I received this e-mail quite awhile ago on Steve Malk and wasn't quite sure what do with it. I've been toying around with the idea of creating a forum where we could discuss the profiled agents, report feedback, response times, etc. but I'm not sure there'd be enough interest, especially with AW and Verla's already in place to provide such outlets. Something to kick around. But in the time being, the author of the e-mail has given me permission to share it with all of you here (as he wanted it shared in some way) and link it to Mr. Malk's profile. Please note: The content and opinions posted below are not my own.
After I had queried countless agents, and gotten just as many rejections, I decided to go for broke and query Steven Malk (who I hadn't considered, because he seemed too "big" to even bother with). A week later I got a request of a full. A few weeks later, his new assistant Alena Gribskov e-mailed me to say that with Lindsay Davis's departure, they were backlogged, and wanted to let me know they were still considering it. Then, one week later, she called me to make sure it was still available. Another week passes, and Steven called me himself. We had a very nice half-hour conversation, discussing my novel, and while he didn't offer representation, he was impressed with my writing and asked for current project ideas. As of now, he likes my idea for a novel, and I am in the process of working on it.
What I've found from my experience, is that (and I'm sure it varies somewhat between agents) but Writers House in general is such a caring, well organized agency. Both Steven and Alena have been helpful, as well as they have encouraged questions and contact--which for me as a college student, who's just starting out, is completely reassuring. The reason he wanted to work with me on creating a different novel, is because he said the first novel sets the tone of the career, and he wanted something to do that a little bit more than my previous one did. This tells me that he truly does care more about the author than the sale, which made me instantly withdraw my other full request (which was to a new agent at Trident--whom I would never recommend because they have such careless policies about never replying).
Just as a moral to this story, that might be helpful to pass on, I think it's important that people don't pass up an agent just because they think they are to hard to "hook." By the same token, it's probably not a good idea to try and get an "easier" agent if they aren't right for you.
Hope my feedback helps somebody,