I've got it, emanating from the tips of all ten fingers. Yes, it's my magic touch, my ability to drive literary agents out of the business with my queries.
A few days ago, I fired off a letter to Hilary Rubin at Trident Media, and then sat back to wait for a response. Or no response, which is a response, in a manner unique to literary agency.
Much to my surprise, I got a reply, but it was from the charming young lady who has apparently replaced Ms. Rubin. Yes, you've guessed it. I queried Hilary Rubin and she ran off like a frightened hare chased by a pack of hounds.
At this rate, I could conceivably eliminate half the agents in New York City. There must be something in the way I turn a phrase or parse a verb that causes such drastic changes in employment. Maybe I'm only lucky, in being the one overly heavy straw that breaks the agent's back, the last in a long string of horrifying missives that drives them over the edge and out of the door.
Where have they all gone? Is there perhaps some halfway house on Fifth Avenue, offering a hot meal, a cot and retraining for future gainful employment? For the wannabe author, they have the option of giving up the search for an agent and publication because they can simply keep their day job. Therein lies the tragedy of the literary agent - nowhere to turn when they lose their way on the rocky road to publishing.