Today, I interviewed Terese Loeb Kreuzer, author of "How to Move to Canada: A Primer for Americans." Terese tells us how she successfully blends two genres - travel and how to.....
Tell us about yourself.
Six years ago, I founded the Travel Arts Syndicate and am the editor-in-chief. I sell travel-related articles and photographs on behalf of myself and a group of other experienced travel writers to newspapers and magazines in the United States and Canada.
I’ve been writing about travel since 1994 and have visited and written about Canada, England, Scotland, France, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Guatemala, China, Dubai, Bermuda, Mexico, Chile, Austria and the Caribbean as well as many places in the United States. My articles and photographs have appeared in leading newspapers and magazines including Islands, Country Living, Caribbean Travel & Life, The New York Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, St. Petersburg Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Denver Post, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Oregonian, San Jose Mercury News, Vancouver Sun and Toronto Star. In an earlier part of my career, I founded the video production department at Citicorp and ran it for 10 years, so I am now putting my production experience to use making multimedia programs for newspaper Web sites. I formerly edited Michelin on Travel and Way to Go for The New York Times Syndicate. I’m an honors graduate of Swarthmore College and live in New York City.
Tell us about your book, "How to Move to Canada: A Primer for Americans."
“How to Move to Canada” is for Americans who are thinking of moving to Canada as permanent residents. It tells where to start and what to expect each step of the way.
• Snapshots of Canada’s provinces and territories and their major cities to help make an informed choice about where to move.
• Interviews with immigration lawyers and Americans who have emigrated to Canada to provide real-life, hands-on perspective.
• A timeline showing what to do, in what sequence — and how long each part of the process is likely to take.
• An appendix with specific information about health care in each province and territory and how to apply for coverage.
How did you learn there was a need for your book?
After George W. Bush won the presidential election in 2004, news reports stated that American visitors to Canada’s immigration Web site set a new daily record. There were reportedly 115,000 hits a day — 600 percent more than usual!
But actually, Americans have a variety of reasons for moving to Canada — marriage, employment, family unification and for gays, a desire to live in a place where same-sex couples are recognized by federal law. At the moment, Canada is generally more tolerant and liberal than much of the United States.
Was it difficult selling it to an agent/publisher?
Actually, my agent came to me with the idea. He knew that I had traveled in Canada and had a “platform” as a travel writer. He said that if I wrote a proposal, he thought he could sell it — and he did.
How did you find your agent/publisher?
I was introduced to him through a friend who is a widely published writer.
Was it difficult doing the research, for example, did you have problems with obtaining information from the governments, etc.
The research wasn’t difficult, but it was time-consuming.
I wrote this book with Carol Bennett, a friend of more than 40 years, who is a former Capitol Hill reporter and has a masters degree in library science. Carol is very familiar with Canada because her father was born there, she has many relatives there, and she got her B.A. from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and her library degree from Magill in Montreal. She travels to Canada often for one reason or other. I, too, have seen a good bit of Canada.
Canada has an excellent and comprehensive immigration Web site, which was very helpful in our research, but not sufficient. We spent hundreds and hundreds of hours talking to immigration lawyers, accountants, pension experts and other professionals with immigration-related specialties. We talked to Americans who had actually emigrated to Canada about their experiences both in emigrating and in settling in. We consulted books and Internet sites such as Statistics Canada, which profiles the provinces, territories and major cities. And we traveled to Canada several times while researching the book to look around and ask questions.
This is sort of a combination of travel/how to genre, how did you successfully blend the two?
I don’t think there’s a conflict except from the point of view of bookstores that don’t know where to put the book. Travel? Reference? They can’t figure it out.
From the point of view of people who are thinking of moving to Canada, there’s no conflict at all. They would need to know how to go about it and where they might like to settle. While there are some elements of the book that would be helpful to a traveler, a lot of the content in the provinces/territories/major cities section was designed to assist a would-be settler. For instance, we describe climate (something that a settler should carefully consider), predominant ethnicity (which affects the cultural life of a region or city, including its music, food and religious practices), the economy, the public transportation system, the school system at both the K-12 and university levels, the average housing prices, the crime rate and so on. Some parts of Canada are more socially liberal than others, and we attempted to assess that by using attitudes toward gays and toward same-sex marriage as a litmus test. Of course we also talked about health care using life expectancy and infant mortality as a gauge. (Not all parts of Canada are equal in that regard.)
So there were many issues touched on in the “Where to Move in Canada” section that far transcend the needs of a traveler.
When is your favorite writing time?
I don’t know. I get up in the morning and get to work. At night, when I’m too tired to work, I go to sleep. I think I’m a little fresher in the morning.
What's next for you?
I continue to edit and market the Travel Arts Syndicate and to do my own writing and photography for newspapers and magazines. I travel a good deal. In the past few months, I’ve been to the U.S. Virgin Islands, Los Angeles, Georgia, Munich and Portugal and I’m about to go to Maine for a few days and then to Spitsbergen, Norway, which is way, way above the Arctic Circle. I have started writing about my travels in an informal way on a blog: http://travelartssyndicate.blogspot.com/
Where can people find your book?
It’s available on amazon.com and at Barnes and Noble (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/) as well as through other Internet sources. Google “How to Move to Canada: A Primer for Americans” and a number of these will turn up.