Kevin Hearne: Five Things I Learned Writing Ink & Sigil

Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an extraordinary white moustache, an appreciation for craft mixed drinks– and a most special magical talent. He can cast spells with amazingly captivated ink and he utilizes his presents 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 finds evidence that Gordie was living a secret life of crime. Now Al is required to play investigator– while preventing real investigators who are wondering why death seems to constantly follow Al. Investigating 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 individual life collapses around him, he devotes his life to his work, all the while trying to break the secret of his curse.

Glasgow is an amazing 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 trolls and parfaits. It was rather the industrial center in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding market was huge for a long time, but when it collapsed a couple of years earlier, the city population generally 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 happening in Glasgow, and the city has this fantastic richness of varied architecture and community owing to its long history coexisting together with modern-day structures.

There are countless recipes for ink and great deals of them are combustible

Unexpected 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 racket was boiling linseed oil, which smells truly dreadful, produces toxic vapors, and can explode at any time. Without warming the oil adequately beforehand, the ink would dry too slowly, soak up oxygen, and polymerize like rubber. The industrial procedure now is much safer, but 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 extremely advise as a good start, and it has an extensive bibliography for additional reading. The prevalent use of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean animals for pigments was particularly surprising to me. (If youve ever eaten food thats red or used lipstick, youve probably 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 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 discover a location later in the series.

Public transport is pretty rad

Ive resided in places without a good public transport system most all my life, so whenever Im in a city that has it, Im quickly satisfied. Glasgow has a little subway that circles around the city core, but likewise has a rail and bus system that allows individuals to navigate pretty well without a vehicle– which is what we did as travelers. Many remarkably, regular routes get you out of the city to charming wee villages that generally offer an old stone church, a bar, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had actually existed when, which is most likely true because its not an enormous nation and those guys navigated. The relative ease of getting around both rural and urban locations without owning a lorry showed me that my protagonist didnt need a vehicle. Cabs and hitchhiking would choose up the slack whenever public transport and a stretch of the legs could not deal with the journey.

Haggis is freaking delicious

For reals. And I love tatties and neeps too. It gets portrayed as this things you just consume on an attempt, and yeah, I admit I winced the very first time I tried it because it had been built up in my head as A Gross Thing You Will Only Try Once, but damn, I liked it. A lot. Had it as often as I might while I was there, because it is not extensively offered outside of Scotland.

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

The accents are pure dazzling

The majority of Americans familiarity with the Scottish accent comes from Shrek and other entertainment, however invest a long time in Scotland and youll recognize that there are a broad variety of accents throughout the nation. The Glaswegian (or Weegie) accent is its own thing, but fifty miles away in Edinburgh you get an entirely 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 needed to go that people frequently connect with Scotland: Laddie. I was informed that word might get used in the country here and there, but was not really a thing that Weegies say. Calling someone a jammy bastard has definitely nothing to do with jam or even pajamas.

I didnt attempt to recreate whatever you hear– that would be an enormous job– however I did choose a few words and expressions to regularly render the way a Weegie may say them to offer the flavor of the language while (hopefully) keeping it easy to check out. Obviously, you can listen to the audiobook told by Luke Daniels and value the accents that way.

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Kevin Hearne hugs trees, pets dogs, and rocks out to heavy metal. He likewise thinks tacos are a pretty cool 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 subway that circles around the city core, but likewise has a rail and bus system that permits people to get around pretty well without a vehicle– which is what we did as travelers. The majority of remarkably, routine routes get you out of the city to lovely wee towns that usually 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 true considering that its not a gigantic country and those dudes got around.

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Now theres a lot of finance and tech stuff taking place in Glasgow, and the city has this terrific richness of varied architecture and community owing to its long history existing together with modern-day structures. A tiny portion of the research study I did wound up being utilized in the book; it was a gigantic lovely rabbit hole that runs 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.

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

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