I am currently mid-edit my first novel, a MG adventure. But I have also been fermenting a historical crime fiction, which I’ll tackle once I start to query my first. I understand from your posts that you’re explicitly NOT seeking MG works, which is why I plan on not wasting your time by querying you. But if I’m fortunate enough to land an agent for this first book, won’t this agent be interested in my writing career as a whole? In which case, I would then need to rely on her to try selling my historical crime, wouldn’t I? Or would she expect me to re-query other agents, who deal in this genre (in which case, my query would be in your inbox as soon as I felt that the novel -and query letter- were up to par!)
However, I thought that normally, an author wouldn’t have two different agents at the same time, would they? I know that some authors publish in different genres under different pen names; is that why? So that Persona A writing in Genre A has one agent, and Persona B writing in Genre B has another?
I realize that this is very much ‘cart before horse’ however, I would hate to be contracted to an agent who could sell only some of the works that I have in the pipeline.
What happens normally in this situation?
Generally, you'll try to sign with an agent who reps both kinds of books. This is something you will discuss with any agent who makes you an offer.
If you were to query me for the historical crime, and I loved it, and we were discussing rep, and you told me about the middle grade, I'd be INSTANTLY less likely to sign you.
1. I don't rep middle grade. I've got some middle grade on my list from established clients but it's a tough competitive field and I'm not sure I can provide the quality representation in this category that my clients should expect.
2. If you're working in two VERY different areas, I'm not convinced you're reaching your full potential in either category. I don't think most people can excel in two different categories. Maybe you're the exception, but at the start, I'm skeptical.
3. Middle grade and adult fiction is promoted and sold VERY differently. Instead of one career, you'd essentially be trying to establish two. I can't begin to tell you how hard that is. And the chances for success with divided time and focus are diminished. Please remember that I make money ONLY when you make money, so your success is CRUCIAL for me. Anything that gets in the way of you making money is a problem.
Right now you're only thinking about what you like to write. That's great. But when you involve me in the situation, the discussion is about how to build a career. I know that wasn't your question here, but it is the answer. Figure out where you want to focus and then query to find the agent best suited to help you achieve your goal with that book.