I have so many questions about your revelation that you once had a book on submission for nine years.
In no particular order:
(1) What did the author do during those nine years? Write more books, I assume?
yes indeed. Seven of them sold.
(2) Did you also represent/send out on submission those other books during this 9-year time period?
(3) Did the author have to re-query you for those books?
No. Once I've got you, you don't query, you just send me mss. Then we discuss.
(4) Is that the sort of thing authors should discuss with agents before accepting an offer of representation?
Yes, clarify if the agreement is for one book or for a career
(5) Would it be unheard of for you to rep this 9-year book and another agent to be repping other books??
For me it would be. I like to have all my author's work on my list.
(6) How many times was the book submitted? Were there simultaneous submissions? Did the book get SOCLOSE a couple times? HOW MUCH SCOTCH DID YOU DRINK?
I've lost count of how many editors had it. It was a lot.
(7) Did you change literary agencies during those 9 years? How did that work?
(8) In nine years, did some editors see the book twice because they switched jobs and had different lists??
No. It would be rare for an editor to request a book they'd passed on. It happens SOMETIMES if an editor can't muster in house support for a book, then moves to a more amenable publisher.
(9) Were there edits during those 9 years?
oh jebus, yes. More than I care to think about.
(10) Was this the author's first book?
Not even close.
I think the full story is in Writing Without Rules by Jeff Somers. It's his novel CHUM that sold after nine years.