Friday, November 15, 2013

Spotlight: Getting Rooted in New Zealand by Jamie Baywood

Getting Rooted in New Zealand book description:
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.

About the author 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.

Jamie Baywood can be followed on the following sites:
Author Interview:
Anything you can tell us about yourself that your readers may not know.
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. In an attempt to have some ‘me time’ I moved to New Zealand. Although I intended to have a solo adventure I ended up meeting my husband in New Zealand.  I've lived in five countries; America, American Samoa, New Zealand, Scotland and now England.  
How long have you been writing and who influenced you?
I was very lucky in New Zealand to meet a lot of talented people. 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.” No one believed I was telling the truth.
What inspires you while you were writing?
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. I’ve been told by readers that Getting Rooted in New Zealand is making people laugh out loud.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I didn’t start keeping a diary or writing until I moved to New Zealand. I wrote to keep in touch with friends and family. I saved the emails that eventually became my book. I constantly make myself notes. This summer in Wales, I was scribbling stories on the backs of maps and Google directions as a passenger in the car of 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 makes you laugh/cry?
My husband, friends and family make me laugh.
Dealing with visas and the UK Border Agency makes me cry.
What’s the last movie you watched and loved? 
Juan of the Dead.
One of your favorite quotes.
The gadget you can’t live without
My phone.
Top three things on your bucket list
I want to go so many places. The thought of living in once place for ever seems foreign now and makes me feel claustrophobic. It would be fun to be a tourist again rather than dissembling and reassembling my life and taking all my belongings with me when I move internationally.  I’d love to be able to tour around Europe.
I currently have to live in the center of England. I desperately miss the ocean and being warm at the beach. I really miss the warm, friendly nature of the people in the South Pacific. I would love to see more Pacific Islands, and travel throughout Micronesia and Melanesia.  I had the chance to visit Australia briefly after I lived in New Zealand. I would move to Australia or back to New Zealand in a heartbeat.
I've been to Costa Rica and Peru on short holidays; I would love to see more of South America and Central America.  I absolutely want to go to Yucatán peninsula in Mexico and see the Mayan ruins.  I’d love to go to the Caribbean.
As strange as it may sound, although I’m American I haven’t been to many States. I’d love to go to Alaska, New York, see the Grand Canyon, New Orleans, Miami, Austin, Chicago, Portland and Seattle. I hear Canada is amazing. It looks like I need to sell more books to buy plane tickets!
If your books were a movie what celebrities would be cast as the main characters?
It would be great if someone like Zooey Deschanel or Alexis Bledel played me.
 I would hate it if Kristen Stewart played me.
I have a Samsung which I’m addicted to, but the battery life is pathetic!

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