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#AuthorInterview--> Author in the Spotlight- Jamie Baywood

Hey Friends,

Today I am so excited to welcome Jamie Baywood, the author of Getting Rooted in New Zealandfor a very interesting heart-to-heart about her book, herself and just about anything under the sun! :)

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 Zealandis her first book about her experiences living there. Jamie is now married and living happily-ever-after in the United Kingdom. 

Welcome to Njkinny's World of Books, Jamie! :)
Lets start the interview.

Q1. In one sentence, what is your book about?

The best way I can describe Getting Rooted in New Zealandis that it is a funny travel memoir or an accidental true love story within a comedy of errors.

Q2. When did it come out? Who is the Publisher? Any notable awards or praise for it?

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. Some of the names of the characters and organizations, but not all have been changed to preserve privacy.  In February 2013, I organized my stories into a cohesive narrative. It went through several rounds of editing and then I published it with the Amazon company CreateSpace (www.createspace.comin April 2013.

Q3. What inspired you to write this 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.
My education is in fine arts. 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. While I was in New Zealand I meet a director named Thomas Sainsbury, he asked me what I was doing in New Zealand. My everyday stories made him laugh and he asked me to write a monologue for him. I had never done anything like that before. I was shocked by the adrenaline rush that came with storytelling and making people laugh. 
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.

Q4. What has been the biggest surprise or learning experience you've seen through the process of seeing your book get published?

I wrote, designed, published and have been marketing my own book. Self-publishing is one person taking on all of the responsibilities typically held by teams of people in traditional publishing companies. Writing, designing, publishing and marketing books are each valid full time careers.  I have been figuring out everything as I go. It’s been a steep learning curve.
The whole process has taught me to trust myself, believe in myself and follow my dreams.

Q5. Tell me about a fun moment or proud experience you've had with your book and readers since the book got published.

I feel very grateful that for the most part readers understand my sense of humor. I’m always surprised and grateful when I receive a positive review. I thought my book would mostly appeal to young women in their 20s or 30s. I was happily surprised by a few middle-aged men emailing me telling me they loved my book and can’t wait to read the next one. One man told me my book made him laugh and cry.

Q6. What are you doing to reach out to readers and book enthusiasts?

I am currently booking "meet-the-author" events at libraries and book clubs throughout England and Wales between October 2013 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 jamiebaywood@gmail.com. All of my events are listed on my Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jamiebaywood/events

Q7. What is the one thing that you hope readers take away after reading your book?

Publishing my book was my way of transforming poison into medicine. I hope that it can help people that have had bad dating experiences or bad work experiences – make them laugh and not give up hope.  

Q8. If someone were to tell you one thing before you started writing, what do you wish it had been?

Don’t worry so much. :)

Q9. What is your overall impression about New Zealand? Given a chance would you want to return to this country?

I know my experiences in New Zealand are unusual, but it was a great improvement from my life in California. Surprisingly, I seem to be getting the best feedback from people living in New Zealand both Kiwis and non-Kiwis.  I have received very kind emails from New Zealanders saying they enjoyed reading my book, they are looking forward to reading the next one and some encourage me to move back to New Zealand.

Following my dream to live abroad by moving to New Zealand was absolutely liberating. New Zealand turned me into a writer. I have absolute gratitude for every experience and everyone I met. 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.  It taught me to trust myself and believe in myself.

New Zealand is such a beautiful country. Beaches, mountains, glaciers, lakes, forests, islands, New Zealand’s got it all. It has such freshness about it, like the islands just emerged from the sea. It feels like anything is possible in New Zealand. I also loved the quality of light in New Zealand. It was like looking through a polarized lenses, but more intense. Everything is so colorful and vibrant.

By the end of Getting Rooted in New Zealand, it was time for me to go, but I would be open to moving back there. I would like to go back to New Zealand and give it another try as a writer.

Q10. Where can people find you on the Internet?

Getting Rooted in New Zealandis available in paperback and eBook on Amazon: 

Q11. What’s next up for you, writing-wise?

I plan to divide my books by the countries I've lived in.  I've lived in five countries; America, American Samoa, New Zealand, Scotland and now England.  My next book will be about attempting to settle in Scotland. 

Q12. What are your aspirations for the future?

Getting Rooted in New Zealandis available on the Amazon US and Amazon Europe sites. I would like to have the book translated into different languages.

I would like to have the book available to purchase in New Zealand and Australia. I’m in the process of trying to get it printed and distributed in New Zealand and Australia through Booktopia.com.au, Bookworm.com.au and Whitcoulls. It’s been a struggle to find a way to properly distribute the book to New Zealand and Australia.

Thanks for talking to us Jamie.. :)

Jamie found a balance to her life as a result of her visit to New Zealand and met her husband, Grant on her travels. She is now happily married and Njkinny's World of Books wishes her a Happy Married Life as well as All the Best to her in all her future endeavors and we hope to read more from her. 

Thanks for sharing your dreams and your thoughts with us Jamie. :)

Read my review of Getting Rooted in New Zealand :


Buy Getting Rooted in New Zealand  :

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