Author Interview – Jamie Baywood

Getting Rooted in New ZealandToday’s Q & A post is with author Jamie Baywood!

Jamie’s latest release ‘Getting Rooted in New Zealand’ is a travel memoir showcasing the fun times she had whilst traveling around.

Now let’s get onto the questions…

Welcome Jamie to ‘A Book and Tea’ and thank you for participating in this question and answer session.

– Your new novel ‘Getting rooted in New Zealand’ is all about your travels on the other side of the world, have you always wanted to visit the island?
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 a Scottish man in New Zealand.

– For those who aren’t familiar with your work, what can they expect from your latest release?
Reading my book would be similar to receiving emails from a friend living abroad. My truth tends to be stranger than fiction, but it is really too weird to be made up. 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. That being said, I would like to go back to New Zealand and give it another try as a writer.

– How long did it take you to write your travel memoirs?

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 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’m sure there’s some wannabe travelers out there planning a trip, what would be your essential tips and help?

I think readers need to remember this is the dairy of a young, hormonal and confused twenty-
something, this is not a travel guide to New Zealand. 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. You don’t have to move internationally to have an adventure. Your time being single is a precious time to develop and focus on yourself. Enjoy your freedom.

For a single female traveling alone, New Zealand is one of the safest countries in the world. I mightnot have understood people’s accents initially, but I was able to get off the plane and land on my feet quickly. I got a job and a place to live within two weeks of arrival. I don’t know anywhere else in the world you can do that.

As an American citizen there are actually very few places in the world you can get a work visa and just show up. If you are an American under thirty you can a work visa in Australia and if you are an American under thirty-five you can get a work visa in New Zealand. Go before it’s too late. The world is small. Sometimes the grass actually is greener on the other side.

“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

– If your book was made into a movie, who would play you and those involved?

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.”

It would be great to return to New Zealand to make Getting Rooted in New Zealand into a TV show or movie with Thomas Sainsbury.

– When you’re not traveling what do you like to do for fun?

I like yoga, pilates and running. I recently ran 10K in York, England raising money for a friend with MS.

– You’re a Californian by heart so I’m sure you do miss it sometimes, but what do you like most about living in the UK?

Although I intended to have a solo adventure I ended up meeting my husband a Scottish man in New Zealand. We’ve actually lived in two different countries in the United Kingdom after leaving New Zealand; Scotland and now England for my husband’s graduate school. After New Zealand, we moved to Scotland, got married in a castle and ended up living across the street from Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh. Scotland is a sincerely magical place. There are so many castles in Scotland. Scotland has amazing architecture, beautiful mountains, lochs, beaches and sweet natured people. The landscape of the Highlands is very similar to the South Island of New Zealand. I love hearing the Scottish accent everywhere you go. After living in Edinburgh, I can understand how J. K. Rowling was inspired writing Harry Potter. I lived above a used bookshop that looked like where Harry would have bought his school supplies.

– When you were growing up, who was your favourite author? And what was your favourite book?

My new favorite book is May I Ask You Something? by Cyan Corwine.

I personally find autobiographies interesting, but it really depends on who wrote it. Some of my favorite books are collections of funny true stories like Area Code 212 by Tama Janowitz. I’ve also enjoyed reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed.

– And finally, because I love Tea. how do you take yours? Mines two sugars and milk. (You can say you don’t like Tea, I don’t mind, hehe).

Chai lattes are my favorite tea.

Once again thank you for joining me today and I can’t wait to read your latest release or future reads!

You can purchase ‘Getting Rooted in New Zealand’  in paperback and e-book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1482601907

About the Book:
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.

Jamie BaywoodAbout 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 can be followed on the following sites:

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest.com | Goodreads | Amazon

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