Greetings --

I just heard back from Bob Diforio, who asked for the first three chapters of my novel a little while ago. He is the first agent who has read chapters and gotten back to me. I have two questions -- the first: How should I interpret his e-mail rejection? That is, he wrote:

Dear Nadine -

Thanks for the look. I have to pass, as I am simply
swamped with work at present. As is attested by the fact
that it took me two weeks to get back to you.

I wish you every success with another agent.



Should I take solace in the fact he didn't pan my novel, tell me to take up knitting instead of writing? Or is he such a nice guy -- which seems very possible -- that this is actually what his message means?

Second question: I've had a good feeling about Bob Diforio from the beginning -- maybe it's just something about guys named "Bob"? No, really -- my second question is: Is it proper/appropriate to ask him if he would consider my book again sometime in the future? That is, if no one else wants to represent me by a certain date he suggests is more convenient for him?

Any/all advice gratefully accepted!