I don't normally feature non-fiction on my blog, but this one just seemed too cute and funny to pass up. Jamie Baywood, the author, has kindly taken some time to chit chat with me today, but before we get to the interview take a peek at her book!
Genre: Non-Fiction (Memoir)
Date Published: April 21, 2013
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.
How long have you been writing?
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.
Was there a particular event or something that happened that made you decide to write a book based on your experiences in New Zealand?
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.
Reading my book would be similar to receiving emails from a friend living abroad. I didn’t really come up with the distinct writing style. It’s just how I honestly observed things and described them. I only know how to write my truth. My truth tends to be stranger than fiction.
Is it true that you're working on a second book? Will this be related to Getting Rooted in New Zealand or something entirely different?
I plan to divide my books by the countries I’ve lived in. My next book will be about attempting to settle in Scotland. I plan to publish it late 2014.
What is a secret about you that nobody else knows?
My life is literally an open book, but Jamie Baywood is a pen name. Getting Rooted in New Zealand is based on my real life experiences living in New Zealand 2010-2011. I haven’t told my family that I’ve written or published a book. They think I’m just living in the UK working on a MA in Design studying book covers. The one thing that most people don’t know about me is that I am an author.
What book have you read too many times to count?
May I Ask You Something? by Cyan Corwine.
What is the best piece of writing advice you 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 was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
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. It has been a steep learning curve.
I love making people laugh more than anything else. I love hearing from readers that my book is making people laugh out loud. The hardest part has been when people don’t understand my humor.
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 travelers who worked abroad in New Zealand my experiences have been very unusual. I would highly recommend everyone goes to New Zealand to experience their own adventure.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I like yoga, pilates and running. Over the summer I ran 10K in York, England raising money for a friend with MS.
To learn more about Jamie Baywood and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.