I had some short stories, poems and photographs to share ... and so here I am

Location Location

Here's something that I've never quite got my head around. I've banged it against the wall, but nothing rattles.

Imagine that an author writes a novel that is set in Australia or some other country on the underbelly of the planet - presuming that we really are looking at the universe the right way up!

Now, the author lives in London. Should he or she think about approaching a UK agent or publisher? Or should they restrict themselves to the underbelly country where the story is set.

I only bring this up because I have experienced this. I have been told by some agents and publishers that while they like the story and the writing, the novel should be published in the country being discussed.

Not all would say this, of course, but there are an awul lot who think along these lines.

These are the same agents and publishers who say they are on the lookout for fresh, original ideas that are able to take the reader to new places and experience new things.

Ummm ... hello? Have I missed something here? Should I be restricted to only writing about the part of the world I live in? How do these agents and publishers work out what their "consumers" want to read?

Can someone please explain it to me? At the moment this is in my "too hard to fathom" basket.

I should add that authors who are already published would probably have less of a problem here. Make a name for yourself and you can pull all sorts of locations out of your hat.


Maxine Clarke said...

I read books by Elizabeth George that are set in the UK but she's American. There are some real howlers! But I think she lives here. I'm sure there must be examples of authors who live in one place and set their books elsewhere.
Personally, as a reader, I like to read books set in another country and if I were a UK publisher (say) I would not be put off by a book being set in another country. It might even be a selling point.
But I'm "just" a reader, I don't know what publishers think.
all best

S. Kearney said...

One would certainly hope that publishers are also readers. I've heard that some publishers like to wait to see how well books do in the countries where the stories are set. But do they realise that foreigners could see these books very differently, and it's possible that the work could be more attractive and popular with international audiences than with locals?

Unknown said...

Think I would put it the 'too bloody stupid for words' basket. Like Maxine I have read books with dodgy detailing and many of them have been written in this country for an English readership (Why do they never get a Cornish accent right?). Seems a bit pompous if we are going to limit writers to their own stamping ground.
'Gem Squash Tokoloshe', Rachel Zadok's first novel, is set in South Africa where she spent time as a child. She lives in London and the novel was published here. It was a great success with critics saying "an emotive, vivid depiction of the cultural and enviromental diversity of SA provides a powerful setting for this moving tale".
And anyway, if this is the word on the street then I don't stand a chance - my latest work is set in another world!

Unknown said...

Nice plug for you on FW, isn't blogging great, you can network without even noticing!

Isabel Da Rocha said...

I'm all for minx's 'too bloody stupid for words' basket!
It doesn't make sense to me, but anyway I'm from a latin country, we deal with those guys in other "smothy" ways...
I would also like to believe in publishers as readers, wich some of the times I absolutely doubt!!!

Anonymous said...

You have an outstanding good and well structured site. I enjoyed browsing through it Medical hiking My-ebay-bidding diazepam Blackberry logo en beltonen Da-lite 87063 projector screen http://www.debt-5.info Order valium line Zoloft qoclick shoes in portobello road london Free shipping on atv tires Latina antique books Sony dcr dvd100 handycam dvd camcorder reviews valium online Acne tetracycline dosage Interazioni zoloft

Anonymous said...

You have an outstanding good and well structured site. I enjoyed browsing through it » »