One of the things all the "how to get published" or "how to find an agent" books tell you is to go to a library or bookstore and look in the "Acknowledgements" of books similar to yours to see if the author thanks his or her agent there. You're supposed to make a list of these agents because they may be interested in your book. So today I spent several hours in a local bookstore going through the "Sci-fi/Fantasy" section, picking up books that seemed to have a magical theme and looking for the Acknowledgements page. I was rather amazed at how many authors don't bother to thank anyone! And then there are those with two pages of thank-yous. I have a decent list of thank-you's started for Star Sons. I won't be one of those who doesn't thank those who helped me make my stories the best they can be!
I've already researched agents both online at AgentQuery.com and in Writer's Market 2006 and Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents 2006 (I'll get out of this chair and find the title of that book in a bit - my back is sore from all the bending and stretching while researching books for hours!). Of all the agents I've researched, only one showed up in the books I checked today. That agent's name popped out at me when I first saw it, so I'm definitely going to query her. Keep your fingers crossed that she likes my book!
I've printed the novel out (again!) and am going through it with a fine-toothed comb now (and a highlighter and a bunch of Post-it sticky tabs and a pen), trying to get it as polished as possible. It's amazing how different it looks on paper than on the computer screen. Things I've passed by dozens of times now on screen pop out at me on paper and say "DELETE ME!" or "CHANGE ME!" *Sigh* I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to get moving on the second novel, but I know I need to get this one polished as much as I can, and send out the query letter and synopsis I finally managed to finish this morning (which still needs some editing, but it's much better than my other attempts at a synopsis!). And so the struggle continues. . . .