Agent S finished the manuscript and had some very nice things to say about it, including:
"The manuscript you sent is quite good. I enjoyed the tone and the character development, the fun and the action. It’s clever and a genuine page-turner."
Why, thank you very much! Agent S is a tell it like it is sort of person who lets you know right away when something isn't working for her -- in other words, her compliments mean something. She gave some relatively minor notes that included backing off on the self-referential humor. Breaking the fourth wall can be a dangerous gamble and apparently I was laying it on thick at some points. In other words, I was being too clever for my own good and needed to have that pointed out.
Another note was that Leonard needs a copy edit (grammar check, typos, punctuation errors, etc.) as she was distracted by writing bloopers throughout the manuscript. This was a vexing note only in that I'd been through the pages a number of times looking for just those kinds of errors. Oh well. Agent S lets me off the hook somewhat by writing:
"It’s impossible for a writer to do this for themselves in a thorough way, as you just know the manuscript much too well to ‘see’ it. "
She advises that I find a journalist, teacher, or editor to do a copy edit so I'm in the process of trying to find one of those who has some spare time. If you happen to know a trustworthy "red pen fanatic" who's up for a challenge, let me know.
All this leads up to Agent S beginning the submission process for Leonard as soon as I get her a cleaned up manuscript. Yahoo!