I guess it's okay to put this out there with no risk of a jinx (I shiver as I write this).
I have finally, after years of searching, signed with agents Al Longden and Cynthia Manson, who will share in my representation. It was a long, angst-ridden path, as many aspiring writers are aware.
It started when I saw the profile of an author on the International Thriller Writers website. He listed Cynthia Manson as his agent, so I did quite a bit research to find her email because she does not have a website or advertise. She responded to my email favorably, but was interested in how I found her. I hadn't run across an agent like this before, one that didn't have a big internet presence, which I thought was fantastic.
My contacting her must have been a timing issue. As luck would have it, she was interested in the full manuscript. I waited patiently until she sent an email regretfully turning down the project, but actually wanted to talk about it over the phone! This in itself was an amazing opportunity. We spoke for twenty minutes about why she didn't want to take on the manuscript even though she liked it. Through this we collaborated on a story that would take place during Hurricane Katrina.
Against the advice of others, I took on this task and within six months had a manuscript prepared; not just because I had an agent's attention, but because this novel was labor of love. It was amazing to write and I enjoyed every minute of it. I eagerly sent it off to Ms. Manson, who then unexpectedly rejected it (insert dissappointing cartoon music). But, I couldn't blame her if I didn't write the book she was looking for.
I knew this novel was going to be the one. I felt it in my bones. She graciously suggested that I sent it to her collegue Al Longden, which I did. She suggested if he liked it, they could possibly share the duties in representation.
Mr. Longden loved it.
I spoke to each of them again in that highly coveted call regarding representation; glad that they couldn't see my happy dance - the type seen after one scores a touchdown. Now, the leg of my journey begins...