I’ve just begun querying my novel, a political mystery, but must confess I’m wondering if it’s an exercise in futility. Of fifty queries, half have come back as declined ("not a good fit, I’m not the best person for this" are two common responses when not a form rejection), and the other half are NORMANs so far. But that’s not my perceived problem. The story is written from a conservative friendly-perspective, and while other perspectives across the spectrum are included, conservatives and Republicans are definitely portrayed as the better people. The consensus reality is that literary agents are a predominantly progressive-leaning breed. Given that reality, all else being relatively equal, does any book that holds conservative ideology up as better than Democrat or progressive ideology have a snowball’s chance in hell?
This is a very interesting question because I rep a thriller writer who's a dyed in the wool progressive and I've been wondering if we're having a hard time finding an audience because most thrillers are more conservative.
Without having read your book (or query) I'd be a dunderhead for saying this is the problem, or that is the stumbling block.
What I can tell you is that the thriller market is almost completely saturated right now. It's VERY hard to find room on the shelf, and I'm having a hard time finding books that knock my socks off to the point I want to wrestle with that bear of a category.
You might invest some time in a conference and meet up with agents active in this category to get their take on your query and the state of the market.
I know this must be incredibly frustrating for you since you're working without a lot of information on the state of the market, because it's frustrating for me too, and I have daily consultations with the market.
To the larger question though: does my personal taste/political leaning influence what I take on? I'm sure it does and maybe more than I acknowledge, but I like to think I recognize good writing and page-turners regardless of political tilt.
Some years back I was hired to close the office of an agent who had died after a long and quite successful career. She was Jewish. Her client list ran the gamut from born-again fundamentalist Christians to atheists. Her political leanings were progressive. She repped everyone from conservatives to anarchists. In other words, she took on books she thought would sell.
(How did I know these personal things about her? I worked from her home office for several months, and handled all the incoming mail...including solicitations for money. Interesting what you learn from who asks you for dough!)
You also might be surprised at the political leanings of those you query. Me for starters: I'm not a Democrat, and after this election I'm mortified to confess to it: I am a Republican. Don't ask me how I can stand Donald Trump because I can't.