Sunday, 24 November 2013

{Book Spotlight} Getting Rooted in New Zealand by Jamie Baywood


Getting Rooted in New Zealand
Genre: Memoir
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 21st 2013 by Createspace
Buy: Amazon, Kindle
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.

Readers' views:
“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)
“What a fun read! The author clearly has a unique way of viewing the world and finding humor in ordinary situations. Best of luck!” (5 out of 5 stars) s1stergoldenhair (Amazon Customer Review) 

Interview with Jamie Baywood

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
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. Although I intended to have a solo adventure I ended up meeting my husband in New Zealand. 

Can you describe your book in one sentence?
Accidental true love story within a comedy of errors. 

Where do you get your ideas/inspiration for your book?
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.

I had the opportunity to write and perform for Thomas Sainsbury the most prolific playwright in New Zealand. I performed a monologue about my jobs in the Basement Theatre in Auckland.  The funny thing about that experience was Tom kept me separated from the other performers until it was time to perform. I was under the impression that all the performers were foreigners giving their experiences in New Zealand.  All of the other performers were professional actors telling stories that weren’t their own. At first I was mortified, but the audience seemed to enjoy my “performance,” laughing their way through my monologue. After the shows we would go out and mingle with the audience. People would ask me how long I had been acting. I would tell them, “I wasn’t acting; I have to go to work tomorrow and sit next to the girl wearing her dead dog’s collar around her neck.” 

How did you come up with the title?
In New Zealand, I had a lot of culture shock. One of the most memorable moments was learning the meaning of the Kiwi slang word “rooted.” One night I was brushing my teeth with my flatmate and I said, ‘I’m really excited to live in this house because I have been travelling a lot and I just need to settle down, stop traveling and get rooted’. He was choking on his toothbrush and asked me if I knew what that meant because it had a completely different meaning New Zealand than it does in the States.

 What do you do when you are not writing?
In my free time I like to do yoga, pilates and run. I also practice Nichiren Buddhism which involves chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo in the morning and in the evening. It’s my way of centring myself and focusing on my determinations. 

Do you have a day job as well?
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. I’ve designed, published and have been marketing Getting Rooted in New Zealand.

I work seven days a week and spend up to twelve hours a day promoting my book.  I’ve been interviewed by newspapers in New Zealand, England and Wales and hundreds of bloggers. I’ve begun doing a book tour at libraries, reading festivals and with book clubs through the UK. 

I am currently booking meet the author events at libraries and book clubs throughout England and Wales between now and June 2014. If you are living in the UK and would like me to come to your library or book club email me at All of my events are listed on my Facebook:

Will you have a new book coming out soon?
I haven’t stopped travelling since I moved out of California in 2010. For over 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. I plan to divide my books by the countries I’ve lived in. My next book will be about attempting to settle in Scotland. I plan to publish it late 2014. 

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.