The agent referred my query to an assistant, who has requested the manuscript to look over. The original agent "discovered Tom Clancy" (direct quotation from website), is an agent for Deepak Chopra, the estates of Frank Herbert (Dune series) and Isaac Asimov, and lists The Vatican as a former client, among many other writers.
What a hoot!
Of course, I researched again this agency before submitting my manuscript. The two sites most useful were QueryTracker.com and The Absolute Writer Water Cooler writers' forum. According to these sites, to be picked up by this agency is the equivalent of hitting a homerun at your first Major League rookie at bat.
All that is being asked at this point, though, is for an assistant editor to look at my manuscript. That assistant can say thumbs up or down. I prefer this, though, to the form rejection that states: "Your book does not meet our agency's needs. We wish you the best of luck placing it elsewhere."
There was some discussion in my research that the agent and agency were "too commercial." However, as far as I'm concerned, I want my agent to be wearing a blue pin-striped suit and be willing to stand on a soapbox on a crowded street an declaim my writing prowess.
Part of that "commercial" approach (and a close connection with the cinema industry, according to some) is that I have to sign a release form, stating that the work is mine, that the agency assumes no obligations by reading the piece, and that I can't get ticked off and sue them. Such a form, evidently, is common in the film industry but not common in the book industry. With this agency, it is standard policy, using a standard release form. Something new to learn!
Wish me luck! I submit, wait, and get on with my life during the waiting.
Copyright 2009 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved