Spotlight & Interview: Getting Rooted In New Zealand by Jamie Baywood

Hullo, book fiends. Today we’re featuring the book Getting Rooted In New Zealand by author Jamie Baywood. We also have a quick interview with Jamie who tells us about things like what her writing nook is like, her favorite food to snack on while writing, and her top 5 favorite books. Checkit.

Interview with Jamie Baywood

final book designDescribe your writing desk or nook?

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 don’t have a desk; instead I constantly make myself notes wherever I am. This summer in Wales, I was scribble stories on the backs of maps and Google directions as a passenger in my husband’s 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.

What is your favorite food to snack on while writing?

Dried mangoes.

If you weren’t a writer or author, what would you be?

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.

My education is in fine arts, I didn’t write until I moved to New Zealand. 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.

I’ve just completed an MA in Design. Designing, publishing and marketing my book was my dissertation project. 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.

I have a day job as a Web Design Intern.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?

“No matter how wonderful our dreams, how noble our ideals, or how high our hopes, ultimately we need courage to make them a reality. Without action, it’s as if they never existed.” – Ikeda

What is your top 5 favorite books?

1. May I Ask You Something? by Cyan Corwine.
2. Area Code 212 by Tama Janowitz.
3. The Buddha, Geoff and Me by Edward Canfor-Dumas.
4. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins.
5. Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan.

What are you working on now?

For the past four years, I’ve been disassembling and reassembling my life by moving to different countries. I’ve lived in five countries now. My next book will be about traveling on the South Island of New Zealand, Australia, California and attempting to settle down in Scotland.


me with red hatAbout Getting Rooted In New Zealand

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 available in paperback and ebook on Amazon. You can also order it on The Book Depository.

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.

Connect with Jamie on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, Amazon, and LinkedIn.

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