Lena Brassard

Lena Brassard

Introducing My Serial: Grave Oversight

Today marks the launch of Kindle Vella, a serial fiction platform for stories delivered in “episodes” that readers unlock with tokens. 

I had a partially written serial going to waste, so when Amazon announced this was on the horizon, I dusted off that story, revised what I had, and finished drafting to the end of the first arc (the equivalent of Book One in a series of novels). I’m typically far too cautious to be an early adopter, but “going to waste” makes this particular leap a low-risk venture.

Circular crop of book cover with dark-haired woman standing in front of a derelict mansion. Text: Grave Oversight, Lena Brassard

Grave Oversight 

© 2021 Lena Brassard

Categories: Paranormal, Mystery

Tags: ghost, amnesia, murder investigation, urban fantasy

Content Warning: Child death

Tess has no memory of her murder, but her record for helping other restless spirits in need of justice is flawless—until the homicide detective she works with delivers a ghostly boy who refuses to provide any clues that might lead to his killer. The investigation draws Tess into a web of evil that extends back half a century to her own death. With the true motivations of a gorgeous man who claims he’s an old friend and an ageless enemy who shares Tess’s face locked in the vault of her missing memories, only the dead can be trusted.

Available now here or search in the Kindle for iOS app.

This story was originally conceived as a serial. When that deal fell through, doing a gut-and-rewrite to make it structurally more like a novel didn’t appeal to me, so into the Vault of Abandoned Projects it went. I’m glad it’s getting another chance at life (oh, the irony) in its intended form.

So check it out if you’re curious. The first three episodes (approximately 8,500 words total) are free to try, and the 200 free introductory tokens Amazon offers near the top of the page will get you through episode 10. If you like what you see, hit that thumbs-up button at the bottom of each episode and consider bestowing your weekly “fave” crown upon the story. Those small, easily forgotten gestures make a huge difference in which stories are visible and which sink into the abyss like lead bricks. 

Trailer: Grave Oversight

As a reader, I’m unmoved by book trailers, but they’re kinda fun to make and free with Lumen5, so it’s a relatively painless promotional attempt, regardless of efficacy. Here’s one for my serial Grave Oversight, coming next week.

(Music only; in-image text captioned for screen readers.)

I will, of course, share more information when I have it. There’s a blog-to-email option in the right sidebar/bottom of your screen on mobile, I endure on Twitter, and the shiny new newsletter quivers in anticipation of its maiden voyage.

We Interrupt Your Scheduled Program with This Unimportant Announcement

The fantasy romance is on hold for a minute while I play the “no, really, a serial is a viable option” game again. I don’t quite have to start from scratch with that story, but it’s also not what you could call “finished” with a straight face, so I have some work to do before the platform opens up. Even if I can’t get the whole first arc of the story reader-ready by opening day, I’d like at least half of it immediately available and the rest needing just a prose polish so it can roll out in a timely fashion. My typical “realize on the last page I need to add something crucial to the first page to make the ending work” process isn’t going to serve me well in a scenario where the first page is already out in the world, so I need to exist at all points in time and know everything all at once to pull this off. 😬

So I’m off to hyperfocus on ghosts for a bit.

More information as I get it.

KotSQ: Revision Update #4

Progress bar showing 39 of 240 pages revisedI wanted to be here 10 days ago, but I’m in a high-stress situation that vacuums up most of the mental energy this job requires. Nevertheless, the first act is done (for this round of revision). Between cuts and additions, 39 pages of Old Draft is now 48 pages of New Draft.

I talked a little about my typical naming process last time (“pinch of column A, pinch of column B, smoosh ’em together”). When that yields inadequate results, I use a trick from my merch tie-in gig: take a pinch of various words that apply to what’s being named and smoosh ’em together. Thus, we have the Thoulo Ring (the outer lower ring of a terraced city), the Eashotin Temple (on the eastern shore on a mount[a]in), Thanlarek (a person with thin lips and angular cheeks), and Saupi (the theater troupe that fed Heroine a sausage pie for breakfast). The results aren’t pretty, but they get me over naming hurdles that would otherwise bring me to a dead stop.Read more“KotSQ: Revision Update #4”

KotSQ: Revision Update #3

Progress bar showing 5% complete for 13 of 240 pagesI’m going to take a picture of a progress bar and post that when I update because I can tell you right now I will not log in every day to keep a current total in the sidebar. Rather than guess a target number of pages/words that will be impossible to hit precisely, I’m using the known quantity of 240 rough draft pages and counting progress by checking off each page as it’s “done.” A page might shrink to half a page or grow to three pages in the next draft, but I can reliably measure when everything on one rough page has been addressed.

Before I started the fresh draft, I did a search-and-replace of names for three principal characters (yes, I put on my big-girl pants and changed them) in the rough draft so I don’t have to remember to change them a million times in the new draft. Moment of silence for the poor souls in bygone eras who had to do this manually.

Read more“KotSQ: Revision Update #3”