#TMITuesday: 10 Questions with ‘What’s Different In Canada’ Author Kevin Bracken

With today being the U.S presidential election, and a lot of Americans ready to head over the border to live in Canada it only seems right to speak with ‘What’s Different In Canada’ author Kevin Bracken.The NewMindSpace magic maker-Deer Team Six leader-Astral Beach Co-Founder sparked the book idea from his popular Tumblr blog of the same title.  I sat down to ask Bracken about the literary conquest, find out what his theme song is, and get ‘too much info’ in this week’s #TMITuesday interview.


1.What inspired you to write this book?

A few years ago, I was trying to convince my friend Dustin to move to Canada. On a long flight from San Francisco, I began to write down all the little things that we different between the US and Canada. I’m pretty sure the first thing I wrote down was, “A traffic cone is called a pylon.” From there, I started a Tumblr that grew as people sent more and more suggestions.

Earlier this year, after Super Tuesday when it became apparent that Trump was going to win the Republican nomination, web searches for “move to Canada” spiked dramatically. I realized the time to release my blog in book format had come. 

2. So tell the readers what about the book, whats it all about?The book is about all the little differences between life in the US and Canada, split up into 5 sections: Food and drink, words and language, brands, nostalgia, and culture. I started with food because this seems to be the one that blows people’s minds the most. Did you know in the US we have our own cheese called “American cheese?” In Canada it’s called “processed cheese” which is much less appetizing, but certainly true. Cream soda in America is light brown versus pink in Canada. Americans don’t have Swiss Chalet or ketchup chips, either!

3. Having spent so much time in both Canada, and America, which one of the differences surprised you the most? The food ones really blow my mind the most. Being from America, I always considered microwaves to be pretty magical; here in Canada they are basically the devil. Canadians will use the stove to heat up soup, an electric kettle to make tea and ramen, and in the US we’ll use the microwave for all of it.

4. Since today is #TMITuesday, can you tell the readers something about you that they may not already know?I can hum the Super Mario theme theme song so it sounds like a perfect kazoo rendition – without a kazoo.

5. So, whats the difference between a NewMindSpace event in Canada, and one in America?I’d say our Canadian events are much more youth-focused, while our American events bring out a lot of families. Not sure why that is – but I think it’s part of the fact that it was never considered “bad parenting” to raise your kids downtown in Canada.

6. What was your experience like writing this book?
When I started the blog, it was just my opinions, written down in no particular order; however, as I went on, I started getting suggestions from all over Canada, even from as far away as Nunavut! It was a really cool experience hearing from people in the arctic.

7. If you were to choose one song to be your ‘theme song’ what would it be?

8. The book is available as a free downloadable e-book, what made you choose to have it be not only super accessible, but also free?

I have known a lot of authors and publishers, and they all seem to take a pretty dim view about writing a book in 2016. Advances are shrinking, there is not a whole lot of money to be made, so it didn’t really make sense to charge money for it. I would rather get the book in front of as many people as possible, and keep spreading the good news about my adopted country.

9. Describe the book using 1 GIF:

Saturday Night Live television snl canada seth meyers

10. Whats next for you Kevin?

In 2016, we built a large metal swan car that shoots fire. In 2017, we are building an even bigger touring festival stage that will be shaped like a dragon that can hold about 20 people dancing on top. The code name is Heavy Meta.

You can get  your FREE download of the book at: whatsdifferentincanada.com


Published by Nikki Sin

Toronto based blogger, dreamer, and a green tea addict. Currently working with a fire breathing dragon, no seriously.

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