Kevin Hearne: Five Things I Learned Writing Ink & Sigil

But when his latest apprentice, Gordie, shows up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al discovers proof that Gordie was living a secret life of criminal offense. Now Al is required to play detective– while preventing actual detectives who are wondering why death appears to constantly follow Al. Investigating his apprentices death will take him through Scotlands magical underworld, and hell need the help of a mischievous hobgoblin if hes to survive.

Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an amazing white moustache, a gratitude for craft mixed drinks– and a most distinct magical talent. He can cast spells with amazingly enchanted ink and he uses his presents to safeguard our world from rogue minions of numerous pantheons, particularly the Fae.

Anybody who hears his voice will begin to feel an inexplicable hatred for Al, so he can only interact through the composed word or speech apps. As his individual life collapses around him, he devotes 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 believe of checking out Scotland– and for excellent reason– but Glasgow has layers, like onions and ogres and parfaits. Its the third-largest city in the UK behind London and Birmingham, but much more economical. It has universities, plural; a 37-acre Necropolis filled with creepy Victorian-era gravesites and mausoleums for all the goth vibes you need; numerous football teams 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 first and from there to the remainder of the European continent. That was a lot of cash and cancer. It was quite the industrial hub in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding industry was substantial for a long period of time, however when it collapsed a few decades ago, the city population generally cut in half from 1.2 million to 600k– part of what makes housing more affordable there. Now theres a great deal of finance and tech stuff happening in Glasgow, and the city has this terrific richness of varied architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history existing side-by-side along with modern structures. Generally its a fantastic city in which to set a metropolitan fantasy, due to the fact that pretty much anything can occur there.

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

I found out a lot about the history of inkmaking from Ink by Ted Bishop, which I highly recommend as a great start, and it has an extensive bibliography for additional reading. The prevalent usage of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean animals for pigments was especially unexpected to me. (If youve ever eaten food thats red or worn lipstick, youve probably been taking in or smearing uponst thy lips the colorful guts of bugs who like prickly pear cacti.) A small portion of the research study I did end up being utilized in the book; it was a gigantic lovely bunny hole that runs as deep background for everything Al does, and a few of it that I didnt use for the very first book will likely find a location later in the series.

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 perpetrator behind the racket was boiling linseed oil, which smells actually horrible, produces hazardous vapors, and can blow up at any time. Without warming the oil adequately beforehand, the ink would dry too gradually, take in oxygen, and polymerize like rubber. The commercial process now is much safer, but doing it the old-fashioned way is flirting with spontaneously combustible doom.

Public transportation is quite rad

Ive lived in locations without a decent public transport system most all my life, so whenever Im in a city that has it, Im easily satisfied. Glasgow has a small subway that circles the city core, but likewise has a rail and bus system that allows people to navigate quite well without a cars and truck– which is what we did as travelers. A lot of impressively, regular paths get you out of the city to charming wee villages that normally offer an old stone church, a club, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had actually existed once, which is probably true because its not an enormous country and those men navigated. The relative ease of getting around both rural and metropolitan locations without owning a car showed me that my lead character didnt need an automobile. Taxi cabs and hitchhiking would choose up the slack whenever public transport and a stretch of the legs couldnt handle the journey.

Haggis is freaking delicious

Now, as a counterpoint: I am not a fan of black pudding, because I tried that too and it did unkind things to my taste buds. Super delighted for everyone who likes it! Dang, I really need to find some where Im at now.

For reals. And I enjoy tatties and neeps too. It gets depicted as this stuff you only eat on an attempt, and yeah, I confess I winced the first time I tried it since it had actually been developed in my head as A Gross Thing You Will Only Try Once, however damn, I liked it. A lot. Had it as typically as I might while I existed, because it is not widely offered beyond Scotland.

The accents are pure dazzling

The majority of Americans familiarity with the Scottish accent originates from Shrek and other home entertainment, however spend a long time in Scotland and youll recognize that there are a vast array of accents throughout the nation. The Glaswegian (or Weegie) accent is its own thing, however fifty miles away in Edinburgh you get an entirely different noise. Because the Weegie accent and dialect stands out from other areas of Scotland, I required an expert reader from Glasgow to take an appearance at the manuscript ahead of time and make corrections. One word that had to go that individuals often associate with Scotland: Laddie. I was told that word might get utilized in the country here and there, but was not really a thing that Weegies say. Likewise, calling somebody a jammy bastard has definitely nothing to do with jam or even pajamas.

I didnt try to recreate everything you hear– that would be a giant job– however I did choose a few words and expressions to regularly render the way a Weegie may say them to provide the taste of the language while (ideally) keeping it simple to check out. Of course, you can listen to the audiobook told by Luke Daniels and appreciate the accents that way.


Kevin Hearne hugs trees, pets doggies, and rocks out to heavy metal. He likewise thinks tacos are a quite clever 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

Now theres a lot of finance and tech stuff occurring in Glasgow, and the city has this fantastic richness of varied architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history existing together alongside contemporary structures. A small fraction of the research I did wound up being used in the book; it was a gigantic lovely bunny hole that operates as deep background for whatever Al does, and some of it that I didnt use for the first book will likely discover a location later in the series.

Glasgow has a small subway that circles around the city core, however likewise has a rail and bus system that permits individuals to get around pretty well without an automobile– which is what we did as tourists. The majority of impressively, routine routes get you out of the city to lovely wee villages that usually 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 once, which is most likely real considering that its not a massive nation and those men got around.

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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.

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