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.
Your novel is called ‘Getting Rooted in New Zealand ‘ please could you tell me about it?
My book is a true story. My life has been so strange it sounds like fiction, but it is really too weird to be made up. My truth is stranger than fiction. Some, but not all of the names of individuals and organizations have been changed to preserve privacy, but the stories are all true. As a reader, you can expect to laugh out loud while you read Getting Rooted in New Zealand.
‘Getting Rooted in New Zealand’ is a memoir, what inspired you decide to share your adventure with readers?
Most of the book was written as the events happened; it just took me a few years to work up the nerve to publish. 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.
They say the journey to being published is one of the hardest an author can take, please can you describe the journey that you went on?
Last year, we found out we had to move to England from Scotland. Rather than being displaced to a country I didn’t want to move to, I decided to be displaced with the goal of publishing. I’ve just completed a MA in Design. Designing, publishing and marketing my book was my dissertation project.
Because my book was my dissertation project I had to do everything within a couple of months. Self-publishing was the fastest way to publish within the very limited time scale I had. Self-publishing is one person taking on all of the responsibilities typically held by teams of people in traditional publishing companies. It has been a steep learning curve.
On your travels, what would you say was the toughest thing you faced?
New Zealand feels so safe. In California, I would carry pepper spray with me everywhere I went. I was always on edge living in California. It was amazing to me that in New Zealand the police didn’t have guns. I felt much safer as a single female traveling alone in New Zealand than living in California.
The flip side of the feeling of being sheltered from the world in New Zealand was I felt isolated. There was a palpable feeling of being at the end of the world in New Zealand that at times I found overwhelming.
What can we expect next, any future books in the pipeline?
My future books will be about living in various countries. I plan to publish another book next year about attempting to settle in Scotland.
What or who in life inspires you?
I love people watching and observing the world.
if ‘Rooted in New Zealand’ was to be made into a film, who would you like to star in it?
It would be great if someone like Zooey Deschanel or Alexis Bledel played me. I would hate it if Kristen Stewart played me.
Please could you tell us a bit about your writing process?
I find myself scribbling notes about my observations when I travel. I am constantly making myself notes, sending myself text messages and emails.
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Be yourself and believe in yourself.
If you were told that you could live any day without repercussions for your actions, what would you do and why?
I would have a family and friends reunion. I would have the people I love that are scattered around the world meet me in American Samoa and hang out at Tisa’s Barefoot Bar and drink pina coladas.
I would like to thank Jamie for talking to ‘The Love Of A Good Book’