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Monday, 7 October 2013

The Monday Muse ~ Getting Rooted in New Zealand by Jamie Baywood


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The Monday Muse

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Getting Rooted in New Zealand

by

Jamie Baywood


Book Genre - humour/ memoir
               Publish date:  21 April 2013              
Publisher: CreateSpace


Book Blurb:

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 traveller before Jamie learns what it really means to get rooted.


Buy Links:

Getting Rooted in New Zealand is available in paperback and ebook on Amazon: 




Author Bio:


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:



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Author Interview:

Welcome Jamie and thanks for joining us today!

Firstly can you tell us about yourself?
I’m from California. In my mid-twenties, I had bad dating experiences in California and always dreamed of living 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.

How long have you been writing?
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.

What inspired you to start writing novels for your chosen genre?
While living in New Zealand, 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. Most of the book was written as the events happened; it just took me a few years to work up the nerve to publish. Publishing my book Getting Rooted in New Zealand 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.

Are there any other genres you’ve written?
I only know how to write my truth.

Are you working on anything new right now and can you tell us more?
I’ve been living abroad for over three years. I lived in five countries; America, American Samoa, New Zealand, Scotland and now England.  We’ll move again internationally in 2014, I’m not sure where yet.    I plan to divide my books by the countries I've lived in. My next book will be about attempting to settle in Scotland.

What motivates and inspires you to write?
 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. 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. 

Can you offer any advice to the fledgling authors, just starting out?
Be yourself.

Can you tell us who your favourite indie author/s is/are?
Cyan Corwine author of May I Ask You Something?

How do you come up with the Titles for your novels?
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 travelling 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 is your preferred method of writing:-  The plot pre-planned from day one, or just go with the flow and see what happens next?
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 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. 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. 

Are there any little tips or tricks you use to get to know your characters better?
Recently on Twitter, the characters in Getting Rooted in New Zealand are described as, “Wicked. Lots of heroes and villains. It’s a story you can read again and again- it’s laugh out loud shocking in parts and cringe worthy, some office peeps are monsters!” by Colin Mathura-Jeffree, a male model and judge for the TV show New Zealand’s Next Top Model. Colin is one of my favourite characters that I meet in New Zealand.

­­­I had good, bad and weird experiences in New Zealand. I’m grateful for all the people I encountered, heroes and villains, the experiences I had turned me into a writer.

If you don’t like a character you’re writing about, what do you do?
                a. Kill them off instantly
                b. Get over it and learn to like them
                c. Give them a whole new personality
                d. or something else – do tell?! Please!
Secretly take notes of the things they do to document their strange behavior and save it for my next book.

Do you have any input in the cover design of your novel?
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 watercolour painting I did of the New Zealand coastline.

What is the very best thing about writing for you?
I love making people laugh more than anything else. I love hearing from readers that my book is making people laugh out loud.

Who’s your greatest inspiration/s to date?
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.

Apart from writing, do you have any other hobbies that you’d like to share with us?
I like yoga, pilates and running. I recently ran 10K in York, England raising money for a friend with MS.

What’s your least favourite part of the writing process?
The hardest part has been when people don’t understand my humour. I have been in a lot of situations where I had two choices: laugh or cry. I’ve chosen to laugh. I write my experiences from a purely personal standpoint. Compared to other travellers who worked abroad in NZ my experiences have been very unusual. I would highly recommend everyone goes to New Zealand to experience their own adventure.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I want to go so many places. The thought of living in once place forever 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 centre 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 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.
As strange as it may sound, although I’m American I haven’t been to many States. I’d like to see more of my own country.

Can you tell us why you think we’d love to read your novel?
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. I’ve been told by readers that Getting Rooted in New Zealand is making people laugh out loud.

Finally, what 7 words best sum up your novel?
Funny travel memoir/accidental true love story.

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Very many thanks to Jamie for sharing her novel, her life and her humour, and if you want something to make you laugh out loud read her story!

I'm back tomorrow and I look forward to your company, as always.

Until then, keep calm and book a ticket to New Zealand - it sounds wonderful


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