Kevin Hearne: Five Things I Learned Writing Ink & Sigil

However when his newest apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al discovers evidence that Gordie was living a secret life of crime. Now Al is required to play investigator– while preventing actual detectives who are questioning why death seems to constantly follow Al. Investigating his apprentices death will take him through Scotlands wonderful underworld, and hell need the assistance of a naughty hobgoblin if hes to endure.

Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an amazing white moustache, an appreciation for craft cocktails– and a most unique magical talent. He can cast spells with amazingly captivated ink and he utilizes his presents to secure our world from rogue minions of different pantheons, especially the Fae.

But he is also cursed. Anyone who hears his voice will start to feel an inexplicable hatred for Al, so he can only communicate through the composed word or speech apps. And his apprentices keep passing away in peculiar freak mishaps. As his individual life falls apart around him, he devotes his life to his work, all the while trying to break the trick of his curse.

Glasgow is a remarkable city

Edinburgh and the Highlands get a great deal of attention when folks believe of visiting Scotland– and for excellent reason– however Glasgow has layers, like onions and ogres and parfaits. Its the third-largest city in the UK behind London and Birmingham, however far more budget-friendly. It has universities, plural; a 37-acre Necropolis filled with scary Victorian-era gravesites and mausoleums for all the goth vibes you need; multiple football teams to cheer (and fight) for; an eldritch organ in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & & Museum; master distillers of whisky and gin that are the envy of the world; and it utilized to be that all the New Worlds tobacco was shipped to Glasgow initially and from there to the remainder of the European continent. That was an entire lot of cash and cancer. It was rather the industrial hub in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding industry was big for a long time, but when it collapsed a couple of decades ago, the city population generally cut in half from 1.2 million to 600k– part of what makes real estate more affordable there. Now theres a lot of financing and tech things taking place in Glasgow, and the city has this fantastic richness of different architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history coexisting along with modern-day buildings. Generally its a fantastic city in which to set a metropolitan dream, since basically anything can take place there.

There are thousands of dishes for ink and lots of them are combustible

Unexpected fires and residential or commercial property damage were so common in the old days that inkmakers had to do their thing outside city walls on a calm day in case shit spoiled. The main perpetrator behind the ruckus was boiling linseed oil, which smells truly terrible, produces harmful vapors, and can blow up at any time. Without heating the oil sufficiently beforehand, the ink would dry too slowly, take in oxygen, and polymerize like rubber. The commercial procedure now is much safer, however doing it the old-fashioned way is flirting with spontaneously combustible doom.

I learned a lot about the history of inkmaking from Ink by Ted Bishop, which I extremely advise as a great start, and it has an extensive bibliography for more reading. The widespread usage of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean creatures for pigments was specifically unexpected to me. (If youve ever eaten food thats used or red lipstick, youve most likely been taking in or smearing uponst thy lips the colorful guts of bugs who like irritable pear cacti.) A small portion of the research I did wound up being utilized in the book; it was a gigantic beautiful bunny hole that runs as deep background for whatever Al does, and a few of it that I didnt use for the first book will likely discover a place later on in the series.

Public transportation is quite rad

Ive lived in locations without a decent public transport system most all my life, so whenever Im in a city that has it, Im quickly satisfied. Glasgow has a small train that circles the city core, but likewise has a rail and bus system that enables people to get around pretty well without a vehicle– which is what we did as travelers. Most remarkably, regular paths get you out of the city to lovely wee towns that generally offer an old stone church, a club, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had been there when, which is most likely real because its not a gigantic country and those guys navigated. The relative ease of navigating both metropolitan and rural areas without owning a vehicle revealed me that my protagonist didnt need an automobile. Taxi cabs and hitchhiking would get the slack whenever public transportation and a stretch of the legs could not deal with the journey.

Haggis is freaking tasty

For reals. And I love neeps and tatties too. It gets represented as this stuff you only consume on an attempt, and yeah, I confess I recoiled the very first time I attempted it because it had actually been built up in my head as A Gross Thing You Will Only Try Once, but damn, I liked it. A lot. Had it as often as I might while I was there, due to the fact that it is not commonly offered outside of Scotland.

Now, as a counterpoint: I am not a fan of black pudding, because I tried that too and it did unkind things to my taste buds. Super delighted for everybody who likes it! Dang, I really need to find some where Im at now.

The accents are pure fantastic

I didnt attempt to recreate everything you hear– that would be a gigantic job– but I did decide on a few words and expressions to consistently render the method a Weegie might say them to offer the taste of the language while (ideally) keeping it easy to check out. Obviously, you can listen to the audiobook told by Luke Daniels and value the accents that way.

A lot of Americans familiarity with the Scottish accent comes from Shrek and other home entertainment, however spend some time in Scotland and youll recognize that there are a wide variety of accents throughout the country. The Glaswegian (or Weegie) accent is its own thing, but fifty miles away in Edinburgh you get an entirely various noise. Given that the Weegie accent and dialect is unique from other areas of Scotland, I required a professional reader from Glasgow to have a look at the manuscript ahead of time and make corrections. One word that needed to go that individuals typically relate to Scotland: Laddie. I was informed that word may get utilized in the country here and there, but was not truly a thing that Weegies state. Also, calling somebody a jammy bastard has absolutely nothing to do with jam and even pajamas.

***

Kevin Hearne hugs trees, animals dogs, and rocks out to heavy metal. He also believes tacos are a pretty clever concept. He is the author of A Plague of Giants and the New York Times bestselling The Iron Druid Chronicles series.

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He can cast spells with amazingly captivated ink and he uses his presents to secure our world from rogue minions of numerous pantheons, especially the Fae.

Glasgow has a small subway that circles around the city core, but likewise has a rail and bus system that enables people to get around pretty well without an automobile– which is what we did as tourists. The majority of impressively, routine paths get you out of the city to lovely wee towns that usually use an old stone church, a bar, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had actually been there when, which is probably true since its not a gigantic country and those men got around.

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Now theres a lot of finance and tech things occurring in Glasgow, and the city has this wonderful richness of different architecture and community owing to its long history existing side-by-side together with modern-day structures. A small portion of the research I did wound up being utilized in the book; it was a gigantic charming rabbit hole that operates as deep background for everything Al does, and some of it that I didnt use for the first book will likely find a place later in the series.

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