I'm a writer from New Zealand currently in the process of sending out queries to agents in the U.S. I am a realist, so I know I can expect to see a lot of rejections before I (hopefully) receive a yes from someone. The only thing that concerns me is the fact that my story is set in New Zealand, and I am concerned this could be a deterrent for a lot of agents. Is place setting an important thing for agents, or do they generally tend to overlook where a story is set in favour (or favor) of a well-written novel?
So, if I tell you it's a deterrent what are you going to do? Set it on Mars?
Well, no, you're not.
Because, it is to be devoutly hoped, a novel set in New Zealand is there for a reason and to move it would change the novel to something else. Setting should not be interchangeable anymore than characters should be.
Can you imagine the movie In Bruges remade to In Paris? No you cannot, because Bruges is an integral component to the theme of that movie.
I'm looking for good stories. If they're set in Kiwi country, no problem. If they're set in the Reef, no problem.
Just write something so blisteringly wonderful that if I don't know where it's set, I believe it's real and start looking for it on the map.