I was urged to query agents before publishing my first book myself. I didn’t think it was possible, but when you talk to someone you respect and they think it’s possible, you follow suit. I researched agents of some of the books I thought were in the same vein. I read the submission guidelines to see how they varied from company to company. I wrote the proposal and fired a few off in hopes that I might hear something and one day be led to that shiny publishing deal so many of us as writers dream of.