Two years ago I received representation for my mystery novel. It wasn't picked up by a publisher, and so I wrote another novel, this one an urban fantasy with a mystery component. Even though it's in a genre that my agent doesn't rep, he gave me his blessing to write it and promised to take a look. He finally got the chance to read it, and while he said the writing was good, he didn't have the connections to pitch it. In short, he gave me permission to seek representation for it elsewhere and advised me to explain to agents that, while I am rep'd by him in a completely different genre, he has no problems with me branching out this early in my career should I get "the call."
I'm worried though, and I want to make sure I handle this professionally. How common is it to have two literary agents (assuming I have the good fortune to actually have lightning strike twice)? Wouldn't a new agent be put off by my already having rep, even though I have no publishing credits? What the heck do I say if I get "the call" that can explain to this new agent that I'm serious about this new genre, and that I'm not trying to pull one over on him/ her?
Right now, my website lists both genres, both my real name and the pseudonym I want to use for urban fantasies... It's enough to make me pull my hair out. I can only imagine what a new agent will think.
Let's start with the fact that most of us won't even talk to you if you have an agent now.
It's possible to have two agents but it's much more usual if the split is fiction/non-fiction, or adult/kids.
It's MUCH more likely to have co-agents than two agents in fact. For example, Fabulous Sean Ferrell wrote two terrific adult novels which I was very happy to sell. When he turned his hand to picture books, I knew he needed better representation than I could offer. Prestosharko, I called my boon companion in crime, the Estimable Brooks Sherman. "Former minion," said I. "Sell this and make us all rich and famous." Being an excellent agent, Brooks did just that.
I am Sean's only agent. Brooks sells Sean's picture books on my behalf. We share the commission and I let him drink my booze when he comes over for his wheelbarrow full of cash.
Your situation is neither fish nor fowl nor good red herring. It's tying you to an agent who hasn't sold anything for you, and precludes most of us from even considering your work.
Mystery and urban fantasy are different genres, but they're sold the same way, and to the same kind of reader. In fact some editors acquire both.
The question is not can you have two agents. The question is do you want the one you have now.