Kevin Hearne: Five Things I Learned Writing Ink & Sigil

When his newest apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al discovers proof that Gordie was living a secret life of crime. Now Al is forced to play detective– while preventing real investigators who are questioning why death appears to always follow Al. Investigating his apprentices death will take him through Scotlands magical underworld, and hell require the aid of a naughty hobgoblin if hes to make it through.

Anyone who hears his voice will start to feel an inexplicable hatred for Al, so he can only communicate through the written word or speech apps. As his individual life falls apart around him, he dedicates his life to his work, all the while trying to split the trick of his curse.

Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with a remarkable white moustache, an appreciation for craft mixed drinks– and a most distinct wonderful talent. He can cast spells with magically enchanted ink and he uses his gifts to safeguard our world from rogue minions of different pantheons, especially the Fae.

Glasgow is an exceptional city

Edinburgh and the Highlands get a lot of attention when folks think about visiting Scotland– and for good reason– however Glasgow has layers, like ogres and onions and parfaits. Its the third-largest city in the UK behind London and Birmingham, but far more budget friendly. It has universities, plural; a 37-acre Necropolis loaded with spooky 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 delivered to Glasgow first and from there to the rest of the European continent. That was a lot of money and cancer. It was quite the industrial hub in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding market was huge for a long period of time, however when it collapsed a couple of decades earlier, the city population generally halved from 1.2 million to 600k– part of what makes real estate more sensible there. Now theres a great deal of financing and tech things taking place in Glasgow, and the city has this terrific richness of varied architecture and community owing to its long history existing together alongside contemporary buildings. Essentially its a great city in which to set a metropolitan dream, since basically anything can take place there.

There are countless recipes for ink and lots of them are flammable

I found out a lot about the history of inkmaking from Ink by Ted Bishop, which I highly advise as an excellent start, and it has an extensive bibliography for further reading. The prevalent use of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean animals for pigments was particularly unexpected to me. (If youve ever consumed food thats red or worn lipstick, youve probably been smearing or consuming uponst thy lips the vibrant guts of bugs who like irritable pear cacti.) A tiny portion of the research I did wound up being used in the book; it was a massive charming rabbit hole that operates as deep background for whatever Al does, and a few of it that I didnt use for the first book will likely find a place later on in the series.

Accidental 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 primary offender behind the racket was boiling linseed oil, which smells actually horrible, produces hazardous vapors, and can take off at any time. Without warming the oil sufficiently beforehand, the ink would dry too slowly, soak up oxygen, and polymerize like rubber. The industrial process now is much more secure, but doing it the old-fashioned method is flirting with spontaneously combustible doom.

Public transport is quite rad

Glasgow has a little train that circles around the city core, but also has a rail and bus system that enables individuals to get around pretty well without a car– which is what we did as tourists. A lot of impressively, routine routes get you out of the city to charming wee villages that normally provide 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 country and those men got around.

Haggis is freaking tasty

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

It gets portrayed as this things you only consume on an attempt, and yeah, I admit I winced the first time I tried it due to the fact that 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.

The accents are pure brilliant

I didnt try to reproduce whatever you hear– that would be a gargantuan task– however I did pick a couple of words and phrases to consistently render the way a Weegie may say them to offer the taste of the language while (ideally) keeping it easy to read. Obviously, you can listen to the audiobook told by Luke Daniels and value the accents that way.

Many Americans familiarity with the Scottish accent comes from Shrek and other home entertainment, however invest some time in Scotland and youll recognize that there are a large variety of accents throughout the country. The Glaswegian (or Weegie) accent is its own thing, however fifty miles away in Edinburgh you get an entirely various noise. Since the Weegie accent and dialect is distinct from other areas of Scotland, I required an expert reader from Glasgow to take an appearance at the manuscript ahead of time and make corrections. One word that had to go that individuals often relate to Scotland: Laddie. I was informed that word might get used in the nation occasionally, but was not actually a thing that Weegies say. Calling somebody a jammy bastard has definitely nothing to do with jam or even pajamas.

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Kevin Hearne hugs trees, family pets doggies, and rocks out to heavy metal. He also believes tacos are a pretty awesome idea. He is the author of A Plague of Giants and the New York Times bestselling The Iron Druid Chronicles series.

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Now theres a lot of finance and tech things happening in Glasgow, and the city has this wonderful richness of diverse architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history existing side-by-side alongside modern-day buildings. A tiny portion of the research study I did wound up being used in the book; it was a massive lovely rabbit hole that runs as deep background for everything Al does, and some of it that I didnt use for the very first book will likely discover a location later in the series.

Glasgow has a little train that circles around the city core, however also has a rail and bus system that allows people to get around pretty well without a cars and truck– which is what we did as travelers. Most impressively, routine paths get you out of the city to charming wee villages that usually provide an old stone church, a bar, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had actually been there once, which is probably true given that its not a gigantic country and those men got around.

He can cast spells with magically captivated ink and he uses his gifts to protect our world from rogue minions of different pantheons, specifically the Fae.

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