I'm Australian, but don't want to set my novel in Australia as international audiences may not empathise with it. Likewise I don't want to set it in Britain or America as I don't live there, and don't want to research these places merely for a setting. So I've devised a parallel universe of sorts where it's Earth, but not quite. None of the names of places are the same, and it's slightly dystopian. Problem is, I want to have a main character who is Norwegian. How do I go about introducing this; and to that matter any international country, race, or language? Must I rename all relevant places? What about accents? Could I just say he's scandinavian? Or...am I being naive. And there's actually no harm in setting it in Australia? Will it hinder the books popularity if people cannot empathise with the location? What are the benefits and downfalls of real-world vs fictional-world universes? I am open to setting it in real-world if someone's convincing enough. I just don't know if audiences worldwide really want to read about countries other than their own, America, Britain or a particular country necessary for a plot (i.e. Afghanistan in order to tell the story of an Afghan orphan). My setting, other than being 1st-world, isn't necessary in advancing the plot.