My first children’s book was set on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts; my second in Jamaica and the third is set in Trinidad.
When I completed the second book, a friend said to me “that was smart, setting this one on a larger island so you will have a larger potential audience.”
I must confess that I had no such motive. I envisioned my characters in these places and so, off they went.
Now I find myself torn between writing what comes to my mind and writing for the market. With my current WIP which is based in Ghana, I am concerned about turning the publisher off by making the plot more complicated than the children’s books she typically publishes. I know, I know – if she does not appreciate my work, she may not be the right publisher, and so on, but in my reality, the pond has very few fish. I have decided to write it as I see it, but, because I understand her reality, I am prepared to rewrite if the publisher is interested in a simpler story line.
On a more basic level, I wonder whether I should begin writing books with more mainstream appeal instead of focusing on the Caribbean and Ghana. That issue, I have tabled to tackle another day, perhaps in another post.