I just heard back from agent #10 – she was the one who appreciated good manners. Apparently she follows her own instructions. I just heard back from her…it was a “no” but she was encouraging in the way she knocked me back. She said:
“Thank you for thinking of me with your query. While this sounds like a strong project, I’m afraid it doesn’t strike me as a likely fit with me and my particular editorial contacts. I wish you well in finding the right agent for your work.”
I’d like to think that she doesn’t tell everyone “this sounds like a strong project.” I’d imagine that a whole bunch of woeful projects come across her desk; surely Ms. Manners doesn’t tell all of them “this sounds like a strong project”…? Maybe she does but I’m choosing to believe she doesn’t. Instead I’m choosing to take it as a sign that the initial gut reaction I had when I originally conceived this idea was on target and that the aim is to connect with the right sort of agent. Preferably one who appreciates good manners.