Kevin Hearne: Five Things I Learned Writing Ink & Sigil

Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an extraordinary white moustache, a gratitude for craft cocktails– and a most distinct magical skill. He can cast spells with magically captivated ink and he utilizes his gifts to secure our world from rogue minions of various pantheons, specifically the Fae.

But 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 required to play investigator– while avoiding real detectives who are wondering why death appears to constantly follow Al. Examining his apprentices death will take him through Scotlands wonderful underworld, and hell need the assistance of a mischievous hobgoblin if hes to make it through.

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

Glasgow is an impressive city

Edinburgh and the Highlands get a lot of attention when folks believe of going to Scotland– and for good reason– but Glasgow has layers, like onions and ogres and parfaits. It was quite the industrial hub in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding industry was substantial for a long time, but when it collapsed a couple of decades ago, the city population basically cut in half from 1.2 million to 600k– part of what makes housing more reasonable there. Now theres a lot of finance and tech things happening in Glasgow, and the city has this wonderful richness of different architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history coexisting together with modern structures.

There are countless dishes for ink and great deals of them are flammable

Unexpected fires and 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 primary perpetrator behind the racket was boiling linseed oil, which smells actually awful, produces harmful vapors, and can take off at any time. Without heating the oil adequately beforehand, the ink would dry too gradually, absorb oxygen, and polymerize like rubber. The commercial procedure now is much more secure, however doing it the old-fashioned method is flirting with spontaneously flammable doom.

I discovered a lot about the history of inkmaking from Ink by Ted Bishop, which I highly suggest as an excellent start, and it has a substantial bibliography for more reading. The widespread usage of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean animals for pigments was especially surprising to me. (If youve ever eaten food thats red or used lipstick, youve probably been consuming or smearing uponst thy lips the vibrant guts of bugs who like prickly pear cacti.) A small portion of the research I did end up being used in the book; it was a massive beautiful bunny 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 discover a location later on in the series.

Public transportation is pretty 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 amazed. Glasgow has a small train that circles around the city core, however likewise has a rail and bus system that allows individuals to navigate pretty well without a cars and truck– which is what we did as travelers. The majority of impressively, regular routes get you out of the city to charming wee towns that generally provide an old stone church, a pub, great deals of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had existed when, which is probably real since its not an enormous country and those men navigated. The relative ease of getting around both rural and city locations without owning a car showed me that my lead character didnt need a vehicle. Cabs and hitchhiking would choose up the slack whenever public transportation and a stretch of the legs could not manage the journey.

Haggis is freaking tasty

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

For reals. And I enjoy tatties and neeps too. It gets represented as this things you only eat on a dare, and yeah, I confess I winced the very 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 typically as I could while I existed, due to the fact that it is not extensively available beyond Scotland.

The accents are pure brilliant

Most Americans familiarity with the Scottish accent originates from Shrek and other home entertainment, but spend a long time in Scotland and youll acknowledge that there are a broad 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. Since the Weegie accent and dialect stands out from other locations of Scotland, I required a professional reader from Glasgow to have a look at the manuscript ahead of time and make corrections. One word that needed to go that individuals frequently connect with Scotland: Laddie. I was informed that word may get used in the nation here and there, however was not truly a thing that Weegies state. Calling someone a jammy bastard has definitely nothing to do with jam or even pajamas.

I didnt attempt to reproduce everything you hear– that would be a gargantuan job– but I did pick a few words and expressions to regularly render the method a Weegie may state them to supply the flavor of the language while (hopefully) keeping it simple to check out. Of course, you can listen to the audiobook narrated by Luke Daniels and appreciate the accents that way.

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Kevin Hearne hugs trees, animals doggies, and rocks out to heavy metal. He also thinks tacos are a pretty nifty 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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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 pretty well without an automobile– which is what we did as tourists. Most remarkably, routine routes get you out of the city to captivating wee villages that generally use an old stone church, a pub, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had been there when, which is probably true given that its not a massive country and those dudes got around.

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

Now theres a lot of financing and tech things occurring in Glasgow, and the city has this terrific richness of varied architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history existing side-by-side together with contemporary buildings. A small portion of the research 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 use for the very first book will likely find a place later in the series.

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