Kevin Hearne: Five Things I Learned Writing Ink & Sigil

Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an amazing white moustache, an appreciation for craft cocktails– and a most distinct magical talent. He can cast spells with amazingly captivated ink and he utilizes his gifts to protect our world from rogue minions of numerous pantheons, especially 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 required to play investigator– while avoiding actual investigators who are questioning why death appears to always follow Al. Investigating his apprentices death will take him through Scotlands magical underworld, and hell need the aid of a mischievous hobgoblin if hes to endure.

However he is likewise cursed. Anybody who hears his voice will begin to feel an inexplicable hatred for Al, so he can only communicate through the written word or speech apps. And his apprentices keep dying in strange freak mishaps. As his individual life falls apart around him, he commits his life to his work, all the while attempting to split the secret of his curse.

Glasgow is an amazing city

Edinburgh and the Highlands get a lot of attention when folks think of going to Scotland– and for excellent reason– but Glasgow has layers, like onions and trolls and parfaits. Its the third-largest city in the UK behind London and Birmingham, but far 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 need; several football groups 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 utilized 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 money and cancer. It was rather the commercial hub in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding industry was substantial for a long time, however when it collapsed a couple of decades ago, the city population generally cut in half from 1.2 million to 600k– part of what makes real estate more affordable there. Now theres a great deal of financing and tech stuff taking place in Glasgow, and the city has this fantastic richness of different architecture and community owing to its long history coexisting alongside contemporary structures. Generally its a fantastic city in which to set a metropolitan dream, since pretty much anything can occur there.

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

I learned a lot about the history of inkmaking from Ink by Ted Bishop, which I highly suggest as a great start, and it has a substantial bibliography for further reading. The extensive usage of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean animals for pigments was specifically surprising to me. (If youve ever eaten food thats used 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 end up being utilized in the book; it was a gigantic lovely rabbit hole that operates as deep background for whatever 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 home 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. Without heating up the oil adequately beforehand, the ink would dry too gradually, take in oxygen, and polymerize like rubber.

Public transport is pretty rad

Glasgow has a small train that circles around the city core, however likewise has a rail and bus system that permits individuals to get around pretty well without a vehicle– which is what we did as travelers. Many impressively, regular routes get you out of the city to charming wee villages that usually provide an old stone church, a club, 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 given that its not an enormous nation and those men got around.

Haggis is freaking delicious

It gets depicted as this things you just eat on a dare, and yeah, I confess I recoiled the very first time I tried it since it had actually been developed up in my head as A Gross Thing You Will Only Try Once, but damn, I liked it. A lot.

Now, as a counterpoint: I am not a fan of black pudding, due to the fact that 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 actually need to discover some where Im at now. I miss it.

The accents are pure brilliant

I didnt attempt to recreate whatever you hear– that would be a gigantic job– however I did choose a few words and phrases to regularly render the way a Weegie may state them to offer the taste of the language while (ideally) keeping it easy to read. Of course, you can listen to the audiobook narrated by Luke Daniels and value the accents that method.

The majority of Americans familiarity with the Scottish accent originates from Shrek and other entertainment, however invest some time in Scotland and youll acknowledge that there are a vast array of accents throughout the country. The Glaswegian (or Weegie) accent is its own thing, but fifty miles away in Edinburgh you get a totally different noise. Since the Weegie accent and dialect stands out from other locations of Scotland, I needed a specialist reader from Glasgow to take a look at the manuscript ahead of time and make corrections. One word that had to go that individuals typically connect with Scotland: Laddie. I was told that word may get utilized in the country here and there, however was not actually a thing that Weegies state. Calling someone a jammy bastard has definitely nothing to do with jam or even pajamas.

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Kevin Hearne hugs trees, family pets dogs, and rocks out to heavy metal. He likewise thinks tacos are a pretty nifty concept. He is the author of A Plague of Giants and the New York Times bestselling The Iron Druid Chronicles series.

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Now theres a lot of financing and tech stuff taking place in Glasgow, and the city has this fantastic richness of different architecture and community owing to its long history existing together along with modern-day buildings. A small portion of the research I did wound up being utilized in the book; it was a massive charming bunny hole that runs as deep background for whatever 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.

Glasgow has a small subway that circles around the city core, however also has a rail and bus system that permits people to get around pretty well without an automobile– which is what we did as tourists. Many remarkably, routine paths get you out of the city to lovely wee towns 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 been there once, which is probably real since its not a gigantic nation and those men got around.

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

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