I heard back from the publishing houses.
The first was actually offering subsidy publishing (where the author pays to print books…pretty similar to self-publishing). I don’t want to go that route yet.
The other house contacted me today, and they don’t have a need for my novel right now. The editor was nice enough to give me some advice, however. Some people just send a ‘no’; it was nice that she took the time to help me.
So that’s where I am now…still plugging away 🙂