This week on the show, we welcome a true literary Renaissance Woman to the show: Bree Ogden.
She’s a literary agent with D4EO Literary Agency, an editor with the macabre children’s magazine Underneath the Juniper Tree, an instructor at LitReactor.com where she teaches courses on writing graphic novels, and a whole bunch of other stuff.
Most awesome for us in the Fiction School family is that Bree is Jody’s agent. Yay!
But Bree? She’s no ordinary Renaissance Woman. She’s also “The Wonder Woman of Horror,” as she has heard herself described. Listen to the show to hear Bree talk about her love for dark stories and horror, her sense of the literary marketplace, and her bets on new directions writing will go. It’s a fascinating talk on the pulse of the literary scene today and where it’s heading tomorrow.
SHOW NOTES FOR EPISODE 18
- Jody tells us how she met Bree and decided to work with her as agent, and why an agent-writer relationship has to work as a partnership that is beneficial for both.
- Bree tells us what new directions and new developments that current writing appears headed towards.
- Nerd Culture is taking over and making nerdery cool, so there are new genres and works that reach them.
- Graphic novels and illustrated fiction look like they’re ready to take off to meet that market’s demand.
- We discuss some interesting developments that digital publishing can take on with graphic and illustrated fiction.
- We delve into how a graphic novel tells a story differently than a traditional novel written with just words, and how images tell stories in the same way that very descriptive and concrete writing do.
- Many people think that writing graphic novels is easier, but the fact is they are much harder.
- For example, a graphic novelist has to spend pages displaying the passing of time, when a fiction writer could simply say, “I waited for her at the table for eight hours.” Yet they have advantages of spending one whole page on a panel to make a strong, slow image.
- Bree mentions a great exercise she has her students do in the first class of her Writing the Graphic Novel course.
- We discuss the differences in the formatting for writing a graphic novel, and its similarities with the screenplay layout.
- Bree recommends Writing and Illustrating the Graphic Novel by Daniel Cooney
- On to other literary trends: Dystopian and Post-apocalyptic were very popular genres in recent years, but editors don’t seem to be buying them anymore. Instead, those works have set the stage for a current market where people want to read darker literature (even in YA and Middle Grade markets.) There may be a huge surge of Horror in the coming years.
- We go off on a tangent about sociological reasons behind the market, which only make sense in hindsight. Like when things are messed up in the real world, there’s a surge in Horror sales. (INSERT STANDARD CAVEAT: Writers, don’t write to the market. Write what moves you.)
- Bree and Jody talk about the agent/writer relationship, and how Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft is actually Horror.
- We get a little older and discuss the New Adult category that has emerged, which is for readership of 18-30 year-olds. Some New Adult is set in college and contains a lot of sexy content; other views see that it’s just the age range. It could be Horror, but much of it is not in that vein.
- Then we toss out some bets that some newfangled, upgraded, tech-savvy version of a Choose Your Own Adventure books may develop as a hybrid storytelling method via new technologies.
- Every agent has a Wish List of manuscripts they’d love to see come to them. Here’s Bree’s Wish List: Dark, Quirky, pushing-the-limits fiction; illustrated fiction; a good humor book.
- Then we get a little crazy with nicknames including The Dark Queen of Literature, and the Wonder Woman of Horror. It’s off the rails so we call it a show.
Our thanks again to Bree for coming on the show!
If you’d like to get in touch with Bree, you can find her here:
- Twitter: @breeogden
- Blog: agentbree.wordpress.com
- D4EO Literary Agency: http://www.d4eoliteraryagency.com/p/bree-ogden.html