Lena Brassard

Lena Brassard

KotSQ: Revision Update #5

Rewrite Status Round 1 for KotSQ. Progress bar showing 23% complete, 54 of 240 pages.Picking up where left off before we were so rudely interrupted by writing a whole other book for no good reason.

54 rough draft pages have evolved into 68 revised pages. Since it’s been a while, I’ll remind everyone my first drafts have few complete sentences and almost no description, so I can easily add 30% more words in the first revision just by bring the prose up to minimum standards of intelligibility. I’m not adding bulk for the sake of it—the text would be incomprehensible without most of these words. Also, I’m not striving for a hypothetical word count, so the progress bar is measured with the only known numbers: the 240 pages of the first draft and the number of pages of it that have been dealt with at the time of reporting.

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Grave Oversight Ebook Live

Grave Oversight (Grave Oversight Book 1) has made its way to the major players in the retail sphere. Preorders don’t matter in my position, so you can get it today!

Each and every book is chock full of:

• Ghosts

• For your soap opera needs, amnesia and an evil twin

• A maybe-immortal swordsman

• Pining

Please note: There is a whiff of romance, but this is not A Romance.

For fifty years, I’ve haunted the diner built on top of my shallow grave. I have no memory of my life, much less details about my death, so my unsolved murder has been inherited by one detective after another, along with the secret to their department’s legendary reputation: I can solve any “unsolvable” case other than my own. I simply ask the victim whodunit, spy on the killer, have my favorite medium report admissible evidence to the proper authorities, and twiddle my thumbs until a stymied detective delivers another ghost to my booth.

My current client has even me stumped. He’s a kid, for one thing. For another, when he opens his mouth to answer questions, all that comes out is dirt. Fortunately for the investigation, if not the boy, his killer comes to claim him. Stealing his life didn’t satisfy her. She wants his soul, and she thinks looking like my twin will convince me to hand it over.

According to a cryptic, bossy, inhumanly gorgeous stranger who claims he’s my “friend,” the key to stopping the murderous lookalike is hidden in my past. All I have to do is solve a fifty-year-old crime, learn how to fight flesh and blood when I have neither, and get justice for an innocent soul before mine—which looks guiltier with every mystery stripped from my identity—is swept away.

Amazon  |  Apple  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Google Play  |  Kobo  |  Ko-Fi  |  Others

A couple of library distributors went through on day one; others historically take weeks to process. If the book isn’t showing up as a request option, it’s just a listing delay, not a library snub. 

While Book 2 (tentatively tiled Grave Intentions) marinates, I’ve returned to revising the fantasy romance that got derailed by this side project and will work on getting that out into the world this year, as well. 

The Experiment Ends

‘Scuse the noise while I fire up the chainsaw and remove the cobwebs from this blog.

Right, where were we? Ah, yes, The Great Serialization Experiment. The first Grave Oversight arc is completed. As is, it’s around 80,000 words, which is a fair length for a tight urban fantasy novel and exactly what I hoped it would be when I started. I’m not going to send you to the serialized version at this point because it’s silly for you to pay more than you would for the ebook that will soon be available while I (with the imminent expiration of the “50x actual earnings” launch bonus) receive less money than I would if you bought the less expensive ebook. At this stage, we both win if you don’t find your way to the serial.

I won’t go into the innumerable problems baked into That Platform, but the relationship certainly hasn’t been beneficial to me personally in terms of either short- or long-term goals. The reports show how many people are “following” the story, and that number is wildly inconsistent with the number of people actually reading it. Either the Evil Overlord isn’t reporting reads accurately (always a possibility) or these nonreading followers are wait-until-it’s-finished readers, which defeats the purpose of the serial format. There’s a post on the official support forum in which someone outright requests the option to pay all at once and read all at once. If you’re thinking that sounds an awful lot like an amazing piece of existing technology called “a book,” you are correct!

An awesome thing about books is that there’s not a real-time tally detailing how many people aren’t quite interested enough to read them undermining the author’s motivation to continue writing them.

Since I failed to gain a serial audience (which was the primary point of the experiment because I did the math and knew the payment structure was ungood before I waded in) and all-at-once books are vastly better suited to my “realize in Chapter 20 I should have set up something in Chapter 2” creative process anyway, the remainder of the Grave Oversight trilogy will be exclusively in whole-book form. Rather than leave the serial version up unfinished, I put in the request for it to be removed, so that phase of the story’s journey will be consigned to the memory bin approximately 2 months from now.

Book One needs a light edit (I wouldn’t have put it out in public in embarrassing condition, but why waste an opportunity to fix my little regrets), a little cover tweaking (done!), a book-worthy description, and formatting for ebook distribution. I hesitate to give a release date because my personal situation is precarious and prone to plan-wrecking disasters that will make a liar of me, but I can say the window of possibility doesn’t open before January 29, 2022, since the final serial episode has to be at least 30 days old before I make the story available elsewhere in book form.

The best way to guarantee receiving updates is to sign up for the newsletter, but I’m sure I’ll also mention it here and on Twitter.

Society of Unlikable Heroines

Inspired by the millionth “heroines aren’t allowed to possess any of the less savory qualities people swoon over in heroes” discussion, I bashed my head against Photoshop for a while until a logo fell out.

Photoshop window featuring an angry cartoon woman inside a ring with the text "Society of Unlikable Heroines"

And then I put it on pretty much every item Redbubble has to offer, from acrylic blocks to zipper pouches.Wooden shelf, upon which sits a mug emblazoned with the Society of Unlikable Heroines logo Sofa with many throw pillows, the foremost of which features the Society of Unlikable Heroines logo

Woman carrying a canvas tote bag emblazoned with the Society of Unlikable Heroines logo

So if you’re fond of heroines deemed too proud, too cold, too tormented, too angry, too promiscuous, too cynical, too mercenary, too scary, too weird, too uncivil, or too otherwise “unrelatable,” check out the store for a dizzying array of apparel, beverage containers, home décor, and stationery products.

Introducing My Serial: Grave Oversight

UPDATE: The serial experiment has ended. Look here for the story in book form.

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.