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 special wonderful skill. He can cast spells with amazingly captivated ink and he uses his presents to safeguard our world from rogue minions of different pantheons, specifically the Fae.

He is also cursed. Anybody who hears his voice will start to feel an inexplicable hatred for Al, so he can only interact through the written word or speech apps. And his apprentices keep dying in strange freak accidents. As his individual life crumbles around him, he dedicates his life to his work, all the while attempting to split the trick of his curse.

When his most current apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al finds evidence that Gordie was living a secret life of criminal activity. Now Al is forced to play detective– while preventing actual investigators who are questioning why death appears to always follow Al. Investigating his apprentices death will take him through Scotlands wonderful underworld, and hell require the assistance of a mischievous hobgoblin if hes to survive.

Glasgow is an exceptional city

Edinburgh and the Highlands get a great deal of attention when folks think of checking out Scotland– and for excellent reason– but Glasgow has layers, like trolls and onions and parfaits. Its the third-largest city in the UK behind London and Birmingham, however even 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; 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 initially and from there to the rest of the European continent. That was an entire lot of cash and cancer. It was rather the industrial center in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding market was substantial for a very 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 real estate more affordable there. Now theres a great deal of financing and tech things taking place in Glasgow, and the city has this terrific richness of diverse architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history existing side-by-side together with modern structures. Essentially its a great city in which to set an urban dream, since practically anything can occur there.

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

Accidental fires and 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. The primary culprit behind the commotion was boiling linseed oil, which smells actually horrible, produces toxic vapors, and can explode at any time. Without heating up the oil sufficiently beforehand, the ink would dry too slowly, take in oxygen, and polymerize like rubber. The commercial procedure now is much safer, but doing it the old-fashioned method is flirting with spontaneously combustible doom.

I learned a lot about the history of inkmaking from Ink by Ted Bishop, which I highly suggest as an excellent start, and it has a comprehensive 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 eaten food thats red or used lipstick, youve most likely been smearing or consuming uponst thy lips the colorful guts of bugs who like prickly pear cacti.) A small fraction of the research I did end up being used in the book; it was a massive beautiful rabbit hole that runs as deep background for everything Al does, and some of it that I didnt utilize for the very first book will likely find a place later on in the series.

Public transportation is quite rad

Glasgow has a little train that circles around the city core, however also has a rail and bus system that permits individuals to get around quite well without a vehicle– which is what we did as tourists. The majority of remarkably, routine paths get you out of the city to captivating wee villages that typically use an old stone church, a bar, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had been there as soon as, which is probably true since its not a gigantic country and those guys got around.

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 palate. Super pleased for everybody who likes it, though! You can have mine. Ill trade you for your haggis. Dang, I really need to find some where Im at now. I miss it.

For reals. And I love tatties and neeps too. It gets represented as this stuff you just eat on an attempt, and yeah, I admit I winced the first time I tried it because it had actually been developed 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 available beyond Scotland.

The accents are pure fantastic

Many Americans familiarity with the Scottish accent comes from Shrek and other entertainment, however invest a long time in Scotland and youll acknowledge that there are a large range of accents throughout the country. The Glaswegian (or Weegie) accent is its own thing, but fifty miles away in Edinburgh you get a completely different noise. Since the Weegie accent and dialect stands out from other areas of Scotland, I required a professional reader from Glasgow to take a look at the manuscript ahead of time and make corrections. One word that had to go that people frequently relate to Scotland: Laddie. I was informed that word may get utilized in the nation here and there, however was not truly a thing that Weegies say. Likewise, calling someone a jammy bastard has definitely nothing to do with jam and even pajamas.

I didnt try to replicate whatever you hear– that would be a gargantuan task– but I did settle on a couple of words and expressions to regularly render the way a Weegie might state 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 appreciate the accents that method.

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Kevin Hearne hugs trees, animals doggies, and rocks out to heavy metal. He also believes tacos are a quite cool concept. 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

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

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 pretty well without a car– which is what we did as travelers. A lot of impressively, routine paths get you out of the city to captivating wee villages that typically use an old stone church, a pub, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had actually been there when, which is most likely true because its not a gigantic country and those dudes got around.

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

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