So, remember the most recent agent who rejected my novel, but wanted to read my other manuscripts? (Go way back to the day before yesterday.) After polling you guys, I thought it over and wrote her back to ask more specifically what her proposal would entail. Her response was as follows: "it depends what's going on with your novel. If you find representation by someone who wants to represent all your interests, that would of course be ideal for you. I know I'd be interesting in reading the memoir/ short story collection."
I wrote back and thanked her for wanting to read more. I told her that I'd like to see what happens with the other agents, one of whom may snatch up my novel with all my other work, or all of whom may pass on it and agree with her assessment that the novel is not ready, in which case, if she were game, I wanted to come back and show her my other work. I asked if she was cool with waiting a few weeks. Her answer: "Of course. Good luck!"
I don't know why this is true, but I think I might not have put her off if she lived and worked in New York City. I guess I have a regional bias. But maybe folks can chime in here. Do you have an agent who lives in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Boston, somewhere other than Manhattan? If so, how's that working for you?