Kevin Hearne: Five Things I Learned Writing Ink & Sigil

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

When his most current apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al discovers evidence that Gordie was living a secret life of criminal activity. Now Al is required to play investigator– while preventing actual investigators who are wondering why death appears to constantly follow Al. Investigating his apprentices death will take him through Scotlands magical underworld, and hell require the assistance of a naughty hobgoblin if hes to make it through.

Anyone who hears his voice will begin to feel a mysterious hatred for Al, so he can just communicate through the composed word or speech apps. As his individual life crumbles around him, he commits his life to his work, all the while trying to crack the trick of his curse.

Glasgow is an exceptional city

Edinburgh and the Highlands get a lot of attention when folks think about checking out Scotland– and for good reason– but Glasgow has layers, like onions and trolls and parfaits. Its the third-largest city in the UK behind London and Birmingham, but even more budget-friendly. It has universities, plural; a 37-acre Necropolis filled with creepy Victorian-era gravesites and mausoleums for all the goth vibes you require; several football teams to cheer (and battle) 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 shipped to Glasgow first and from there to the remainder of the European continent. That was a great deal of cash 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, but when it collapsed a couple of decades back, the city population basically cut in half from 1.2 million to 600k– part of what makes housing more affordable there. Now theres a lot of financing and tech things occurring in Glasgow, and the city has this wonderful richness of diverse architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history existing together alongside contemporary structures. Generally its a great city in which to set a metropolitan dream, due to the fact that basically anything can occur there.

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

Accidental fires and residential or commercial property damage were so common in the old days that inkmakers needed to do their thing outside city walls on a calm day in case shit went bad. The main perpetrator behind the racket was boiling linseed oil, which smells truly awful, produces hazardous vapors, and can explode at any time. Without heating up the oil adequately ahead of time, the ink would dry too slowly, absorb oxygen, and polymerize like rubber. The industrial procedure now is much safer, however doing it the old-fashioned method is flirting with spontaneously combustible doom.

I discovered a lot about the history of inkmaking from Ink by Ted Bishop, which I highly recommend as an excellent start, and it has a substantial bibliography for more reading. The widespread usage of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean creatures for pigments was particularly surprising to me. (If youve ever eaten food thats used or red lipstick, youve probably been consuming or smearing uponst thy lips the vibrant guts of bugs who like irritable pear cacti.) A small 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 whatever Al does, and some of it that I didnt utilize for the first book will likely find a place later on in the series.

Public transport is pretty rad

Ive lived in places without a decent public transportation system most all my life, so whenever Im in a city that has it, Im easily pleased. Glasgow has a little subway that circles the city core, but likewise has a rail and bus system that permits people to navigate quite well without an automobile– which is what we did as tourists. The majority of impressively, routine paths get you out of the city to charming wee towns that typically use 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 true since its not a massive nation and those dudes got around. The relative ease of getting around both rural and urban areas without owning a car showed me that my lead character didnt require a vehicle. Taxi cabs and hitchhiking would get the slack whenever public transportation and a stretch of the legs couldnt deal with the journey.

Haggis is freaking scrumptious

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 pleased for everybody who likes it! Dang, I actually require to find some where Im at now.

It gets portrayed as this stuff you only consume on an attempt, and yeah, I admit I recoiled the first time I attempted it since it had been constructed up in my head as A Gross Thing You Will Only Try Once, but damn, I liked it. A lot.

The accents are pure fantastic

The Glaswegian (or Weegie) accent is its own thing, but fifty miles away in Edinburgh you get a totally various noise. Considering that the Weegie accent and dialect is distinct from other areas of Scotland, I needed a professional reader from Glasgow to take an appearance at the manuscript ahead of time and make corrections. I was informed that word might get used in the country here and there, however was not really a thing that Weegies state.

I didnt attempt to recreate whatever you hear– that would be an enormous task– but I did decide on a couple of words and phrases to regularly render the way a Weegie might say them to offer the taste of the language while (ideally) keeping it simple to read. Of course, you can listen to the audiobook narrated by Luke Daniels and value the accents that way.

***

Kevin Hearne hugs trees, pets dogs, and rocks out to heavy metal. He also 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.

Kevin Hearne: Website|Instagram|Twitter

Glasgow has a small train that circles around the city core, but also has a rail and bus system that enables people to get around quite well without a vehicle– which is what we did as tourists. Most remarkably, regular paths get you out of the city to lovely wee towns that usually offer an old stone church, a club, 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 massive country and those guys got around.

He can cast spells with magically enchanted ink and he utilizes 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 fantastic richness of diverse architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history coexisting alongside contemporary buildings. A tiny portion of the research I did wound up being used in the book; it was a massive lovely bunny hole that runs as deep background for everything Al does, and some of it that I didnt use for the first book will likely discover a location later in the series.

Like this:
Like Loading …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *