the Author

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. tanyashively says:

    Can’t wait for “Decep­tion” — I just reread the entire series in anticipation!

  2. Lesa says:

    Oh, hurry time! I can’t wait! Keep writing. I love your books!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Tyronne Hodgins says:

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

  8. Carol Duffy says:

    So looking forward!!!!!!

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Joey says:

    It’s a very green cover! Did it feel like a green story when you wrote it?

  13. 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.

  14. Darbie says:

    So not to belittle your cast books but when does War come out.…please, thanks for writing

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Julianne Single says:

    As always it is great to

  19. 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?

  20. Heather says:

    Excerpt soon :)

  21. 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

  22. 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.

  23. 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?

  24. 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!!

  25. Jen says:

    Now, how do I get a signed copy of the Cast in Shadow??? :)

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