Today I am so pleased to welcome Tim Rayborn to Joyfully Jay. Tim has come to talk to us about his latest release, Qwyrk. He has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Tim a big welcome!


Tim has written a Q&A to share with us about his writing process!

When did you know you wanted to write, and when did you discover that you were good at it?

I was interested in telling stories from right after I first read The Hobbit and then The Lord of the Rings, way back in the 1970s. I made a few handwritten attempts, and thank goodness those eventually ended up shredded and recycled. But as I progressed in my education, I realized that I really enjoyed non-fiction and academic writing, so those projects took up the bulk of my writing efforts for many years. I’ve written a few dozen non-fiction books for various publishers, from academic works on medieval topics to popular books on everything from Scandinavian happiness culture to how to de-germify your home. Qwyrk is my first published fiction work. I’m not sure I’m especially good at writing, but I keep at it, and somehow, I keep getting books published.


How would you describe your writing style/genre?

For my non-fiction, I love taking concepts that are big or even confusing and distilling (boiling?) them down to easy-to-understand, bite-sized portions for people. I try to keep things light and entertaining, but I also want to make sure I’m accurate and informative. For my fiction, Qwyrk is a venture into the worlds of urban/contemporary fantasy, with a hefty dose of history, folklore, and weirdness, as well as humor, sarcasm, and general Britishness thrown in.


How long do you write each day?

It really depends. I work as a writer-for-hire for various book publishers, so there is almost always something I’m working on, but I try not to go at it for too long in any one session. When writing my own books under my own name, I think more in terms of the big picture and the deadline, rather than the number of hours in the day spent writing. I may commit to 1,000 words a day, for example, which may take two hours, or it may take five. For my novels, it’s really just what I feel like doing. It’s nice to write bit every day (sometimes a lot), but for me, it’s not essential.


How long does it take you to write the first draft?

With a work-for-hire, it’s entirely up to the publisher’s deadline, but two to four weeks is pretty typical. For my own books (which are also written for publishers), there will be a deadline, but I try to finish well in advance. I’ve written an 80,000-word book in less than three months, at about 1,000 words per day (including weekends). For fiction, my routine is less strict, and really depends on a lot of factors, such as my mood, what I can come up with, and a half-dozen other influences and distractions. I’m fine with leaving it for a day, or a week, or even longer if I feel I need a break.


What was your first published work? Tell me a little about it.

I contributed to a PBS anthology on Gregorian chant back in the 1990s, and wrote articles for various magazines and journals over the years. My first book was academic: The Violent Pilgrimage, a survey mainly about the eleventh and twelfth centuries and the growing conflicts between Christian Europe and the Muslim Middle East, culminating in the first two crusades. I then wrote two more academic books for the same publisher, one about the medieval friars, and one about classical music in England in the early twentieth century.


Do your books spring to life from a character first or an idea?

Both, I think. I’ve started stories with an idea, and I’ve started them with a character, but no real sense of where that person was going. Qwyrk is the first of a four-book series, and in each book, it’s a bit of both; I just take it from there. Usually, there is a character or two and a general idea about the trouble they might be about to get into.


Do you ever base your characters on real people? If so, what are the pitfalls you’ve run into doing so?

Heh, this is always a tricky question. The answer is yes, but most often it’s just one character trait or quirk that I liked or found annoying or whatever, and I add that into a character’s personality. Honestly, I’m more likely to work my own deficiencies and foibles into a character than someone else’s, but in these books, I’ve certainly based at least some personality traits on people that I’ve known or met. And no, I’m never telling who they are!


qwyrk coverQwyrk is having a bad day; several, in fact. One of the Shadow folk tasked with keeping an eye on humanity, she’s ready for a well-earned break in Yorkshire, but now she’s (literally) run into a girl, Jilly, who just saw something quite supernatural and truly awful happen in her town.

As Qwyrk tries to unravel the mystery, layers of villainy are exposed, and she’s stuck with an assortment of unlikely folk that she’d rather not have “helping” her.

Together, they confront ancient magic, medieval conspiracies, and the possible end of the world (that again?). It’s not the holiday Qwyrk was hoping for!

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tim rayborn bio photoTim Rayborn is a writer and internationally acclaimed musician. He plays dozens of unusual instruments that many people of have never heard of and often can’t pronounce, including medieval instrument reconstructions and folk instruments from Northern Europe, the Balkans, and the Middle East.

He has appeared on over forty recordings, and his wanderings and tours have taken him across the US, all over Europe, to Canada and Australia, and to such romantic locations as Marrakech, Istanbul, Renaissance chateaux, medieval churches, and high school gymnasiums.

On the writing side of things, Tim lived in England for nearly seven years and has a PhD from the University of Leeds, which he likes to pretend means that he knows what he’s talking about. He has written several books and magazine articles about music, the arts, history, and business, and undoubtedly will write more (whether anyone likes it or not).

He currently resides in Northern California amid many books, antique music reproduction devices (i.e., CDs), instruments, and with a sometimes-demanding cat. He’s also rather enthusiastic about good wines, single-malt Scotch, and cooking excellent food.


Tim is giving away an Amazon gift card with this tour. Follow the Rafflecopter below to enter. 

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