Jeff Howe (axordil on QT) has signed with agent Evan Gregory of Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency.
So I tried some of the same thing.
I've expanded on the idea with other novels in the meantime, and done some other unrelated work on both shorts and novels. It's not been a five-year slog or anything.
My wife also read it and gave me copious line edits. She's a journalism major, so I was happy to have them.
Look at who and what they represent, and what they've sold. Many times an agent indicates they will represent someone in genre but it's hard to find examples of it among their authors, or they have a very narrow interest in a specific niche within a genre.
Also, these days, many agents have active presences, via blogs and social media. You can learn an awful lot about their personal/professional style, their outlook on the business, and other important factors by reading what they post.
Dear **Salutation and Name;**
Your work with **Similar Writer** makes me believe my current novel may be a good match for you.
Ray Farrell, disgraced ex-lawyer, ekes out a living where the raw edges of faerie and human cultures rub together. Armed only with a silver tongue, an iron crowbar, and a curious immunity to faerie glamour, Ray confronts the dark mirror that is Tink society every day. The job offered by his faerie lover Meara's clan, recovering the gilded bones of an ancestor, sounds simple at first. Then the Tink psychopath who stole the relics seizes Meara too, and simple turns into desperate.
In pursuit, Ray muscles past a sordid, bloody cavalcade of porn stars and faerie thugs. Except Meara doesn't need to be saved from the tangle of Tink intrigue -- he does. Feared and desired by the faeries for talents he possesses but does not understand, Ray must decide whether he can leave Meara before the Tink way of life draws him in for good...if it's not too late already.
LAST TINK STANDING, 81,000 words of hard-boiled urban fantasy, should appeal to readers of Jim Butcher and Seanan McGuire, as well as readers ready to move on from Melissa Marr's YA books. Short stories of mine appear at The First Line, Untreed Reads and flashquake.org. **Please find the stuff you asked for enclosed.** Thank you for your time and kind consideration.