Now I can finish the story. The agent's name is Carina Brandt and she works at the Pontas Literary & Film Agency.
Carina first contacted me through this blog. She was following my submission process. A few weeks before the end of 2012 she sent me a note to suggest I submit to her agency, which I did immediately. Later she thoughtfully got in touch to say she wasn't finished reading, but she liked what she had read so far. The middle of January Carina suggested we speak. We spoke via Skype. She explained the manuscript had been passed to another agent and I should hear something the following week. When I woke on Tuesday the 24th I had a note from Carina that declared Pontas would like to represent my novel. Later that day the contract arrived.
Let me try to explain my impression of Pontas in one sentence: Pontas is the United Nations of Literary Agencies. Their list of Authors includes writers from all over the globe. I will be one of a handful of writers from North America represented by the agency.
The way it will work: The founder of Pontas, Anna Soler-Pont,will handle all North American rights. Carina will handle all other rights.
That night my friend and neighbor, immigration attorney Ian Wagreich, stopped by to look the contract over. He gave me a thumbs-up and a hardy handshake.
Thursday the 26th I drove to Irving Park to meet with a friend and author, Audrey, who agreed to talk the situation over with me. Among other things we discussed, she said she had heard good things about Pontas. That night I signed the contract, sent a PDF of the copy to Carina via e-mail, and I officially had, not only an agent, but a whole team of professionals at the agency. Hallelujah!
Over the next couple of days I spent my time gathering and writing various materials Carina requested.
Finally, today, Sunday the 29th I meet my friend Mr. King to have some professional photos taken. I leave any minute now.
So that's the story. I started sending submissions November 16th. I signed a contract on January 26th. Pretty fast as far as such things go. But trust me when I tell you that it felt much longer.