I’ve been trying to lead up to something, and it’s this: for me, in my circumstances, I believe that

The right literary agent can help
me become a better writer

I don’t expect that having an agent will automatically make me write better (I’d give 20% for that), but I do think that the right one can help create opportunities in which I can realize more of my potential.

It’s not just that offloading my manuscript-peddling duties would free up more time for me to write, though that’s part of it. Mostly this crackpot theory of mine stems from my revisions of The Day-Glo Brothers. Through that process, I’ve learned a lot from my editor, and in a thoroughly enjoyable way I’ve been pushed and challenged to make good writing better.

What I want in an agent is someone who can make it possible for me to work with more editors in that same way, and frequently. I want an agent who can encourage — and, more to the point, sell — the wide variety of work that I’d like to do. I think that that variety makes me sharper, and I know it makes me happy.

So, that’s it, then. That’s what I’ll put in my queries: I’m looking for an agent who will make me happy. Who could pass up that opportunity?