If I were an agent, I’d still wear my elephant writing hat. Maybe not all the time, but certainly if I had public appearances. I wouldn’t wear high heels or a feather boa, I wouldn’t drink martinis at lunch (or ever), and I wouldn’t have a yappy dog.
In fact, I doubt I would at all resemble anything even remotely approaching stylish. A style distinctly my own, yes, but stylish? Meh.
But the outer trappings are unimportant, in my mind.
Because I’m looking for substance. I’d be looking for excellent science fiction and fantasy. Compelling, catchy, entertaining science fiction and fantasy. Like the stuff I already enjoy by the likes of Lois McMaster Bujold, Anne McCaffrey, Orson Scott Card, David Brin, and Robert Silverberg.
I would like to respond with personalized rejections, but I know that, in reality, it’s not realistic. I can either give those submissions a quick response or a detailed response, but not both. I also know that some people will take personal rejections the wrong way, misunderstand the motives of the agent or publisher, and misunderstand the message.
In the end, the business of being an agent and publishing books is just that – a business. An agent doesn’t owe the writer any more than an acceptance or a rejection, and certainly not any kind of lengthy critique.
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