Cover: Cast in Deception

Posted in Elantra, Shane Rebenschied, Mira.

Many of you have already seen the cover for Cast in Deception in the wild. The artist is, once again, the amazing Shane Rebenschied; the art director is the equally talented Kathleen Oudit.

This is the full cover, with back blurb:


In the good news department: Mira is re-issuing Cast in Shadow and Cast in Courtlight, to coincide with the release of Cast in Deception. They’ll be in trade paperback, with slightly updated covers (fonts, name placement, things like that).


I have finished page proofs; I haven’t finished the book review column–but I find reading and thinking about books far, far less disruptive to writing than copy-edits or page proofs. Some writers can do both – write first, revise, proof-read – and I envy them enormously. For me, the engine of my brain turns into an entirely critical reader. I am only looking for everything I got wrong. And when I approach drafting a novel with that mindset… I second-guess every. Single. Word. This leads to an iterative loop of writing the same sentence over and over and over with increasing dissatisfaction, without actually reaching the story itself.

Again: this is me and my process, and all process is a bit quirky when it comes to details. Charles de Lint said, while at the bookstore, that he writes new words–even if only a few hundred–every day, and then moves on to revisions or page proofs, etc. I whimpered in envy. But I have tried for literal decades, and have learned to accept what I cannot change. My brain clearly over-focuses and it changes direction very slowly =/.

And now, words :D

26 Responses to Cover: Cast in Deception

  1. Andrea Smith says:

    I can’t wait to get my hands on Cast in Deception. I’ve been doing my re-read of the series. Not that it helps, I still catch things I’ve missed and newer book go in different directions. As I go through I’m reminded of how much I love when Hope arrives. 😁 I’m hate having to wait for a few more months… I need my book fix.
    As for writing, read proofs, copy edits and book reviews, I’m an artist I bet it’s like my stretch book. It’s a work in progress. I sketch when I’m feeling creative, ink when have focus and color on autopilot. When I’m on a deadline and try to force myself, it never turns out well. I only see the mistakes. I know how you feel. Hope things go smoother going forward and know we love your work.

  2. Sandra Bayless says:

    My daughter and I love your books. We start with the first Cast book and read all of them until the new one comes out. Can’t wait until the lastest one comes out.

  3. Tchula says:

    Yay for Deception and most especially for the re-release of Cast in Shadow in trade paperback! Talia took it to school in her backpack a few years ago and tore the cover badly shoving stuff in with it. There was much yelling (by me) and a huge discussion about treating other people’s property when borrowed like precious gems. When I realized I couldn’t get another one on Amazon because it was out of print I Was Not Happy. But now all is right with the world again. ;-P

  4. Zia says:

    Absolutely cannot wait for this book, and I may have to increase my collection and buy a copy of the rereleased ones, because mine have been read a lot, and eventually I’ll have to replace them again.

  5. Tyronne Hodgins says:

    Looking sooooooo forward to this next installment!!!! Waiting patiently (sort of). Cover looks GREAT!!!!!!

  6. Paula Lieberman says:

    2/3 suggestions for reading By Other Authors in the duration while thje the work of editing and revisions and page proofing and other production etc. and the lag time and latencies occur until the next Michelle books come out:|

    o The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso

    The Tethered Mage is a fantasy novel, with a setting redolent of Venice or around say the 1400 or 1500s and its empire, the head of the country is the Doge, for example. Assassination attempts via blade and poisons are not uncommon, and conspiracy and plotting are rife. The protagonist is a young woman who’s the heir to a high patrician position.

    The magic of the world includes alchemists and mages with other talents than making potions–there are magical artisans who produce mechanical wonders, there are magical runes which create lethal barriers.

    The reader meets the protagonist on an outing in disguise, making a purchase, and orthogonality ensues.

    It’s a wonderful book

    o The Shattered Court and The Forbidden Heir by M J Scott

    The M J Scott novel is a sequel to The Shattered Court, which is also a fantasy novel. In the Shattered Court, the male lead (it’s fantasy romance with very strong romantic elements in it–there’s a degree of romantic content in The Tethered Mage, but it’s not really a romance–a romance might go forward in the next book(s), or not–it seems likely, but…) has Scottish Highland overtones, but it’s not really a Celtic world. despite some e.g. name similarities. The magical system of the world involve elements/arts, however, the home country of the lead characters has a state religion which restricts the magic of the women of the extended royal family to earth magic, one of the four arts, and banned the fourth art, water magic, from everyone.

    The principal opposition country of the protoganists’ country does not restrict anyone from the learning and practice of all four arts, however being across an ocean deters direct warfare. The first book starts with the female lead, who is predominant viewpoint character, about to have the birthday on which she will or will not manifest magic, strong or weak. A member of the royal family, though not main line of it, if she manifests as a strong witch, she’ll be married off for the benefit of the kingdom. If she manifests weakly, or not at all, her life will be more her own…

    But Interference with the smooth intended planning for the big celebration of her attaining the birthday occurs, and her future goes forward in unexpected ways. The first book is a romance, but there are Issues as regards future direction culminating in not a cliffhanger, but “To Be Continued” at the end of the first book.

    The Forbidden Heir has “what happens next?” but it’s quite clear at the end of the book, that the plots are only getting deeper and the stakes are rising.

  7. Debbie H says:

    The cover is great! What ever your writing process is, don’t worry, the outcome are outstanding books that we all love and count the days for the next release. Thank you for all your hard work. Your faithful readers really appreciate the time and attention to details in your books.

  8. Melanie A says:

    I get your brain, as in my brain… never could read let a lone write a sentence less a paragraph unless it was done… so your writing is fantastic. And I enjoy reading any book you write. So looking forward to the books

  9. Melissa says:

    I am a reader, not a writer. So my question(s) may be naive but here goes. I thought the entire point of having an editor was so that the writer can focus on the content of their tales, not the spelling/spacing/and minor errors like accidentally writing “their” instead of “there?” Isn’t that their job? They proof read, fix the obvious errors and send back the iffy grammar mistakes, etc? Is this not the function of an editor? It sounds like you are having to do this job too; and that it takes up a lot of your time (time that could be spent weaving new adventures). I understand sending things back that may need to be rewritten or clarified, or emphasized or that have nothing to do with the storyline and may distract from the overall story… but editing for mistakes should not be something that you waste your time on. Does having someone else do this somehow alter the feel of the writing?

    Lol! I would do it for free. Talk about a dream job. A chance to see the stories of one of my favorite authors when they are still raw and unpolished. To read & re-read for mistakes as the story is being written. To ask “Did you mean to say this?” To see the actual creation in process. Dude! That would be fantastic. I just totally geeked out.

    Joey: I love your question. I hope Michelle answers it.

  10. michelle says:

    @Melissa: Editor is a broad umbrella term, and it encompasses a number of things. An acquiring editor will wear at least two hats when it comes to the actual book itself. The first pass is a read-through, in which they query anything that does not make sense, but also, pacing issues, structural issues, none of which can be resolved by simply fixing typos or grammatical errors.

    I will address concerns, and I will make revisions of my own (because no book is every truly finished if the text can be fiddled with, sadly) and I will return the book to the editor. They now drill down more specifically. This would be line-edits. The overall substance and shape of the book is done, and now it’s nitty-gritty work and queries.

    When they have done this part, it is sent to a copy-editor. the copy-editor is responsible for catching grammar and continuity errors, and this would include typos, bad capitalization, etc.

    After which, the copy-edits are sent back to *me*, because the CE will query things that are not clear to them. And I will read through their changes/proposed changes, and will either say “no” or “ugh, I’m stupid (yes)”.

    During this process, I will continue to look for mistakes that were missed on *every other pass through the book*. Hiring a proof-reader, for instance, is necessary – but there’s no proof-reader who will not miss something. It’s just not possible, imho, to catch every single mistake in one pass. I could, in theory, say that catching my mistakes is Someone Else’s job – but… it’s my name on the cover, and in theory, if I were uber competent, I wouldn’t need correction.

    And because every single pass is a opportunity to make the book better, there’s no easy way to NOT READ for mistakes, if that makes sense? It’s not as if I add 250 pages (Broken Crown) but somehow ignore errors in the rest of the book when revising and reviewing line edits. It’s indivisible from the various stages.

    Page proofs are, in theory, the last best chance to catch things before they’re in print and permanent. And sometimes I’ll catch an error that no one caught – even me, all 4 times – and it will be THE WRONG NAME.

    And sometimes, even then, I don’t catch it T_T. The name looks correct on some visceral level… and it’s not. It’s moments like those that mean that I have to at least try. Even if I fail.

  11. Margarita Robles Sevier says:

    It looks like you do everything in your power to make it as clean and readable as possible I think you Michelle for doing this I love reading your cast books to the point I listen to them on the road when I’m driving for my job.

  12. Melissa says:

    Thank you. That was actually rather enlightening. Learning about the blood, sweat, and tears behind the shiny new book I get to enjoy, helps me to appreciate it (and you) even more. Kudos.

  13. Julianne Single says:

    Sorry my cat submitted that prior comment before it was done, he is very much like Hope and has ways of making me pay attention to him! As always, look forward to the updates Michelle, and thank you for the cover preview. I believe it is one of my favorite covers thus far. I have already preordered and am eagerly awaiting the release. Have loved watching Kaylin grow and change in realistic ways, and to meet the various races and their “caste courts” as Kaylin fumbles into them. I am curious as she has met all the courts if you include the Dragons although not yet formal court, she has not yet had any dealings with the human court. I saw you hope to write a Dragon court story at some point when it feels cooperative, are there any plans to introduce Kaylin to the human court?

    Also the cover reminds me of the runes, both on Kaylin and the cover. They look like old Norse runes. Are the ones shown on the cover meant to spell a word or are they meant to have meaning (journey, protection, etc) or are they merely decorative on the cover? Sometimes I think the markings in the story have a more Asian flare, rather than the European one on the cover. I know many things in popular culture end up being “white washed” as they say, but Elantra does strike me as a true melting pot. It is just I have looked up the Eunice alphabets and tried to spell out things from the ones in the corner and can never make sense of them, they seem to be most the same ones so perhaps it is my translation.

    The only other burning question I have is if Nightshade will ever see what Kaylin did with his cloak from Silence?

  14. Giusy says:

    Hi Michelle!!
    I know it’s a little early, but we have had a long wait for this book.. soo.. can we please have the first chapter please?
    We are diyng here <3

  15. Melanie says:

    Listening to the entire series in anticipation of this release. I had forgotten how rapidly the scale of Kaylin’s grew, and how young she was at the beginning of the series. The spoken versions allow me to really pay attention the details in a way that reading does not. In re-reading I can see the long game that Nightshade played; the evolution of Kaylin’s understanding of living and aware buildings; and Kaylin’s healing and growth as a young woman. I am very excited to get another installment.

  16. Danita says:

    Second or third on the very respectful and appreciative request for a sneak preview of the first chapter (or two!- cause hey, it is the season of giving right?).
    This is one of those rare series that I order both electronic and hard copy. I have hooked lots of people and must have copies to lend/show. So waiting eagerly. Just checked the due date again a little bit ago. Just in case it sped up somehow. Snippets, early chapter preview? Pretty, pretty please?

  17. Alexandra says:

    It would be great if we could get an early sneak peek into the new Cast book. A chapter or even two would be so fantastic! Thanks!!

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