Dear Miss Snark: Do you reject novels based on where they are set?
Although I haven't started to query yet, I have been told by fellow writers that American agents/publishers are not interested in novels that are set in Canada.
My mystery novel has a wilderness adventure theme, and I've set it in a mountainous region of Canada (an area that I know well). I realize there are mystery novels set north of the border that have been published by American presses, but they are comparatively few. Have I made a big mistake?
My god yes. You didn't get the memo??
All novels set in Canada are on the automatic rejection list.
Followed closely by novels set on Rabbitania.
ok ok, calm down, I'm kidding.
Look Canada is a country. They have coins and everything. Weird ones to be sure but they still buy gin and really, what else matters.
Realistic locations can add a lot to a novel. Would the spare elegance of Kent Haruf's Plainsong work if it was set in California? Probably not. Would Raymond Chandler be the ur-noir writer if he set his novels in Nebraska? Probably not.
Make your geography part of the story. Try not to include too many names that are hard to remember. Then go for it. Remember, we look for stuff we haven't seen before but it still has to be GOOD.