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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.Author's interview
Hello Jamie. Thank you so much for stopping by at Ja čitam, a ti? I hope you’ll enjoy here at our blog. I have few questions for you so if you are ready...
1. For starters can you tell us more about your debut book Getting Rooted in New Zealand?
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. I wanted to have some me time and an adventure. New Zealand seemed like a good place to do so.
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.
2. Like you said this is a story about your time in New Zealand so is this story completely a biography or it has some fiction added to it?
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. Some, but not all of the names of individuals and organizations have been changed to preserve privacy, but the stories are all true.
3. Can you tell us more about writing style and genre of the book?
I didn’t make a conscious decision to choose a genre. To write my book Getting Rooted In New Zealand, I relied upon my personal journals, e-mails, and memories. Reading my book would be like reading emails from a friend describing her observations abroad.
As an individual I’ve never fitted in easily. I’ve always felt like a bit of a foreigner especially at home in California. The best way I can describe it is a funny travel memoir or an accidental true love story within a comedy of errors. The only thing I can do is be myself, tell my story and hope that readers enjoy reading my book. For the most part I’ve been getting positive feedback.
4. I’ve never been to New Zealand so can you share some of your favorite places there. I have heard a lot about its wonderful nature.
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 colourful and vibrant.
5. From your bio I have noticed that you have lived in different countries and in different continents how much it changed you as a person and how much it changed your views?
I've lived in five countries; America, American Samoa, New Zealand, Scotland and now England. I want to go to so many places. The world seems very small now. The thought of living in one place for ever seems foreign now and makes me feel claustrophobic.
I really feel travel is the best teacher. I didn’t know a soul in New Zealand before I went there. Within two weeks of my plane landing in New Zealand, I found a place to live and a job. I don’t know anywhere else in the world you can do that. I’ve been living abroad since 2010. It’s made me resilient, self-reliant, fearless
and adaptable. I’ve really learned to trust my instincts and believe in myself.
6. Do you have any country in particular you’d love to visit?
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 stayed in American Samoa on the island Tutuila before I went to New Zealand and volunteered at a museum helping rehouse artifacts after they were hit by a tsunami. I love American Samoa, I'd love to go back and visit again.
7. You’re working on a second book now, right? Can you tell us more about that or your future plans?
I plan to divide my books by the countries I've lived in. My next book will be about attempting to settle in Scotland.
8. I do tend to finish my interviews with the author's favorite quotes or some message for their readers. So can you share any of that with our readers?
“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
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.
Until the next time,
**All pictures are taken from Wikipedia.