Monday, June 25, 2012
After a series of longish posts for the past few weeks, today I'm merely offering a short update about a matter I blogged on several months ago. As you know if you read my post of January 17, and many people did, last year an agent with whom I worked closely and well on my Van Gogh novel stopped communicating with me at a crucial point in our relationship. I had sent him what I thought would be the make or break version of Days on Fire. I thought I would subsequently receive the final thumbs up or thumbs down. Instead I received nothing, no word at all, for an embarrassing stretch of months. Even after several gentle coaxes from me via email, the agent did not reply. Finally, I could only assume he decided not to represent the book. My only question was why he refused to tell me that.
A couple weeks ago, a full year after I mailed him the last revision of the novel, what surprise do I receive in my email box but a message from the agent in question. He apologized profusely for not keeping in touch. He explained that his health had taken a turn for the worse (he is a decidedly older gentleman); also, more problematically, in February a longtime, crucial assistant of his passed away. Due to that assistant's passing, he inherited a great deal of unexpected work. He has decided, he said, that given the state of his health and the burdens he has inherited, that he cannot take on any more new clients. For what it's worth, he seemed genuinely sorry that he could not represent Days on Fire, and I might as well take him at face value for that sentiment. At least I did receive a final communication, to which I replied to thank him for his efforts and wish him good health. I'm sure that everything he said in the email is true, but even so I have to wonder why I heard nothing between last June and February, when his office life became so much sadder and more complicated. That part of the conundrum I'll probably never get an answer to, but at least the greater mystery has been dispelled.