Kevin Hearne: Five Things I Learned Writing Ink & Sigil

Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with a remarkable white moustache, a gratitude for craft cocktails– and a most distinct wonderful skill. He can cast spells with magically captivated ink and he utilizes his gifts to safeguard our world from rogue minions of different pantheons, especially the Fae.

When his most current apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al discovers proof that Gordie was living a secret life of crime. Now Al is required to play investigator– while avoiding real detectives who are questioning why death appears to always follow Al. Investigating his apprentices death will take him through Scotlands wonderful underworld, and hell need the help of a naughty hobgoblin if hes to endure.

Anyone who hears his voice will start to feel a mysterious hatred for Al, so he can only communicate through the composed word or speech apps. As his individual life falls apart around him, he commits his life to his work, all the while attempting to break the secret of his curse.

Glasgow is an amazing city

Edinburgh and the Highlands get a great deal of attention when folks think of checking out Scotland– and for great reason– but Glasgow has layers, like onions and trolls and parfaits. Its the third-largest city in the UK behind London and Birmingham, however even more inexpensive. It has universities, plural; a 37-acre Necropolis loaded with scary Victorian-era gravesites and mausoleums for all the goth vibes you require; numerous football groups 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 used to be that all the New Worlds tobacco was delivered to Glasgow initially and from there to the remainder of the European continent. That was a lot of money and cancer. It was quite the commercial center in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding market was big for a long time, however when it collapsed a few years back, the city population essentially halved from 1.2 million to 600k– part of what makes real estate more sensible there. Now theres a lot of financing and tech stuff taking place in Glasgow, and the city has this fantastic richness of varied architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history existing together along with modern-day buildings. Generally its a wonderful city in which to set a metropolitan fantasy, due to the fact that practically anything can occur there.

There are thousands of dishes for ink and great deals of them are combustible

I found out a lot about the history of inkmaking from Ink by Ted Bishop, which I extremely recommend as an excellent start, and it has a comprehensive bibliography for more reading. The prevalent use of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean creatures for pigments was specifically surprising to me. (If youve ever eaten food thats red or worn lipstick, youve most likely been consuming or smearing uponst thy lips the colorful guts of bugs who like prickly pear cacti.) A tiny fraction of the research I did end up being used in the book; it was a massive lovely bunny hole that runs as deep background for everything Al does, and a few of it that I didnt utilize for the very first book will likely discover 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 went bad. Without heating the oil sufficiently in advance, the ink would dry too gradually, take in oxygen, and polymerize like rubber.

Public transport is quite rad

Ive resided in places without a good public transportation system most all my life, so whenever Im in a city that has it, Im quickly impressed. Glasgow has a small subway that circles around the city core, however likewise has a rail and bus system that enables people to get around pretty well without a car– which is what we did as tourists. Many impressively, regular routes get you out of the city to captivating wee villages that normally provide an old stone church, a bar, great deals of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had actually existed once, which is probably real given that its not an enormous nation and those men navigated. The relative ease of navigating both metropolitan and rural areas without owning a vehicle revealed me that my lead character didnt require an automobile. Cabs and hitchhiking would get the slack whenever public transportation and a stretch of the legs could not handle the journey.

Haggis is freaking delicious

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

It gets portrayed as this stuff you just consume on a dare, and yeah, I confess I recoiled the very first time I attempted it because it had been constructed up in my head as A Gross Thing You Will Only Try Once, however damn, I liked it. A lot.

The accents are pure dazzling

I didnt attempt to reproduce whatever you hear– that would be a gargantuan job– but I did settle on a few words and expressions to consistently render the way a Weegie may state them to provide the taste of the language while (ideally) keeping it easy to read. Of course, you can listen to the audiobook told by Luke Daniels and appreciate the accents that way.

The Glaswegian (or Weegie) accent is its own thing, but fifty miles away in Edinburgh you get an entirely different noise. Given that the Weegie accent and dialect is distinct from other locations of Scotland, I needed a professional reader from Glasgow to take a look at the manuscript ahead of time and make corrections. I was told that word might get utilized in the nation here and there, however was not truly a thing that Weegies state.


Kevin Hearne hugs trees, animals dogs, and rocks out to heavy metal. He likewise thinks tacos are a quite clever 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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He can cast spells with magically enchanted ink and he utilizes his gifts to protect our world from rogue minions of various pantheons, particularly the Fae.

Now theres a lot of finance and tech things happening in Glasgow, and the city has this terrific richness of different architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history existing together with contemporary buildings. A tiny fraction of the research study I did wound up being utilized in the book; it was a gigantic lovely 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 find a location later in the series.

Glasgow has a small train that circles around the city core, but likewise has a rail and bus system that enables people to get around quite well without a vehicle– which is what we did as travelers. The majority of impressively, routine routes get you out of the city to lovely wee villages 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 once, which is probably true because its not a massive country and those guys got around.

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