Have you ever wondered how an author and editor communicate to each other? Have you ever wondered how a book started its life when it left the author’s gifted hands and then was hacked to bits by the editor and/​or publisher? Have you ever looked around you and thought gosh, what I really need is a big stack of loose paper with lots of doodles and red marks all over it? Do we have an opportunity for you!

Photo by Thana Niveau [click to embiggen or close]
Author consulting a colleague about his manuscript

During the process of editing the début novel by John Llewellyn Probert, The House that Death Built, a great number of things were scribbled on a stack of paper upon which the original draft of the work was printed (using paper made entirely from “bagasse”, the fibrous matter that remains after sugarcane or sorghum stalks are crushed to extract their juice, and employing a clean energy supply and closed water cycle process) from the file as it was initially submitted by author. Then I started doing a combined edit /​ proofing /​ smart-​​arse comment effort as is my normal wont. One well-​​known UK author complimented me on providing the most entertaining editorial notes he’d ever seen. 

Once I’d finished doing all of that — including a few attempts at sketching something in the story, which I normally never do, but did here in an attempt to understand a couple of bits in the plot — the stack of paper was sent off to the author for him to go through and make changes in the aforementioned Microsoft Word for Mac file which he had sent to his hard-​​working publisher to print out and scribble all over. Yes, a perfect balance of old-​​world craftsmanship and the modern technological methods of precision reproduction combined for reasons of entertainment.

Once he’d stopped screaming to Lady Probert about the frequency of red pencil marks resembling a blood-​​splatter pattern, he set himself to the task of going through the paper, making many of the changes suggested, ignoring a few of the more arcane punctuational preferences his publisher seems to like (“manœuver”, æreoplane,  and “fœtid” for example), and occasionally making a comment on a page or two in reply; plus adding to one of the drawings demonstrating his own considerable artistic skills!

So, what does all that look like, exactly? 



All you have to do is buy a copy of The House that Death Built directly from the publisher’s site (which is this one right here, by the way), before October 31st and you’re automatically entered! Yes, any of the three editions qualify you: paperback, hardback, or even the eBook edition (as long as it’s the *.ZIP file version, as identities of the purchasers through Kobo and Amazon can’t be tracked).

What  do you get? It might be easier to tell you what you don’t get! The number of things is so numerous they are beyond most people’s ability to count! 

Well, okay, there’s at least three things, which is fewer than the fingers of most people’s hands. Still, that’s a lot!

Here’s what you win:

  • the original manuscript! which has been written on by the editor and author as they crafted the final form of the book
    Cover art by Stephen Upham [click to embiggen or close]
    Cover art by Stephen Upham
  • plus! “Copy #1″ of the Limited Hardcover Edition (be the envy of your friends everywhere!)
  • plus! a copy of Wicked Delights, John Llewellyn Probert’s previous title from Atomic Fez!
  • plus! …something else from inside the vaults of Atomic Fez


Includes, exclusive to this edition, the Author’s ‘Afterword’ about the genesis of the book as well as its writing and influences! Only 100 individually numbered copies, signed by both the author and  cover artist, dust-​​jacket over burgundy binding cloth, with both title and  author’s name stamped in gold on spine, and FREE POSTING AND PACKING.

So… there you go! Everyone entered is guaranteed at least one price: a copy of the début novel from award-​​winning, highly skilled, and frequently silly author John Llewellyn Probert! …because you just bought one, you see. It’s just that easy!

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