So I got an email today from an editor with my UK publisher, which will publish Angel’s Tip in November under the title City of Fear. All of my prior books were published in the UK in the identical form as the US editions. This time, however, the UK editor has suggested deleting cultural and commercial references that might not be recognized on the other side of the pond: e.g., deleting an Archie Bunker reference and changing Tasti-delite, a ubiquitous NYC not-quite-ice-cream-like “food,” to a Starbucks.
I honestly don’t know whether UK versions of US-based books are typically changed to delete cultural references. Are they? Should they be? If I read a book based in the south and a character chows down on some ridiculous fried something or another at a food shack called Lucy’s, I don’t need to know about Lucy’s to get the general picture. On the other hand, if readers in the UK don’t want to feel left out of the story, I can certainly understand. What do you think?