Hello, dear readers, and welcome!
Today I am excited to introduce to you Jamie Baywood, author of the book "Getting Rooted In New Zealand", pictured below. Mrs. Baywood is here to tell us a little about her book, and about writing.
Please enjoy the interview!
About the Book~
Craving change and lacking logic, at 26, Jamie, a cute and quirky Californian, impulsively moves to New Zealand to avoid dating after reading that the country's population has 100,000 fewer men. In her journal, she captures a hysterically honest look at herself, her past and her new wonderfully weird world filled with curious characters and slapstick situations in unbelievably bizarre jobs. It takes a zany jaunt to the end of the Earth and a serendipitous meeting with a fellow traveler before Jamie learns what it really means to get rooted.
"Getting Rooted in New Zealand" is your first book, and a story about your travels. Why did you decide to write a book and share your journey with readers?
I consider myself an accidental author. I didn’t go to New Zealand with the intentions of writing a book about my experiences there. I had funny experiences that I had trouble believing were true. I wrote the stories down to stay sane. I wrote situations down that were happening around me and shared them with friends.
My education is in fine arts. I had a lot of art shows in California and New Zealand and even managed an art collective in Auckland. I was bored with the fine art scene. Everything has already been done before in painting, but I am the only person that can tell my own story. Writing feels like a more honest form of art than any other method I’ve tried. While I was in New Zealand I meet a director named Thomas Sainsbury, he asked me what I was doing in New Zealand. My everyday stories made him laugh and he asked me to write a monologue for him. I had never done anything like that before. I was shocked by the adrenaline rush that came with storytelling and making people laugh.
The stories made people laugh so I decided to organize the stories into a book and publish in the hopes to make others laugh too.
What is your favorite passage in "Getting Rooted in New Zealand", and why?
“Just like “biscuits,” the word “rooting” has a completely different meaning in New Zealand than it does in California.” (Page 55)
I had a lot of culture shock moments, learning the Kiwi slang definition of rooting inspired the title of my book. One night I was brushing my teeth with my flatmate Liam and I said, 'I'm really excited to live in this house because I have been traveling a lot and I just need to settle down, stop travelling and get rooted.'
He started choking on his toothbrush and asked me if I was hitting on him.
3: Do you plan to travel more, and write other books about your travels?
I’ve been living abroad for over three years. My next book will be about traveling through the South Island of New Zealand, Australia, and California and attempting to settle down in Scotland. I plan to divide my books by the countries I’ve lived in.
4: Why did you pick New Zealand to travel to?
I had a lot of bad dating experiences living in California. I read in a New Zealand tour book that the country’s population had 100,000 fewer men than women. I wanted time to be single and have my own adventure. New Zealand seemed like the perfect place to do so.
5: What is your favorite genre of book, and why?
I love true stories. I find that often the truth is more interesting than fiction.
6: Where do you do your writing?
Most of the book was written as the events happened; it just took me a few years to work up the nerve to publish. To write my book Getting Rooted In New Zealand, I relied upon my personal journals, e-mails, and memories. In February 2013, I organized my stories into a cohesive narrative. It went through several rounds of editing and then I published in April.
I constantly make myself notes. This summer in Wales, I was scribble stories on the backs of maps and Google directions as a passenger in the car. I also send myself text messages or emails riding in trains or buses. It might not look like I’m writing a book if one was to observe me, but I am constantly watching, listening and thinking about writing.
7: Why do you think books are important?
I think it’s fabulous that words on pages can touch people’s lives – evoke emotions good and bad. I have received a few emails from strangers telling me that they really enjoyed my book and encouraged me to keep writing.
8: Do you prefer ebooks, or paper books, and why?
I don’t have a Kindle. Although Getting Rooted in New Zealand is available in paperback and ebook, I’ve never actually read an ebook. I’m sure ebooks are great; I’ve never been good at keeping up with trends. I like to the look, feeling and smell of real physical books. I like to turn pages.
I designed my book cover; front, back and spine. It’s a shame that ebook readers can’t see the whole book design.
9: Who are some of your favorite authors?
Tama Janowitz, Tom Robbins, Chelsea Handler, Edward Canfor-Dumas, and Daisaku Ikeda.
10: What has writing taught you?
I wrote, designed, published and have been marketing my own book. Self-publishing is one person taking on all of the responsibilities typically held by teams of people in traditional publishing companies. Writing, designing, publishing and marketing books are each valid full time careers. I have been figuring out everything as I go.
The whole process has taught me to trust myself, believe in myself and follow my dreams.
Getting Rooted in New Zealand is available in paperback and eBook on Amazon.
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About Jamie Baywood~
Jamie Baywood grew up in Petaluma, California. In 2010, she made the most impulsive decision of her life by moving to New Zealand.
Getting Rooted in New Zealand is her first book about her experiences living there. Jamie is now married and living happily ever after in the United Kingdom.
She is working on her second book.