I have read (almost) all of your posts on Query Shark, so thank you. This is my question (with a short backstory, sorry):
I am an author based outside the United States, writing in English. My novel is set in the U.S. and touches on topics of race, illegal immigration and even a little on religious extremism. If I was to set it in my home country I'd run the risk of it never being published or, if published, having it confiscated by the police and my sorry self ending up needing a lawyer because I've stoked "racial/political/religious sensitivities".
It is a contemporary romance novel, by the way.
Do I need to disclose that I am submitting from outside the U.S. when I query? (1) I can imagine the questions a prospective agent would be asking themselves (ie. why this setting for this story by this writer?) before they proceed with my query.
Or should I just mention that my MC and I are both women of color and leave it at that? (2)
That's two questions, sorry (I'm Asian, we apologize a lot).
Thank you in advance for considering this question. If you tell me that all I need to worry about is the quality of my writing it will be an early Christmas present.(3)
(3) Merry Christmas,
The only thing you need to focus on right now is the writing. Many of us have clients who live and work outside the United States. I don't care about anything except the quality of the work first, and whether I want to work with you, and you want to work with me second.
Perhaps we should all sing this new Christmas theme song:
Crazy's here to stay
oh what fun obsessing is,
as we type away!
Just make sure you have a native English speaker take a look at your manuscript before you start querying. Although it's clear you have command of the language there are some things that can trip you up if it's not your first language.
Tricky little phrases like "get your goat" which is not the same thing as "get your ram" and if you have some scalawag driver trying to ram a car, you really don't want to translate that as goat a car. And goat cars aren't go carts although one would rather hope to see that someday.
And you might make sure you have a beta reader who lives in the US now. Nothing irks me more than geography mistakes. If you've got Felix Buttonweezer running south on Central Park East, in hot pursuit of his mistress who has just stolen his kale supply, well, you've got a problem larger than hot kale.