So my husband once asked me; “Why are so many of your main characters Australian?”
I do have a nice collection of Aussie heroines. Both my Soul Mate titles follow Aussie leads. Donna from Dancing in the Athenian Rain lived her whole life in Western Sydney/Blue Mountains until being sent to Athens, and Allison from Branded lived and ran in hiding in the same area. Not to mention other titles of mine, and one that might possibly be in the pipeline *wink wink*
So why? Easy answer really: I’m Australian. Although I now live in the deserts of Arizona, my homeland is still in my heart. Because of that, I can give a believable background for them because I know what it’s like to live and grow up there. I know how the school system works, the lifestyles, popular pass times, the culture etc. My understanding of similar American things is limited, and since my time in American school was limited and has a warped perspective because I was a novelty as an exchange student, I simply don’t know what it’s like to grow up as an American. But I do know how to be an Aussie.
In many ways, my MC’s live out elements from my own life. Donna has friends and people who kept her down, and she didn’t have the confidence to push back until she was free of them. I, too, was in a similar situation with certain high school friends.
Allison’s story mostly showcases the beautiful countryside where I grew up, and even visits my high school as one of her prisons. A nice little irony I think!
So, by making my MC’s Aussie I make them more believable and more real, because I can infuse them with elements of myself. Do I think it makes them harder to relate to? No. They are normal young women who think and feel no differently to anyone else in their particular situations. It probably also gives a nice change of scenery, and a free trip for all those people who have always wanted to visit the great “Land Down Under.”