If you read and buy romance, you should read the above linked blog at All About Romance. It’s important.
Why? Well, dear reader, perhaps someday I will recount the tale of my book, Ana Martin, which got me an agent and lovely compliments from editors (e.g., liked the author’s voice, interesting story, beautifully written…), BUT the setting… (I have since come to refer to these fondly as my “beautiful butt” letters.) In short, they did not think Mexico was a romantic setting. Uh…Zorro? Like Water for Chocolate? Seriously? (Not a movie—just a comment.)
Okay, so maybe I did just recount the tale. Yes, it was short. If you’d like, I can tell you another story.
The tale of Watermarks. It was my first novel. I submitted it, unagented, to the slush pile. Imagine my surprise when I got a phone call from a major editor of a major house…’s assistant. They didn’t want the book (Okay, I get it. Maybe the Johnstown Flood as a setting doesn’t scream romance. Neither does The Titanic.), but they liked my writing, and wanted to know if I had anything else. Alas, I did not. She was wondering… (really awkward pause here) what my ethnicity was. (I knew where she was going with this, as I’d submitted the manuscript in my Hispanic married name.) I told her that I’m Scottish, English & Dutch. Oh. Did I have anything Hispanic? Sadly, no I did not.
So, you know I got right on that and wrote Ana Martin, based on my Mexican husband’s family lore. Of course, by the time I’d finished it, the interested editor had moved on to another job. But the book got me an agent and some (not) good (enough) interest (See above).
There’s a moral to this story. (See the linked AAR Article. It’s all there.)