Thursday, 26 September 2013

Jamie Baywood ~ Rooted in New Zealand ~ Interview

~ Jamie Baywood ~

Today I am excited to introduce to you, Jamie Baywood! I have not read her book yet, but after this interview I am sure you will want too as well :) 

Getting to know Jamie

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I’m from California. For the past three years, I've been disassembling and reassembling my life by moving to different countries. I've lived in five countries now; America, American Samoa, New Zealand, Scotland and now England.

Tell us a little bit about your book:
I’m from California. In my mid-twenties, I had bad dating experiences in California and a dream to live abroad. I read in a tour book that New Zealand’s population had 100,000 fewer men than women. I wanted to have some me time and an adventure. New Zealand seemed like a good place to do so. I kept finding myself in unbelievable bizarre situations that I had difficulty processing. I wrote them down and shared them with others to verify I wasn't losing my mind that these things were really happening. 

What is your favourite part of your book?
“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. 

What has been your biggest lesson since beginning this journey?
I really feel travel is the best teacher. I didn't know a soul in New Zealand before I went there. Within two weeks of my plane landing in New Zealand, I found a place to live and a job. I don’t know anywhere else in the world you can do that. I've been living abroad since 2010. It’s made me resilient, self-reliant, fearless and adaptable.  I've really learned to trust my instincts and believe in myself.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I would like to write a book about each country I've lived in. It would also be great to return to New Zealand to work as a writer and turn Getting Rooted in New Zealand into a TV show or movie.
Which writers inspire you?
Traveling alone and being celibate for a year was how Elizabeth Gilbert found her husband in Eat, Pray, Love. I probably took it too literally like an instructions manual, but it worked for me.  I also enjoyed reading Area Code 212 by Tama Janowitz, The Buddha, Geoff and Me by Edward Canfor-Dumas, and Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins.
Are you working on any new books?
I plan to publish another book next year about attempting to settle in Scotland. 
What genre are your books?  Funny travel memoirs.
What draws you to this genre?  I only know how to write my truth.
When did you decide to become a writer and what inspired you?
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 the hardest thing about writing?
I love making people laugh more than anything else. I love hearing from readers that my book is making people laugh out loud. The hardest part has been when people don’t understand my humour. I have been in a lot of situations where I had two choices: laugh or cry. I've chosen to laugh. I write my experiences from a purely personal standpoint. Compared to other travelers who worked abroad in New Zealand my experiences have been very unusual. I would highly recommend everyone goes to New Zealand to experience their own adventure.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
My life has been so strange it sounds like fiction, but it’s really too weird to be made up.  My books write themselves.
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
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 the look, feel and smell of a real physical book. 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. 
Tell us about the cover and how it came about:
I designed my book cover myself. The girl with the suitcase is a drawing of me. The striped dress and red hat was my first outfit I bought when I moved to New Zealand. The birds are New Zealand native birds like the kiwi and fan tail. The city is Auckland and the tower is New Zealand’s Skytower. The sky in the back ground and the water are pieces of a watercolor painting I did of the New Zealand coastline.
In what formats is your book available?
Getting Rooted in New Zealand is available in paperback and eBook on Amazon:
What is your favourite motivational phrase?
Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
“I’m only smart enough to know I can’t predict the future.”  -Paul Pena
I’m always amazed by people that have five year plans for their lives. Although I am now married, I’m not settling down.  I have no problem committing to my husband, but the idea of living in one place forever makes me feel claustrophobic. My husband and I love traveling and having adventures. We plan to move internationally again mid-year 2014, but we aren't sure where it.  In five years, I hope we are living somewhere warm, beautiful and near the ocean with my husband.
What advice would you give to your younger self? Don’t worry so much.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Be yourself.                   
How can readers discover more about you and you work?

About Jamie
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.

Book Blurb
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.

"I've got this book and finished read it all so quickly, because I couldn't stop reading it. it's just so hilarious!! I can't wait to read her next book. I highly recommend to read this book for everybody. I absolutely loved it!!" (5 out of 5 stars) S Halls (Amazon Customer Reviews)

“Honest Humour... A great read! Honestly and effortlessly humorous. I giggled lots and really felt for Jamie at her times of struggle. Thank You for sharing so openly your experiences, obstacles and breakthroughs” (5 out of 5 stars.) Sparkles (Amazon Customer Reviews)

I hope you enjoyed getting to Jamie as much as I did! 



  1. Wow, I would love to live in different countries, but I am such a wimp. lol.

    1. You can get quite a culture shock, when I was 18 I went to live in the USA for a year :) It's an amazing experience!

    2. Where did you live in the US?

    3. I stayed in Atlanta for 2 weeks and then worked on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina for 9 months :)


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