At this point, it's just a request for a full manuscript. Nothing more, nothing less. Still, it's hard not being a tiny bit giddy when Frances Coady, one of the two stellar agents at Nicole Aragi's top-shelf agency, asks for an exclusive of your debut novel (which I couldn't give her exclusively since I already have three other agents reading full manuscripts). I know that Frances Coady is a widely respected, admired, even feared former publisher at Picador and Vintage. I know she is a hands-on editor who works with authors line by line if necessary to strengthen not dilute a book's force. I know she values and understands the importance of the graphic elements of a novel (e.g., the cover design, the format, possibly even the font). I know that in the publishing world she is an absolute giant, both equal to but also complementary with, Nicole Aragi. I know all of these things and honestly, it makes my head spin. But I don't know the most important thing, namely, whether she'll like my novel. That's the only thing that matters. The only thing I care about right now. I'll do my best not to freak out, but that's pretty much impossible . . .