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Lit Agent, Brianne Ogden Says “Adapt Your Novels Into Graphic Novels”

Brianne Ogden is Martin Literary Management’s newest addition. She was brought on board specifically to represent clients in the hot graphic novel and children’s book markets. In today’s interview, Ogden tells us why novelists might consider adapting the novels to graphic novels, what sub-genres are going to be hot and the best way to submit a children’s book to her.


What made you want to become a literary agent at a time when the publishing industry and the economy is so undecided?
What better time to try and make a difference? The industry has come to a point where it is picky because of the economy. That selectivity excites me. Agents, editors and publishers now have an added responsibility to choose books that are so unique they will sell like hotcakes. I love that challenge. It suits me.

Why did you decide to join Martin Literary Management in particular instead of another agency?
If you know Sharlene Martin, owner of MLM, you know the answer to this question. I started as her intern and from the first day, I knew that if I was going to be a successful agent it would be due to Sharlene’s work ethic, dynamic personality, and champion attitude. She’s the “Mickey” to my “Rocky.”

Bree, you and I are helping a couple of your graphic novelist clients get published. Why are you so passionate about graphic novels and children’s books?
I’m an extremely visual person. Graphic novels have been a long time passion of mine because the intense artwork allows the reader’s senses to garner so much while the brief and sometimes vague dialogue forces the reader to use their imagination. It’s a beautiful combination. I love children’s books because they have the power to change a child’s world. I love the fact that the central fact of children’s literature is a heightened sense of wonder.

Why do you think that writer’s who may not be as strong writers as they are storytellers should consider writing graphic novels and how exactly should they submit them to you? Do they need to write the entire book? Do they need to be artists themselves?
There are writers with storytelling talent strong enough to bend light waves, but they may not be wordsmiths. A graphic novel might be just the thing for them. Storytelling is the lynchpin of a graphic novel; there is just simply not enough text to require facile wordplay.

Before you query me, you should have a completed graphic novel script. If you don’t know how to script a graphic novel, there are plenty of wonderful books out there that will teach you. I would love to see artwork with the script, but not everyone is an artist, and that’s okay because many publishers will pair graphic novel authors with their own artists.

What are editor’s looking for right now? What’s hot? And what are you itching to get your hands on?
I’m pretty confident that editors are over the vampire trend, or maybe that’s just wishful thinking. Word on the street is that angels and demons are smokin’ hot. I’m feeling that fallen angels are the new vampires. I’m going out on a limb with this one: but I want to say that fairies and monsters are about to rock our world. I know zombies are about as used up as vampires, but I’ll always love them. As far as what I am itching for? Dark and twisted tales, philosophical principles, sci-fi, mash-ups of any kind, steampunk, mermaids, and kooks. Not all in one book…but I suppose that would be one heck of a story.

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