Kevin Hearne: Five Things I Learned Writing Ink & Sigil

When his most current apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al discovers proof that Gordie was living a secret life of criminal activity. Now Al is forced to play detective– while avoiding actual investigators who are wondering why death appears to always follow Al. Examining his apprentices death will take him through Scotlands wonderful underworld, and hell need the help of a naughty hobgoblin if hes to survive.

Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an amazing white moustache, a gratitude for craft mixed drinks– and a most distinct wonderful skill. He can cast spells with amazingly enchanted ink and he utilizes his gifts to protect our world from rogue minions of various pantheons, especially the Fae.

Anyone who hears his voice will start to feel a mysterious hatred for Al, so he can just communicate through the written word or speech apps. As his personal life collapses around him, he dedicates his life to his work, all the while trying to crack the trick of his curse.

Glasgow is an impressive city

Edinburgh and the Highlands get a lot of attention when folks think of going to Scotland– and for excellent reason– however Glasgow has layers, like ogres and onions and parfaits. It was rather the commercial hub in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding industry was huge for a long time, but when it collapsed a couple of decades ago, the city population basically halved from 1.2 million to 600k– part of what makes housing more reasonable there. Now theres a lot of finance and tech things taking place in Glasgow, and the city has this terrific richness of varied architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history existing side-by-side alongside modern-day buildings.

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

Unintentional fires and home damage were so typical in the old days that inkmakers had to do their thing outside city walls on a calm day in case shit went bad. Without heating up the oil sufficiently beforehand, the ink would dry too slowly, soak up oxygen, and polymerize like rubber.

I found out a lot about the history of inkmaking from Ink by Ted Bishop, which I highly suggest as an excellent start, and it has an extensive bibliography for additional reading. The widespread usage of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean animals for pigments was especially unexpected to me. (If youve ever eaten food thats worn or red lipstick, youve probably been consuming or smearing uponst thy lips the colorful guts of bugs who like irritable pear cacti.) A tiny fraction of the research I did wound up being utilized in the book; it was a gigantic charming bunny hole that runs as deep background for whatever Al does, and some of it that I didnt utilize for the very first book will likely discover a place later in the series.

Public transport is quite rad

Ive resided in locations without a decent public transportation system most all my life, so whenever Im in a city that has it, Im easily impressed. Glasgow has a small train that circles the city core, but likewise has a rail and bus system that allows people to navigate quite well without an automobile– which is what we did as travelers. Most impressively, regular paths get you out of the city to lovely wee towns that generally use an old stone church, a bar, great deals of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had existed once, which is most likely true considering that its not a massive nation and those men got around. The relative ease of getting around both city and rural areas without owning a car showed me that my protagonist didnt require an automobile. Cabs and hitchhiking would get the slack whenever public transport and a stretch of the legs couldnt manage the journey.

Haggis is freaking delicious

For reals. And I like tatties and neeps too. It gets represented as this stuff you just consume on a dare, and yeah, I admit I recoiled the first time I attempted it because it had actually been developed up in my head as A Gross Thing You Will Only Try Once, but damn, I liked it. A lot. Had it as frequently as I could while I existed, due to the fact that it is not widely readily available beyond Scotland.

Now, as a counterpoint: I am not a fan of black pudding, because I attempted that too and it did unkind things to my taste buds. Super delighted for everybody who likes it, though! You can have mine. Ill trade you for your haggis. Dang, I truly require to discover some where Im at now. I miss it.

The accents are pure fantastic

I didnt attempt to replicate whatever you hear– that would be a colossal task– but I did choose a couple of words and phrases to consistently render the way a Weegie might state them to supply the taste of the language while (hopefully) keeping it simple to read. Of course, you can listen to the audiobook narrated by Luke Daniels and appreciate the accents that method.

Most Americans familiarity with the Scottish accent originates from Shrek and other entertainment, but invest a long time in Scotland and youll recognize that there are a wide range of accents throughout the nation. The Glaswegian (or Weegie) accent is its own thing, however fifty miles away in Edinburgh you get an entirely various sound. Because the Weegie accent and dialect is unique from other areas of Scotland, I required an expert reader from Glasgow to have a look at the manuscript ahead of time and make corrections. One word that needed to go that people frequently associate with Scotland: Laddie. I was informed that word might get utilized in the country here and there, however was not actually a thing that Weegies say. Calling someone a jammy bastard has absolutely nothing to do with jam or even pajamas.

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Kevin Hearne hugs trees, animals doggies, and rocks out to heavy metal. He likewise 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 magically captivated ink and he uses his presents to protect our world from rogue minions of various pantheons, especially the Fae.

Now theres a lot of financing and tech stuff occurring in Glasgow, and the city has this terrific richness of diverse architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history existing together with contemporary structures. A tiny fraction of the research I did wound up being used in the book; it was a massive beautiful rabbit hole that operates as deep background for whatever Al does, and some of it that I didnt use for the first book will likely discover a place later in the series.

Glasgow has a small subway that circles around the city core, but also has a rail and bus system that allows individuals to get around pretty well without a vehicle– which is what we did as tourists. Most remarkably, routine routes get you out of the city to captivating wee towns that typically offer an old stone church, a pub, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had been there as soon as, which is most likely real since its not a gigantic nation and those guys got around.

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