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.
What inspires you to write?
If you watch the world closely enough, you can find inspiration everywhere. I constantly make myself notes. I scribble 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.
Tell us about your writing process.
Most of the book was written as the events happened; it just took me a few years to work up the nerve to publish. I started writing my book because I had funny experiences that I had trouble believing were true. I wrote the stories down to stay sane. I shared the stories with friends. The stories made people laugh so I decided to organize the stories into a book and publish in the hopes of make others laugh too.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I consider myself an accidental author. I didn’t write before I lived in New Zealand. I had good, bad and weird experiences in New Zealand that I wrote down as they happened. I will always be grateful for New Zealand for turning me into a writer.
I have a fine arts background and 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. People either laugh or they don’t. It’s even interesting when people get unexpectedly angry about what I write. It’s brilliant to get honest reactions, make people feel something.
Last year, we found out we had to move to England from Scotland. Rather than being displaced to a country I didn’t want to move to, I decided to be displaced with the goal of publishing. I plan to divide my books by the countries I’ve lived in. When I move to a new country the story begins there.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It’s an interesting time to be a writer. There are countless self-publishing sites and authors. Anyone that can upload PDFs can technically be a published author now. I wrote, designed, published and have been marketing my own book. An agent would need to explain to me what they can do for me that I can’t do for myself.
On the other hand, since I wrote, design, published and marketed my own book, I can truly appreciate why each of those tasks were previously divided by teams of people in traditional publishing companies. It is a lot of work. It would be nice to simple write a book.
What do you use?
What genres do you write?
memoir, travel, autobiography, comedy
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print