Kevin Hearne: Five Things I Learned Writing Ink & Sigil

Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with a remarkable white moustache, an appreciation for craft cocktails– and a most unique wonderful talent. He can cast spells with magically enchanted ink and he utilizes his gifts to secure our world from rogue minions of numerous 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 criminal offense. Now Al is required to play detective– while preventing real investigators who are wondering why death appears to constantly follow Al. Investigating his apprentices death will take him through Scotlands wonderful underworld, and hell require the help of a mischievous hobgoblin if hes to make it through.

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

Glasgow is an exceptional city

Edinburgh and the Highlands get a great deal of attention when folks think of visiting Scotland– and for good factor– but Glasgow has layers, like ogres and onions and parfaits. Its the third-largest city in the UK behind London and Birmingham, however far more economical. It has universities, plural; a 37-acre Necropolis filled with spooky Victorian-era gravesites and mausoleums for all the goth vibes you require; 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 shipped to Glasgow initially and from there to the rest of the European continent. That was a whole lot of money and cancer. It was quite the industrial center in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding industry was substantial for a long time, however when it collapsed a few decades ago, the city population essentially halved from 1.2 million to 600k– part of what makes housing more reasonable there. Now theres a great deal of financing and tech stuff happening in Glasgow, and the city has this fantastic 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 an urban fantasy, because pretty much anything can take place there.

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

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 warming the oil sufficiently ahead of time, the ink would dry too slowly, take in oxygen, and polymerize like rubber.

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 further reading. The widespread use of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean creatures for pigments was specifically surprising to me. (If youve ever consumed food thats used or red lipstick, youve most likely been consuming or smearing uponst thy lips the colorful 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 an enormous beautiful rabbit 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 location later in the series.

Public transportation 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 easily pleased. Glasgow has a little subway that circles the city core, however likewise has a rail and bus system that allows people to get around quite well without a car– which is what we did as travelers. A lot of remarkably, regular paths get you out of the city to captivating wee villages that normally provide an old stone church, a club, great deals of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had actually existed when, which is probably real given that its not an enormous country and those men got around. The relative ease of getting around both urban and rural locations without owning a vehicle revealed me that my lead character didnt need a vehicle. Taxis and hitchhiking would pick up the slack whenever public transportation and a stretch of the legs could not handle the journey.

Haggis is freaking delicious

For reals. And I enjoy tatties and neeps too. It gets represented as this stuff you only consume on a dare, and yeah, I admit I recoiled the very first time I tried it due to the fact that it had been built up 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 was there, due to the fact that it is not widely readily available outside of Scotland.

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 delighted for everybody who likes it, though! You can have mine. Ill trade you for your haggis. Dang, I really require to discover some where Im at now. I miss it.

The accents are pure dazzling

The Glaswegian (or Weegie) accent is its own thing, but fifty miles away in Edinburgh you get a totally various sound. Because the Weegie accent and dialect is unique from other areas of Scotland, I needed a professional reader from Glasgow to take an appearance at the manuscript ahead of time and make corrections. I was informed that word may get used in the country here and there, however was not truly a thing that Weegies say.

I didnt try to replicate everything you hear– that would be a gigantic task– but I did decide on a couple of words and expressions to regularly render the way a Weegie might say them to offer the flavor of the language while (ideally) keeping it simple to check out. Obviously, you can listen to the audiobook narrated by Luke Daniels and value the accents that method.

***

Kevin Hearne hugs trees, animals doggies, and rocks out to heavy metal. He likewise believes 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.

Kevin Hearne: Website|Instagram|Twitter

Glasgow has a little train that circles around the city core, but likewise has a rail and bus system that permits people to get around pretty well without a car– which is what we did as travelers. The majority of impressively, routine routes get you out of the city to captivating wee towns that generally use an old stone church, a bar, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had been there as soon as, which is probably real because its not an enormous nation and those men got around.

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

Now theres a lot of finance and tech things happening in Glasgow, and the city has this wonderful richness of different architecture and community owing to its long history existing side-by-side together with modern-day structures. A tiny portion 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 everything Al does, and some of it that I didnt use for the first book will likely discover a location later in the series.

Ink & & Sigil: Bookshop.org Like this:
Like Loading …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *