I know literary agents take on 'projects' they love, the ones they are enthusiastic about but do you guys ever take on 'just' the writer. I'm using the word 'just' carefully because there is nothing 'just' about the whole writer.
You have often expressed how important it is to target the best agent for your genre. And, I'm thinking the agent might believe they are doing the writer a diservice by representing that which they might have difficulty selling because it falls outside their realm. But I'm wondering if the love of words and the monument of effort overrides that frailty. Or, are we all so specialized? I wouldn't want my dentist doing heart surgery but I sure as hell would want him at my side if I'm flat on my back in a gutter with chest pain.
And, if the answer is yes, agents do take on writers which blow the agent's steam-whistles, how does one approach agents with that in mind?
So, you're asking if I'd sign a writer cause I loved them but knew I wasn't the best agent for their work?
That's a skewed perspective on love there, snooks.
I not only do not do that, I will actively encourage writers with projects I do love to make sure they query other agents. Finding the right agent isn't a matter of I love you, sign here, any more than a marriage is.
Your analogy about the dentist suggests any agent is better than a specialized one. That's not true. A bad or incompetent agent, even one that means well and has GREAT intentions is worse than no agent at all.
And if you think that isn't true, you haven't talked to enough authors.