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 mixed drinks– and a most special magical skill. 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.

When his latest apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al discovers evidence that Gordie was living a secret life of crime. Now Al is forced to play investigator– while preventing actual detectives who are wondering why death appears to always follow Al. Examining his apprentices death will take him through Scotlands wonderful underworld, and hell need the aid of a mischievous hobgoblin if hes to endure.

He is likewise cursed. Anybody who hears his voice will start to feel a mysterious hatred for Al, so he can only interact through the written word or speech apps. And his apprentices keep dying in peculiar freak accidents. As his individual life falls apart around him, he commits 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 lot of attention when folks believe of visiting Scotland– and for great factor– but Glasgow has layers, like onions and trolls 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 loaded with spooky Victorian-era gravesites and mausoleums for all the goth vibes you require; several football groups 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 whole lot of money and cancer. It was rather the commercial hub in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding market was big for a long period of time, however when it collapsed a couple of years earlier, the city population essentially halved from 1.2 million to 600k– part of what makes housing more affordable there. Now theres a lot of financing and tech things taking place in Glasgow, and the city has this fantastic richness of different architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history existing together along with contemporary structures. Basically its a wonderful city in which to set a city fantasy, since pretty much anything can occur there.

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

I learned a lot about the history of inkmaking from Ink by Ted Bishop, which I extremely recommend as a great start, and it has a comprehensive bibliography for further reading. The prevalent usage of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean creatures for pigments was especially surprising to me. (If youve ever eaten food thats worn or red lipstick, youve most likely been smearing or consuming uponst thy lips the vibrant guts of bugs who like irritable pear cacti.) A small portion of the research I did wound up being utilized in the book; it was an enormous lovely bunny hole that operates as deep background for everything Al does, and a few of it that I didnt use for the very first book will likely discover a place later in the series.

Unexpected fires and property damage were so typical in the old days that inkmakers had to do their thing outside city walls on a calm day in case shit went bad. Without heating up the oil adequately in advance, the ink would dry too slowly, soak up oxygen, and polymerize like rubber.

Public transport is pretty rad

Glasgow has a little subway that circles around the city core, but also has a rail and bus system that allows people to get around quite well without a cars and truck– which is what we did as tourists. The majority of impressively, regular routes get you out of the city to charming wee villages that normally use an old stone church, a bar, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had actually been there when, which is most likely real given that its not a massive nation and those dudes got around.

Haggis is freaking tasty

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

It gets represented as this stuff you only eat on an attempt, and yeah, I confess I winced the very first time I attempted it since it had actually been developed up in my head as A Gross Thing You Will Only Try Once, however damn, I liked it. A lot.

The accents are pure brilliant

I didnt try to replicate whatever you hear– that would be a giant task– but I did choose a couple of words and expressions to consistently render the method a Weegie might state them to offer the taste of the language while (ideally) keeping it easy to check out. Naturally, you can listen to the audiobook narrated by Luke Daniels and appreciate the accents that way.

The Glaswegian (or Weegie) accent is its own thing, but fifty miles away in Edinburgh you get a completely different sound. Given that the Weegie accent and dialect is unique from other areas of Scotland, I needed an expert reader from Glasgow to take an appearance at the manuscript ahead of time and make corrections. I was told that word may get utilized in the nation here and there, however was not actually a thing that Weegies say.

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Kevin Hearne hugs trees, animals dogs, and rocks out to heavy metal. He also thinks tacos are a quite cool 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 subway that circles around the city core, but also has a rail and bus system that enables people to get around pretty well without a cars and truck– which is what we did as tourists. Many remarkably, routine paths get you out of the city to captivating wee towns that usually use an old stone church, a bar, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had actually been there as soon as, which is probably real because its not an enormous country and those dudes got around.

Now theres a lot of finance and tech stuff happening in Glasgow, and the city has this wonderful richness of diverse architecture and community owing to its long history existing side-by-side along with modern structures. A tiny fraction of the research I did wound up being used in the book; it was a gigantic beautiful bunny 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 on in the series.

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

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