I have an agent who has been shopping a novel around to A-list publishers. Hadn't heard much since October; not even a bill for copying. Thought he'd given up. Couple of e-mails on handling a pitch to a tv net got no response for several weeks...until yesterday. His wife informs me he in in hospital waiting for a liver transplant. Feeling lousy on every possible front. What to do?
Oh man, this is just the worst kind of situation. You feel like a rat for enclosing a "you're fired" note with a get well card, but this is your livlihood and it's not a good thing to have it stalled.
First, get on the net and find out what happens with a liver transplant patient. What are the odds he will get one? Do patients recover enough to work? Is it more than possible, is it likely he can resume work? How long does that take? I'd find this out from the net rather than asking Mrs Agent cause she's got her hands full and some of the answers may not be pretty.
If this is a long standing relationship, and you think he'll recover enough to work in six months, hang in there. Otherwise, I'd start shopping for a new agent, and ask the new agent to act as a co-agent and split any commissions with the former agent for a while.
And you stay in touch with the former agent, and his wife, and you offer up whatever form of communication with the deity that you do that he may be restored to good health lickety split. Goat sacrifices optional.