works of M.R. James. For people who like ghosties and collectors’ editions – this is the real deal. So here we go – a little insight into the mind of the editor:

Where were you born? 


What’s your comfort food? 

Cheese and bacon burgers

What’s your favourite tipple? 

Jack Daniel’s

What superpower would you want / which superhero would you be? 

My superpower would be to get all my work finished in a day and still have time to myself / I would be “Il Meglio”, which was the title of one my Italian translations

Dog or cat?


What keeps you sane? 

Jack Daniel’s

What scares you? 

The future

Beaches or adventure?

Adventure, but only because I’m fair-skinned and burn easily in the sun.

What’s your holiday read? 

Anything that doesn’t involve work

What is the best present you’ve ever received? 


What have you learned about yourself as you’ve got older? 

That I’m not as young as I was

What would people be surprised to discover about you? 

That I’m actually a nice guy

Sweet or savoury? 

Always savoury

What is your favourite sport? 


What is your favourite way to travel? 

First Class

Would you rather read the book or watch the film? 

Depends on the book or the film

Sarkozy or Obama? 


Night in or night out? 

Night in

What are you currently listening to?

The radio

Women: Louboutin or Reebok? 

Men: Armani or JD Sports?

Always Armani


If Curious Warnings interests you, you might also be excited to note that we will be having a launch party for it in conjunction with the BFS on Saturday 16th June, here’s the lowdown:


Jo Fletcher Books will be officially launching the stunning new hardcover collection, CURIOUS WARNINGS: THE GREAT GHOST STORIES OF M.R. JAMES, with a signing by editor STEPHEN JONES and artist LES EDWARDS on Saturday June 16th at the British Fantasy Society Open Day, The Mug House, 1 Tooley Street, London E1 2PF, from 1:00 pm until late.

Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the birth of M.R. James, the sumptuously-crafted CURIOUS WARNINGS: THE GREAT GHOST STORIES OF M.R. JAMES contains all the author’s classic supernatural stories collected in a single volume, including the children’s novel THE FIVE JARS, along with uncompleted works, essays, and a historical Afterword by Stephen Jones, all copiously illustrated by award-winning artist Les Edwards.

MONTAGUE RHODES JAMES (1862-1936) was Provost of King’s College, Cambridge, and Eton. Most of his ghost stories were occasional pieces, written for friends or college magazines, and were collected in GHOST-STORIES OF AN ANTIQUARY (1904), MORE GHOST STORIES OF AN ANTIQUARY (1911), A THIN GHOST AND OTHERS (1919), and A WARNING TO THE CURIOUS AND OTHER GHOST STORIES (1925). Widely regarded as one of the finest authors of supernatural fiction in the English language, James is credited as the originator of the ‘antiquarian ghost story’, replacing the Gothic horrors of the previous century with more contemporary settings for his subtle hauntings. Many of his stories were originally written as Christmas entertainments and were read aloud by the author to selected gatherings of friends.

CURIOUS WARNINGS: THE GREAT GHOST STORIES OF M.R. JAMES is the one collection of the author’s work that fans cannot afford to miss! And Stephen Jones and Les Edwards will be on hand to personally sign copies on the day (time to be announced).

There will also be other signings throughout the BFS Open Day, and numerous authors, artists, editors and publishers will be in attendance. Entrance is FREE and open to anyone, so if you like fantasy, horror and imaginative fiction, then come along for a fun day out!

For more details about the BFS OPEN DAY, go to: http://bit.ly/JeO2Yi

For more information about CURIOUS WARNINGS: THE GREAT GHOST STORIES OF M.R. JAMES, contact: lucy.ramsey@quercusbooks.co.uk


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