The next day there was an agents' panel. I listened to one of the agents speak of how she was interested in archaeology (I was an archaeologist), and wanted to be a Forensic Anthropologist when she was younger (one of my characters is a Forensic Anthropologist). I mustered up enough courage to approach her after the panel and tell her about Molly and Palmer (my main characters). She was interested and said I should send her my work once I was done the revisions.
Flash forward to almost two years after that and I finish "Phase Shift", my second Molly novel. I send her the chapter that got me past the first round of eliminations in that year's Amazon Breakthrough Novelist Awards (ABNA) Contest and waited. Almost 2 months of nail-biting suspense later and I finally got her response:
"...while you're a good writer, I was not sufficiently enthusiastic to feel that I would be the best advocate for your work."
I hate this part. Searching for publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts (i.e., without an agent), making copy after copy and securing enough postage for the package of 300 plus pages to travel to and fro (no mean feat finding US stamps in Canada, by the way) - it gets so costly after a while.
With my Twitter novel, I'm banking on the "if you build it they will come" axiom, that people will want to follow me, I'll get read, and prove to the next publisher that my work really does have an audience.