So, to make a long story short ... Too late!
On September 28th, I sent another nudge to the agent I'd first queried December 22nd. I had sent her my second set of revisions about a month earlier. I had nudged once in between. As it turns out, this agent is very busy, but she was also communicative and let me know when to expect a response and pretty much stuck to it when I was patient enough to let her. I decided to nudge a second time because my birthday was coming up in a few days and I'm a spoiled child angling for a special present ... a shiny new agent to hug and squeeze and call George!
The response was, "I have some notes and would love to talk."
Oh, joy! Oh, rapture! Oh, crap! Notes? Did I not deliver the witch's broom? Did my proton torpedo not perfectly penetrate the thermal exhaust port and (wait, this is getting weird). What do "notes" mean? More changes? Is "notes" code for, "I have a prepared speech I'd like to give you over the phone explaining the many reasons you are not fit to have your work published and why I will not be representing you."
Ok, that last thing seems a little unlikely (and sadistic). As it turns out, "notes" means, "I'm ready to talk to you in person, but if for some reason you are a lunatic, I may need a parachute to get out of your crazy plane." You see, having an agent take you on is a big decision not just for the author but also for the agent. If you write wonderfully but spread your bread with a big ole' helping of nutty peanut butter, then you might not be the best person to essentially go into business with.
On the day of the scheduled call, my agent phoned right on time (isn't that lovely?) Introductions were made, basic biography type data was exchanged. Yes, we spoke of the weather, but only briefly. We do live in dramatically different climates. For about an hour, we basically had a normal, human-to-human conversation. We spoke primarily about the business, the marketplace, and trends. Most importantly, we talked about my expectations and what I wanted my career as an author to be like. We did not speak too much about the book. The fact that the call happened at all was evidence she liked the book. The purpose of the call was to make sure we liked each other.
And on that phone call it became official. I had an agent.
There was the issue of letting other agents with my work know I had an offer of representation. So I had an agent, but it was kind of a secret and not really official. Yes, I'm learning that's what this whole getting published process is like: standing on an iced-over ledge in slick-soled shoes trying to grab wet marbles being dropped from another ledge just above you.
So the next week was weird. But we'll talk about that, well, next week. See you then!