Sunday, December 22, 2013

Author Interview | Getting Rooted in New Zealand by Jamie Baywood

Author Interview | Getting Rooted in New Zealand by Jamie Baywood" class="ubb-image alignleft">Getting Rooted in New Zealand by Jamie Baywood
Published by CreateSpace on April 21, 2013
Genres: Memoir

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 read this book in one night over four hours. I couldn’t put it down. It was so, so entertaining. I laughed out loud on numerous occasions – comedy highlights include brain poisoning from complications over a hair perm, eating stale sunflower seeds and the multitude of accent-related mistakes. Jamie is a lovely, endearing protagonist and I can guarantee you’ll fall in love with her. A must read for anyone moving to New Zealand. Or anyone moving anyway for that matter.”
(5 out of 5 stars) Thomas Sainsbury (Amazon Customer Reviews)

“This book is perfect for travel-reading! It’s light, in small sections (as a diary), totally hilarious and also quite amazing. So many crazy experiences Jamie Baywood had in one year, some wonderful and some truly horrific, all taken together adds up to fruitful reading indeed. This book is like a rough diamond – I look forward to reading future novels as Jamie becomes more and more polished through life’s experiences”
(5 out of 5 stars) Anna H(Amazon Customer Reviews)

“I curled up with this book this weekend and really enjoyed it! Jamie paints a vivid picture of a strange life in NZ – part gap year, part escape from a rather destructive pattern of relationships in her home territory (California). She offers an interesting insight into office cubicle life – almost a sub life-form! And the love story is, well, lovely. Also I laughed my head off at the bit with the bee (wasp?) and the comedy value of the NZ pronunciation of ‘deck’ was nicely exploited. So thanks for the entertainment Jamie, I look forward to your next!”
(4 out of 5 stars) confused (Amazon Customer Review)


1. The setting of your memoir is obviously New Zealand. When making such an impulsive decision, why did you choose New Zealand?

It was always my dream to live abroad when I was growing up in California.  I had bad dating experiences in California and read in a New Zealand tour book that the country’s population at 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.

2. For anyone who has ever considered such an impulsive decision, such as moving to a different country, what’s one piece of advice would you give them?

If things aren’t working out for you at home with relationships, instead of staying at home crying that you’re single, consider yourself free. You are free to do whatever you want.

I didn’t know anyone in New Zealand before I went. Sometimes I forget the amount of courage it took me to get on the plane and just go.  It was shockingly easy to relocate to New Zealand literally a few weeks after I made the decision. I was 26, single, I quit my job, I moved out of a little cottage I was renting and put the few things I had at my mom’s house and brought a suitcase with me to New Zealand.  My visa to get into New Zealand took two weeks to be approved and within two weeks of my plane landing in New Zealand I had a job and place to live.

3. When starting the writing process for your memoir, did you struggle with how you wanted your experiences told?

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. 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.

Reading my book would be similar to receiving emails from a friend living abroad. I didn’t really come up with the distinct writing style. It’s just how I honestly observed things and described them. I only know how to write my truth. My truth tends to be stranger than fiction.

It would be impossible to write down every single thing that happen to me in New Zealand for over a year and it probably wouldn’t be interesting to read. My book is 100% true. These are 100% my experiences. I have changed some the names, but not all of individuals and organizations to preserve privacy. 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.  

4. Describe your book in five words.

Accidental true love story within a comedy of errors.

5. Was it scary to let such personal experiences out in the world for others to read?

Absolutely. Publishing my story was easily the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done. I barely slept the first half of the year worrying what people would think of my book. I had good, bad and weird experiences in New Zealand and California. Although I hope that I have learned from my mistakes, I wouldn’t change anything. My experiences have turned me into a writer and I am extremely grateful for that. Publishing my book was my way of transforming poison into medicine. I hope that it can help people that have had bad dating experiences or bad work experiences – make them laugh and not give up hope.

Getting Rooted in New Zealand is available in paperback and ebook on Amazon.

ABOUT JAMIE BAYWOODme with red hat

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.

Jamie Baywood can be followed on the following sites:

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon | LinkedIn

Jamie, thank you for allowing us to interview you!


Happy reading!

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