Alright guys and gals, I have something exciting for you. Not only do we have an author interview with Jamie Baywood about her book, Getting Rooted in New Zealand, but we have a contest to win a free signed copy of the book. So without further ado, here is the interview, contest details are at the bottom of the page.
ME: Jamie, your book is really a personal account of your life, looking back are there any things that you wish you would have left out or added?
JB: To write my book Getting Rooted In New Zealand, I relied upon my personal journals, e-mails, and memories. The stories are all true, but the names of certain individuals and organizations have been changed for privacy. Many of my friends and the man that became my husband are featured in the book. I tried to strike a balance between being honest and respecting everyone’s privacy. I tried my best to respect my husband’s privacy during the process and he vetoed a few stories about him from the book that made him blush.
ME: How was the transition from living in California to New Zealand, being a whole different country, did you find any particular thing harder to become accustomed to?
JB: The New Zealand accent was like nothing I had ever heard before. They use British terms for everything and have Kiwi slang on top of that. It took me months to figure out what people were saying. Once I could understand what they were saying it took me awhile to figure out slang words.
But, for a single female traveling alone, New Zealand is one of the safest countries in the world. I might not have understood people 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.
ME: You boldly self-published this book, do you think that by choosing to self-publish that helped your or hindered your sales and exposure?
JB: 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 has been a steep learning curve. My book has only been out a few months. I am hoping book marketing is like gardening – I’m planting seeds now that will hopefully bloom soon.
ME: How has your life changed after the publication of Getting Rooted in New Zealand?
JB: I am just now starting to go on book talk tours throughout the United Kingdom and being interviewed. Since publication, I’ve mostly been working on networking and marketing. 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. It’s been an interesting dance trying to promote the book and attempting to stay anonymous.
ME: In your book you leave California due to an undesirable dating scene, and it seems it was a good move, because you are now married. What advice would you give to women about dating?
JB: The only real dating advice I can give is never settle. Bob Dylan has a quote that I find particularly applicable to dating, “Just because you like my stuff doesn’t mean I owe you anything.”
ME: Do you have plans for another book, and do you plan to continue to travel?
JB: I never went home. I’ve been living abroad for over three years. My next book will be about traveling through the South Island of New Zealand, Australia, and California and attempting to settle down in Scotland. I plan to divide my books by the countries I’ve lived in.
ME: What would you say has been the best thing to happen due to publishing this book?
JB: I have received a few emails from strangers telling me that they really enjoyed my book and encouraged me to keep writing. That has been surprisingly amazing.
ME: If your book were to be turned into a movie, who would play you?
JB: It would be great if someone like Zooey Deschanel or Alexis Bledel played me. I would hate it if Kristen Stewart played me.
ME: For those many aspiring writers that read my blogs, what advice do you have for someone who is interested in self-publishing a book?
JB: Be yourself and find a good editor. Books published through traditional publishing companies are edited at least five times. Have your book edited again and again for typos.
So, I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. Now for the contest details, here are a few things that you must do. Like Jamie Baywood on Facebook and leave your email address in the comment section of this blog. On September 15th, I will announce the winner of the contest in a new blog and contact you via email if you are the lucky one. I really hope that you enjoy the book and I will be doing a book review of it in the not so distant future…Remember to comment with your email address and like Jamie Baywood on Facebook.
Also, you can find Jamie Baywood here: