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 enchanted ink and he uses his presents to secure our world from rogue minions of different pantheons, specifically the Fae.

But when his newest apprentice, Gordie, shows up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al finds proof that Gordie was living a secret life of crime. Now Al is forced to play detective– while avoiding real detectives 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.

Anyone who hears his voice will start to feel an inexplicable hatred for Al, so he can only communicate through the composed word or speech apps. As his personal life falls apart around him, he devotes his life to his work, all the while trying to split the secret of his curse.

Glasgow is an impressive city

Edinburgh and the Highlands get a lot of attention when folks believe of visiting Scotland– and for good reason– however Glasgow has layers, like ogres and onions and parfaits. It was rather the commercial hub in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding industry was substantial for a long time, but when it collapsed a couple of decades back, the city population basically cut in half from 1.2 million to 600k– part of what makes real estate more reasonable there. Now theres a lot of financing and tech things happening in Glasgow, and the city has this terrific richness of diverse architecture and community owing to its long history coexisting together with contemporary structures.

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

Unintentional 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. The primary offender behind the commotion was boiling linseed oil, which smells really terrible, produces hazardous vapors, and can take off at any time. Without warming the oil sufficiently ahead of time, the ink would dry too gradually, take in oxygen, and polymerize like rubber. The industrial process now is much safer, however doing it the old-fashioned way is flirting with spontaneously combustible doom.

The widespread usage of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean creatures for pigments was specifically surprising to me. A tiny portion of the research I did wound up being utilized in the book; it was an enormous charming bunny hole that operates as deep background for whatever Al does, and some of it that I didnt utilize for the first book will likely discover a location later in the series.

Public transportation is pretty 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 quickly impressed. Glasgow has a little subway that circles around the city core, however also has a rail and bus system that permits people to navigate pretty well without a vehicle– which is what we did as tourists. A lot of impressively, routine routes get you out of the city to captivating wee towns that generally use an old stone church, a pub, great deals of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had existed when, which is probably real given that its not a massive nation and those dudes got around. The relative ease of getting around both urban and rural locations without owning a lorry showed me that my lead character didnt need a cars and truck. Taxis and hitchhiking would get the slack whenever public transport and a stretch of the legs could not handle the journey.

Haggis is freaking scrumptious

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

It gets portrayed as this stuff you only consume on an attempt, and yeah, I confess I winced the first time I tried it due to the fact that it had actually been constructed up in my head as A Gross Thing You Will Only Try Once, but damn, I liked it. A lot.

The accents are pure fantastic

I didnt attempt to reproduce whatever you hear– that would be an enormous task– but I did decide on a few words and expressions to consistently render the way a Weegie might say them to offer the taste of the language while (ideally) keeping it simple to check out. Obviously, you can listen to the audiobook told by Luke Daniels and appreciate the accents that method.

The majority of Americans familiarity with the Scottish accent originates from Shrek and other home entertainment, but spend a long time in Scotland and youll acknowledge that there are a vast array of accents throughout the nation. The Glaswegian (or Weegie) accent is its own thing, but fifty miles away in Edinburgh you get a completely different noise. Considering that the Weegie accent and dialect is unique from other areas of Scotland, I required a professional reader from Glasgow to take a look at the manuscript ahead of time and make corrections. One word that had to go that people frequently associate with Scotland: Laddie. I was told that word might get used in the country here and there, but was not truly a thing that Weegies state. Calling someone a jammy bastard has absolutely 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 also thinks tacos are a quite 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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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 pretty well without a car– which is what we did as tourists. Most impressively, regular paths get you out of the city to lovely wee villages that normally provide 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 most likely true given that its not an enormous country and those guys got around.

Now theres a lot of finance and tech things occurring in Glasgow, and the city has this terrific richness of different architecture and community owing to its long history existing together with modern structures. A tiny portion of the research I did wound up being utilized in the book; it was a gigantic beautiful bunny hole that operates as deep background for everything Al does, and some of it that I didnt use for the very first book will likely discover a location later in the series.

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

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