Kevin Hearne: Five Things I Learned Writing Ink & Sigil

Anybody who hears his voice will begin to feel a mysterious hatred for Al, so he can only interact through the composed word or speech apps. As his individual life falls apart around him, he commits his life to his work, all the while attempting to break the trick of his curse.

Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with a remarkable white moustache, a gratitude for craft cocktails– and a most distinct magical skill. He can cast spells with amazingly captivated ink and he uses his presents to protect our world from rogue minions of various pantheons, particularly the Fae.

When his newest apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al finds proof that Gordie was living a secret life of crime. Now Al is forced to play investigator– while avoiding real investigators 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 aid of a naughty hobgoblin if hes to make it through.

Glasgow is an exceptional city

Edinburgh and the Highlands get a lot of attention when folks think of checking out Scotland– and for good reason– however Glasgow has layers, like trolls and onions and parfaits. Its the third-largest city in the UK behind London and Birmingham, but even more budget friendly. It has universities, plural; a 37-acre Necropolis filled with creepy Victorian-era gravesites and mausoleums for all the goth vibes you require; numerous 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 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 commercial center in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding industry was huge for a very long time, however when it collapsed a couple of years ago, the city population essentially halved from 1.2 million to 600k– part of what makes real estate more sensible there. Now theres a great deal of finance and tech stuff taking place in Glasgow, and the city has this wonderful richness of diverse architecture and community owing to its long history existing side-by-side together with modern structures. Essentially its a fantastic city in which to set an urban dream, since basically anything can occur there.

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

I discovered a lot about the history of inkmaking from Ink by Ted Bishop, which I extremely suggest as an excellent start, and it has a comprehensive bibliography for more reading. The extensive use of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean animals for pigments was specifically surprising to me. (If youve ever consumed food thats red or used lipstick, youve probably been consuming or smearing uponst thy lips the vibrant guts of bugs who like prickly pear cacti.) A small portion of the research study I did wound up being utilized in the book; it was a massive lovely bunny 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.

Accidental 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 sufficiently ahead of time, the ink would dry too gradually, take in oxygen, and polymerize like rubber.

Public transport is pretty rad

Ive lived in places without a decent public transportation system most all my life, so whenever Im in a city that has it, Im quickly amazed. Glasgow has a small subway that circles the city core, however likewise has a rail and bus system that enables individuals to get around quite well without a cars and truck– which is what we did as travelers. The majority of remarkably, regular routes get you out of the city to charming wee villages that normally offer an old stone church, a bar, great deals of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had actually existed once, which is most likely true because its not an enormous country and those dudes got around. The relative ease of navigating both urban and rural locations without owning an automobile showed me that my lead character didnt need a cars and truck. Cabs and hitchhiking would get the slack whenever public transport and a stretch of the legs couldnt manage the journey.

Haggis is freaking tasty

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

For reals. And I love neeps and tatties too. It gets depicted as this things you just eat on a dare, and yeah, I confess I winced the very first time I attempted it because it had actually 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 often as I might while I was there, since it is not commonly offered beyond Scotland.

The accents are pure fantastic

I didnt attempt to replicate whatever you hear– that would be a giant task– but I did pick a few words and expressions to consistently render the method a Weegie might say them to supply the taste of the language while (hopefully) keeping it simple to check out. 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 comes from Shrek and other home entertainment, however spend some time in Scotland and youll acknowledge that there are a wide variety of accents throughout the country. The Glaswegian (or Weegie) accent is its own thing, however fifty miles away in Edinburgh you get an entirely various noise. Given that the Weegie accent and dialect stands out from other locations of Scotland, I needed a specialist reader from Glasgow to have a look at the manuscript ahead of time and make corrections. One word that needed to go that individuals typically associate with Scotland: Laddie. I was told that word might get utilized in the nation occasionally, however was not actually a thing that Weegies say. Calling someone a jammy bastard has definitely nothing to do with jam or even pajamas.


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

He can cast spells with magically captivated ink and he uses his presents to safeguard our world from rogue minions of different pantheons, specifically the Fae.

Now theres a lot of finance and tech things happening in Glasgow, and the city has this terrific richness of different architecture and community owing to its long history existing side-by-side alongside modern structures. A tiny fraction of the research I did wound up being utilized in the book; it was a massive lovely bunny hole that operates as deep background for whatever Al does, and some of it that I didnt utilize for the very first book will likely discover a location 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 enables individuals to get around pretty well without a car– which is what we did as tourists. The majority of impressively, routine routes get you out of the city to captivating wee towns that usually use 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 real since its not an enormous nation and those guys got around.

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