Saturday, August 14, 2010

7 Questions For: Literary Agent Bree Ogden

Bree Ogden's life in the arts and training as an artist have combined to bring her to the new position she has just achieved as a literary agent for graphic novels and children's book with Martin Literary Management. 
She was born in Phoenix, Arizona, and spent much of her youth and teenage years intensely studying the performing arts. She attended Arizona School for the Arts and graduated with an emphasis on vocal performance and classical guitar. 

At Chapman University she became a part of the Chapman University School of Music, under the direction of William Hall. It was after two years there that she felt her love of good writing pull her toward the art of journalism. The sensibilities developed by her life in the arts all came together for her when she moved on to Southern Virginia University and began to put her creative drive into writing.

Bree worked on SVU's newspaper, The Paladin, as both writer and editor for two years, and served as the editor-in-chief during her senior year. She devoted herself to the growth of the newspaper, eventually turning it into a newsmagazine that not only explored issues of concern to the school, but national and global issues as well. She was awarded Most Valuable Player and Editor of the Year by the paper, and in 2008, she was awarded SVU's Pioneer Award, an honor the University awards to two students each year. 

After graduating from SVU with a bachelor's degree in philosophy, she entered the master's program in journalism at Northeastern University in Boston, Mass. There she worked for the New England Press Association Bulletin, and also served as the features editor of the premier campus music magazine, Tastemakers Magazine. 

She received her MA in Journalism with an emphasis in graphic design, photojournalism, and expository writing, then moved to the Seattle area where she entered the professional writing field at Martin Literary Management as an executive assistant to Sharlene Martin. In less than a year's time, Bree's strong work ethic and love of the writing process propelled her forward into a full agent's position with the company. 

Bree is representing graphic novels at MLM because she is devoted to the genre as a passionate reader of all things graphic - and she credits her sixteen adorable nieces and nephews for inspiring her to also represent children's books. 

She is thrilled to be working with Sharlene Martin and with the wonderful ghostwriting team and editorial staff of Martin Literary Management. 

Follow Bree on Twitter at:

And now Bree Ogden faces the 7 Questions:

Question Seven: What are your top three favorite books?

Hardest question EVER! Okay here is my best shot, although it changes all the time. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (that one never changes), Identity Crisis by Brad Meltzer, and High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. Oh and Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk. Sorry I always cheat at this game.

Question Six: What are your top three favorite movies and television shows?

Movies AND TV? I get to give three of each? If not, that is how I choose to interpret this question.

Movies: The Evil Dead 2 by Sam Raimi, Magnolia by Pt Anderson, and A Streetcar Named Desire by Elia Kazan/Tennessee Williams

Television: Dexter, Arrested Development, Mad Men. All three are mind blowing in their own right.

Question Five: What are the qualities of your ideal client?

Hard working. And I have some REALLY hard working clients. One of my clients likes to say, "Bree Says Jump, and We Say How High." I don't require that--haha--but man...they do it. I've had clients cut down 700 page manuscripts in a matter of a month. I've had clients take criticism like solid rocks. I've had clients with absolutely no ego about their work. These are the clients I surround myself with. They are amazing.

Question Four: What sort of project(s) would you most like to receive a query for?

Oh I just did a blog post about this: I would love a very very serious, scary, and unique zombie story. You can read more about that here:

Other than that, I feel like I get a very wide variety of queries, I'm like a kid in a candy store. I love quirky middle grade. And I love STRONG young adult. A lot of young adult that I am seeing right now is so watered down. It's like that scene in Fight Club when Edward Norton says, "Everything is a copy of a copy of a copy."

Question Three: What is your favorite thing about being an agent? What is your least favorite thing?

I love my clients. They are starting to become like this little built in family. I have so much fun working with them. I love continually learning about the industry. I love being surrounded by talent. I love reading ALL the time. My 8-year-old nephew can't believe that I get to read all day for my job. My new least favorite thing about this job is when I am super stoked for a manuscript based on its query and then within the first 10 pages I can tell I was duped. It is so disappointing when manuscripts don't live up to how cool their queries are. And of course I hate having to reject writers.

Question Two: What one bit of wisdom would you impart to an aspiring writer? (feel free to include as many other bits of wisdom as you like)

No one says it better than my client Kate Grace. If an aspiring writer can learn to handle rejection like a champ, they will be golden.

My own little piece of advice: If you don't love your story like your child, how do you expect me/editors to love it? Make sure your manuscript is exactly as you want it before you start submitting. Although you will feel eager to get it out in the world as soon as you type that last word, you will regret it later if it's not "your baby" yet.

Question One: If you could have lunch with any writer, living or dead, who would it be? Why?

Chuck Klosterman. I love him I love him I love him. His ideas on pop culture are simply profound. Just to be around him for 30 minutes. Chills. I've gained so much from his writings, I can't even imagine what I would gain from being able to actually ask him questions and have a conversation with him.

...and Allen Ginsberg. Oh and Geoff Johns...because he's sexy AND a comic book genius. Sorry sorry, I know! Cheater.


  1. I tell Bree she is awesome everyday! So I won't repeat myself here (cough - you're awesome! - cough). I like this 7 questions dealie. Nice work!!

  2. Man, I read interviews with Bree and I have to stop and pinch myself. This is my agent! How did I get so friggin lucky?!?!?!

    Love this 7 Questions series! Keep 'em coming!

  3. I have to agree with D.M.Cunningham - Bree is awesome! I love these 7 questions interviews! Brillant! :D

  4. Bree, if you ever want to have lunch with a living writer, and you're in the Los Angeles area, let me know. My treat, as was reading your interview.

  5. Great interview Bree. Boldly honest and shows your passion for artistic credibility.

  6. This interview is another reason why Bree is a great person to have on your side. Giving the 'family' atmosphere in her answers shows sincere compassion for her work and clients she represents.


Thanks for stopping by, Esteemed Reader! And thanks for taking the time to comment. You are awesome.