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Practice to Deceive: now in paperback (honest)

Hello all! Long time no see. Not that I can see you. You get the idea…

Practice to Deceive - mask fiction novel - 3D coverAt long last, the paperback version of Practice to Deceive is finally available. It’s a real book! Since I first got my proof copy last summer I made a few minor changes – improving the book’s layout, and tweaking the cover a little bit. I’ve updated all of the imagery you can see around the site, and of course the new cover is on Amazon, both in Kindle and paperback formats, and over at Gumroad as a PDF.

As I think I mentioned before, by necessity the paperback costs more than the Kindle version – $14.99 for US customers. That’s because the cost of print-on-demand printing is obviously higher than the cost assigned to a Kindle book. Hope you can understand. As it is, it feels pretty competitively priced; it’s an almost 400 page book, after all. Having seen the proof myself, I can vouch for it being a high quality finished product.

So, if for whatever reason you’ve been waiting to buy Practice to Deceive in physical form… now’s the time to pick it up. If you do, please send me a picture of the book. (You don’t have to be in the picture!) I’d love to see my words in physical form out there in the world.

More news soon. Just wanted to get this out in the world!

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News Progress Report

September update

Hello! Been a while. Well not that long, but a while. An indeterminable unit of time. Long enough that I have a nagging feeling that I need to update you guys about… well, whatever. So let’s see what we got.

Father Knows Best is still being worked on. Seriously! It’s been slow, to be frank, because editing isn’t my favorite task. Especially when editing basically means rewriting, which I’ve mostly been doing – it’s an old story and I feel it needs some work in most scenes. Recently a scene sort of popped into my head which I really felt I needed to add, so that’s getting spliced in somewhere, somehow. I think it’s hot, so, you know… worthwhile. Of course, I still have the ending to write as well.

By the way, I’m sure I’m going to need to change the title on this one. It’s just kind of dull, really. Got any thoughts? I’m also pretty positive it might have to be sold away from Amazon. Even though the story doesn’t feature actual sex between actual blood family members, some might read it that way, and Amazon has a strict no-damn-way policy on stories that feature incest. So, while I’m not changing the story (it’s about a father and his stepdaughter, as you might recall) it might get sold in places other than Amazon. Not something I intend to make a habit of, by the way.

Speaking of title changes, I’m pretty sure I’m going to change the title for what was The Substitute. Partly to avoid confusion with Vic’s original work, but also to make it a little clearer. I’m thinking Her Substitute. At least that implies impersonation and crossdressing! I need to edit this, and I mean really edit it (not rewrite it), but that’s going to take a while as it’s novel-sized. I had this weird notion I’d get it out in October… I really have no idea if that will happen. Good news is I already have my cover image, I’ve just got to piece it together. Who knows, maybe this could be an ebook/paperback simultaneous release.

Finally… the sequel to Practice to Deceive has gotten some love recently. It’s over 55,000 words now, but I’m projecting it’ll be the same length as Practice to Deceive so… plenty of words to go. (About double that number, at least.) I’d say I’m about half-way through the plot too, but things are starting to get interesting.

Elsewhere, The New Job will get more words before the middle of the month. If you don’t know what that is, you’re not subscribed to my newsletter! Subscribe today and get this piece of serialized fiction as I write it, month to month.

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News

Congratulations, it’s a book!

I have birthed something into the world. Three years late, mind you. The pregnancy was a bitch… yes, I finally got my first proof copy of Practice to Deceive. It’s a real book! Holy cow! Here it is…

Practice to Deceive - cover
It’s a real book! Practice to Deceive on my desk.

It’s pretty surreal to hold something like this in your hands. I mean, I designed the thing from front to back, so it’s not like it was surprising, but there’s a big difference between a design on your monitor and a real-life thing you can hold, that has weight. It’s funny, without really planning for it, it’s pretty much exactly what I’d expect to see on a store shelf (not that I ever will!) in terms of size and weight. It feels… right, is all I can say.

Practice to Deceive - back cover
Back cover. I wrote a blurb and everything. There’s even a legitimate bar code!

This is a proof copy for a reason, of course – to check for mistakes. While the text is fine, there are a few minor tweaks I’m going to do. I’m pretty proud I managed to get all the pages in the right order the first time, frankly! It looks pretty readable, although you can take a peek at the interior below and let me know if you think otherwise. Of course, increasing the font size increases the page count which increases the cost, so I’m trying to avoid that if possible. I’m actually going to reduce the margins a little bit, it’s pretty spacious in the interior, so I may be able to increase the font a little bit.

The cover turned out pretty well, I think. I did take Liz Rees’ advice (I think it was Liz, anyway) and changed the logo to be lighter. I need to do the same on the spine, it’s hard to see. Overall the book is a lot darker, color wise, than I guess I expected. I chose a matte finish too, which probably darkens it a little bit.

Practice to Deceive - interior
Inside the book. I used Garamond for the main typeface.

Anyway! There you go! A real book! Now I know how to use Createspace for this, I’ll be adding paperback versions of A Lie Within A Lie too, which shouldn’t take as long as I have all the files and so on that I need.

After I’ve resubmitted the changes I need to make to Practice to Deceive, I’ll be able to put it live in Createspace, which will make it available for sale on Amazon and other places. I’m not sure what the final price will be, but I hope it’s not too high – however as with all print-on-demand titles, it won’t be that cheap. (No economy of scale for printing costs, you see.)

If you buy a copy I’d love to see it on your shelves, or in your hands, or on your desk or whatever. I’ll let you know when it’s live and available to buy, of course.

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News Progress Report

Late, late for a past-due date

Hello hello, here I am again.

July’s newsletter just went out. At last. I’ve tried to send them about the middle of the month, so by my calendar, I’m about ten days late – apologies. I know, I know, it’s free and all that but I still feel weirdly responsible. Damn my Catholic tendencies! Anyway the good news, as newsletter subscribers now know, is that the resulting update to my free, ongoing fiction is double the size of previous updates. Double for nothing! What a bargain, etc.

Of course, if I was writing that stuff much earlier, then the newsletter wouldn’t be late, but that would make me organized and who wants to be organized? Not me at least. Seat of my pants, that’s me.

Away from the newsletter, I’ve taken a break from editing (read: completely rewriting) Father Knows Best and to my surprise, that break led me back to the sequel to Practice to Deceive, which gained quite a few thousand words recently. It’s shaping up pretty nicely I think. I have no idea when it might be done – it feels big – but what I’m writing is fun. A new antagonist…

Well, I’d better get back to it! I’d love to hear from you if you’re getting the newsletter. And if you aren’t, sign up! Mid-August you’ll get to read what I’m cooking up….

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News Process

A new look for Practice to Deceive…?

Since I mentioned I would be publishing (well, publishing-on-demand) Practice to Deceive, I’ve had the tough, tough task of spending many hours going through Shutterstock to find the perfect cover imagery. It’s a hard life, but someone’s got to do it.

Seriously, while at times I found myself quite awed by the amount of gorgeous models on that site, it was actually pretty damn hard to find an image that I liked. Ideally I wanted something that needed little (if any) editing; it needed to be relatively clutter free, to have a good, clean look as a book cover; and frankly, it needed to be sexy while not being entirely overt. I’m sure you’ve looked already, but just in case… scroll down (and click/tap to make bigger).

Practice to Deceive: the new cover
Practice to Deceive: the new cover

Thoughts? I think it’s a lot sexier than the original cover, frankly, although your mileage may obviously vary. The model is closer in my mind’s eye to what Linda looks like in the novel (brunette) although I’m sure she’s younger! (The other good news about this choice of image is that the same model is featured in a variety of fantastic images, so you never know, she may appear on the cover of the sequel, too….)

Practice to Deceive - mask fiction novel - cover
Practice to Deceive: the original cover

Of course, you have to suspend disbelief to imagine that what you’re looking at isn’t a woman at all, but a young man wearing a very clever disguise… but that’s what we do when we read, so I think we can handle that.

(By the way, I’ve looked – a lot – for images that could show/display masking, but the fact is, while there’s a few out there, nothing’s quite right for me. When I’m rich and famous I’ll commission someone to do that for me. Don’t hold your breath.)

Anyway, I may still tweak the cover a bit before publication; I may do white-on-dark text for the title instead, although I’m partial to this palette overall. Anyway, I’d love to know your thoughts. Do you think it’s better or worse than the original? (See right for reference – again, click for a close-up.) Do you think it would be more likely to make you buy the book, if you saw this cover?

Finally, a pretty important question… considering this is planned for the paperback cover… would you have it in your house?? (Perhaps under the bed, or discretely hidden in a drawer… heck, I’d have to do it myself.)

Anyway, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or reach out via the contact page with your thoughts.

More news about other projects this week. Been busy!

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News Process

Paperback writer…

Today I’ve been formatting the paperback version of Practice to Deceive, which is long, long overdue for a paperback version! Just like when I first published the book on Kindle, this is really a testing ground for me… and boy, it’s testing.

I forgot how god-damn finicky Word can be when it comes to formatting. While I write in Scrivener and would never change that, to format, you really need to use an external word processor… and Word is pretty much the only game in town. Getting Word to format correctly so you can create a 6in by 9in paperback is a pain in the ass, though. Especially because of Styles. Grrr.

The original cover for Practice to Deceive.
The original cover for Practice to Deceive.

Well, after a couple of hours, it looks like I’m almost there. Right now assuming I don’t make any more big changes to the text size, etc, Practice to Deceive is looking like it will be a 386-page paperback, roughly. (I have no idea what it’ll cost, but as I’m making it print-on-demand, it won’t be cheap. Sorry, but Kindle / eBook will always be cheaper.)

The next big hurdle is coming up with a new cover design for the book. The original cover (shown here) was one I got from a pre-designed cover site. At the time I was fine with it, even though it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. It was close enough – a woman, looking sexy and suitably mysterious. Over time though, I came to like it less and less. I’m not a huge fan of the typefaces, and the woman, while sexy, doesn’t really look like I picture Linda (or rather, Billy-as-Linda). It’s an elegant cover, but it’s not quite as attention grabbing as I want it to be.

In the years since I’ve learned a lot more about Photoshop and cover design. I created the covers for A Lie Within A Lie, and think they came out pretty well. So, now I’m tinkering with new cover designs for Practice to Deceive. When I’ve got some final candidates, I’ll share them here and I’d love to get people’s opinions on what they think works. Shortly after that, anyone who’s been jones’ing for a paperback will be able to get one, with the new cover included!

Right, back to wrestling with Word.

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News

So what’s next? (Summer 2016 edition)

Well, the dust has settled (AKA the sales have gone down) on A Lie Within A Lie: The Spy, so inevitably, my thoughts turn to what the hell I’m doing next. Good question. Let’s dive in and figure it out, shall we?

The Substitute

This is a definite. For anyone coming in late, I ‘re-imagined’ Victor G’s classic tale of a boy, a teacher and a mask (or two…), rewriting it from Darien’s point of view (the boy using said masks) and expanding it to completion. I did all of this with Vic’s buy-in and advice, by the way, although it’s very much ‘my take’ on the tale.

The result is a 90,000 word novel, which is currently completed, but needs editing. I think I probably won’t get to that until about July, but I’d hope to release as a result in August or at latest, September. I think it’ll be worth the wait. Just like Practice to Deceive it features a lot of M2F transformation scenes, some quite kinky stuff, and of course that flawless impersonation we all love so much. (It also features more than a little smoking fetish action, which I inherited from Vic’s draft. It was new for me, but I did my best with it!)

If you’ve never read The Substitute, and don’t mind getting a little spoiled (Even though I added plenty, the book obviously shares events with Vic’s story) you can read it online at Sapphire’s Place.

Father Knows Best

For the old and infirm amongst us – er, like me – you may remember this title. This is a non-completed tale of a father who, having recently separated from his wife, discovers that his step-daughter is more than willing – and able – to impersonate her mother to help him out of a tricky situation. The question is, can this straight-arrow father resist when his wife returns to him, sexually invigorated and with the body of a much younger woman….

So, this was infamously (well, to me) never finished because frankly, I couldn’t figure out the damn ending. After a lot of false starts, I think I’ve finally got it. Now all I need to do is write it. At the same time however, I’m probably going to rewrite (and possibly expand) the existing material I have to make it bigger and better.

If I had to guess, it’ll land as a novella-length book, probably in the 20-30K range. What I had was 17K, so potentially it’ll double in size. With that in mind… I’d probably expect this to arrive in August, if I can find some time in June to bang it out. As you can probably tell from the description, this one will heavily feature F2F masking and impersonation, which I know is a favorite of some, and arguably kind of underserved in our niche, so I hope you enjoy when it lands.

Practice to Deceive sequel

What will definitely not be called ‘Practice to Deceive 2’ will hopefully arrive in early 2017 at the latest. This is the heaviest lift in terms of writing – at least 100K to go, if I had to guess. While I have the whole thing plotted and have for a while, I just need to blitz the writing. However, knowing these things, despite having the plot written I’m sure I’ll uncover holes and hit bumps along the way.

In the sequel, Billy does indeed go to Comic-Con with Linda… but that’s the broadest possible summation of what’s planned. Put it this way: there will be more masking, more impersonation and more people involved than in Practice to Deceive. Billy is most definitely not alone. Ah, but who will join him…?

I’m looking forward to writing this but it’ll be a long slog. I’ll let you know when the trek begins!

Other stuff

There’s always other stuff, of course. There’s Love Hotel, which started (literally over a decade ago) as some scribbles and really deserves an ending, even if it’s short. There’s the potential to reboot or remake Beneath the Veil, which I’ve been telling myself I can/should do for some time. And then there’s whatever else my fevered brain will make up.

Of course in amongst all this, there’s still the ongoing tale that will unfold for subscribers to the newsletter. Scroll down a bit and you can sign up and make sure you keep up to date on that, completely free.

Oh yeah, I also figured out what a sequel to A Lie Within A Lie would look like. But that would be a way down the road.

But what do you want?

As always, I want to hear from you. I want to hear what you like, what you’d love to see, and even your ideas. I never guarantee that I will use any of them, but I love inspiration and I just love to reach out and talk to people. If you haven’t, feel free to go ahead and register to comment, and leave one below. Alternatively you can reach out via the contact form. Last but not least, if you’d prefer to just stick my name in an email, sending something to my initials (gw) at this domain (ghostlywriter.com) will reach me. (As will my name at gmail. I like to give you options.)

So what’ll it be, mask fiction lovers? You tell me.