Occupations for our characters

When I pitched my Desire-targeted book to the senior editor, the only problem she (said she) saw with the story was that my heroine was a musician. She cited a few reasons why musicians are not popular, but the one that stuck in my head was that people might not be able to play an instrument and so not be able to relate to the character.

This got me thinking about the sorts of occupations we give our characters. Now, it's a well known fact you'll never (or very, very rarely) find certain occupations in a Harlequin and Silhouette book (rock stars, actors, professional athletes are three that spring to mind), but what is it about these professions that makes them undesireable? Why is a guy who drives fast cars around a track hot, but a guy that makes $20 million a picture not?

Me? I've read books with rock stars, actors and professional athletes. I don't really care what someone's profession is as long as the character interests me. I think people with public careers are harder for the average person to sympathize with and that might be the problem with those particular occupations.

Currently, I'm reading Barry Eisler. His hero is an assasin for hire. An interesting protagonist, but a hero? Now, don't get me wrong, a fabulous character. And sympathetic despite his occupation. Eisler makes John Rain work, but as an occupation, compared to a rock star or professional athlete, why is it that an assasin is more acceptable as a character for a novel? Shouldn't we be horrified to read about someone that kills people for a living? Why aren't we? Because it's sexy? Because the danger appeals to us?

The character in my current WIP is a rocket scientist. And he's the prince of a small country. Now, a rocket scientist isn't really sexy. A prince is. And a man torn between two passions is an entertaining character to read and write.

How about you, what occupations would keep you from picking up a book? And what occupations do you love to read about?

Today's goal: organize all the books I've accumulated recently.
Yesterday's achievement: started the plotting of book 2 of my prince trilogy.
What I'm grateful for: I got my score from the WTMB on Mising Pieces, they were really good.
Quote: "Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort." -Franklin D. Roosevelt