Getting Rooted in New Zealand

Today, I'm pleased to present a Q&A with guest author Jamie Baywood, of the hilarious memoir Getting Rooted in New Zealand

Book Synopsis
Craving change and lacking logic, 26 year old 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.

Why Move to New Zealand from California?
It was always my dream to live abroad when I was growing up in California.  I had bad dating experiences in California and read in a New Zealand tour book that the country’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. Although I intended to have a solo adventure, I ended up meeting my husband in New Zealand.

Tell us a bit about that gorgeous, lacking-in-menfolk country!
In New Zealand, I had a lot of culture shock. 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 around her neck.”

And just for my readers, an excerpt from Getting Rooted in New Zealand
"Just like “biscuits,” the word “rooting” has a completely different meaning in New Zealand than it does in California. In California, one would say they need to get rooted when they settle in somewhere, as in, to put down roots, to ground themselves. 

After living oblivious to the New Zealand definition for five months and while brushing my teeth with Liam the other night, I told him, “I’m really excited to live in this house because I really need to get rooted. I traveled all around Samoa for a month before I came here, and the first place I lived in New Zealand didn’t work out, so I had to move. I’m excited to stay in one place long enough to get rooted.”

Liam’s eyes almost popped out of his head, and he just about choked on his toothbrush. He spat out his toothpaste, staring at me out of the corner of his eye. Finally he spoke, “Jamie, are you hitting on me? Do you know what rooting means here?”

(Oh, my. Now I want to visit that country even more!)

Getting Rooted in New Zealand is available on Amazon (ebook and paperback), and you can learn more about Jame Baywood on her Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads profile.

Labels: , , ,