Author John-Ivan Palmer has been a professional stage hypnotist since 1970 and still performs select shows on a limited basis. Please contact for further information: hypnoid[at]

MASTER OF DECEPTION, the long-awaited memoir about growing up in the dark and closed world of 1950s floor show culture, is now available at book outlets worldwide. (Depicted on the cover is the author’s father, Jack Pyle.) Nominated for the National Book Award and 2020 INDIES Book of the Year Award Finalist.

Master of Deception by John-Ivan Palmer cover

“Wonderfully entertaining and well-written….what a story he tells.” — Mary Ann Grossman, St. Paul Pioneer Press

“Writing with the voice of experience, Palmer lifts the tacky curtain on a world gone away. Tawdry but exciting.” — David Luhrssen, Shepherd Express

“A real eye opener. Information you cannot find in many biographies. Touching, utterly interesting, highly recommended!” — Marco Pusterla, Ye Old Magic Magazine (UK)

“A trip into a world few of us know or understand.” — Spectrum West, Wisconsin Public Radio

“Check out this book!” — Scott Wells, The Magic Word Podcast

“Fiercely observed and intensely uncanny moments…an insider’s story of life among outsiders. — Thomas Burchfield, Curious Magazine

Also Recently Published:

Listen to Me! Words and the Amplified Voice,” an essay on the history of speaking to large crowds without a microphone. Whistling Shade Literary Journal, Summer 2020. “How did Abraham Lincoln deliver the Gettysburg Address to 20,000 people using only the wind that came out of his body?”

Two poems “Massage Parlor Honeymoon” and “Face Focus Burn Hole” were written during the author’s period as a night club hypnotist. Issue 9, 2020, of Modern Poetry Quarterly Review.

“City Deep,” in the anthology Around the World, Landscapes & Cityscapes, 2021.

“On the Fly” (short story) Punaise de lit, une revue des arts, Nov. 2023.

“Talent” (flash fiction) Blink-Ink, March 2024.