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

But when his most current apprentice, Gordie, shows up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al discovers proof that Gordie was living a secret life of crime. Now Al is forced to play detective– while preventing actual detectives who are wondering why death seems to always follow Al. Examining his apprentices death will take him through Scotlands magical underworld, and hell require the aid of a mischievous hobgoblin if hes to endure.

Anybody who hears his voice will begin to feel an inexplicable hatred for Al, so he can just interact through the composed word or speech apps. As his personal 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 impressive city

Edinburgh and the Highlands get a great deal of attention when folks believe of visiting Scotland– and for great factor– 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 economical. It has universities, plural; a 37-acre Necropolis full of spooky Victorian-era gravesites and mausoleums for all the goth vibes you need; multiple 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 initially and from there to the rest of the European continent. That was a lot of cash and cancer. It was quite the industrial center in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding industry was substantial for a long period of time, but when it collapsed a couple of decades ago, the city population essentially halved from 1.2 million to 600k– part of what makes real estate more sensible there. Now theres a lot of financing and tech things taking place in Glasgow, and the city has this wonderful richness of diverse architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history existing side-by-side along with modern-day structures. Basically its a great city in which to set an urban dream, because practically anything can happen there.

There are thousands of dishes for ink and lots of them are flammable

Accidental fires and property 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 warming the oil adequately beforehand, the ink would dry too gradually, absorb oxygen, and polymerize like rubber.

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 substantial bibliography for more reading. The widespread use of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean animals for pigments was specifically surprising to me. (If youve ever eaten food thats red or used lipstick, youve most likely been smearing or consuming uponst thy lips the colorful guts of bugs who like irritable pear cacti.) A tiny fraction of the research study I did wound up being utilized in the book; it was a gigantic charming rabbit 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 in the series.

Public transportation is pretty rad

Ive resided in places 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 train that circles the city core, however likewise has a rail and bus system that enables individuals to get around quite well without a vehicle– which is what we did as travelers. Most remarkably, routine paths get you out of the city to charming wee villages that usually provide an old stone church, a pub, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had existed once, which is most likely real considering that its not an enormous country and those dudes navigated. The relative ease of getting around both rural and metropolitan locations without owning a vehicle showed me that my protagonist didnt need a vehicle. Taxi cabs and hitchhiking would get the slack whenever public transport and a stretch of the legs couldnt deal with the journey.

Haggis is freaking tasty

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 everyone who likes it! 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 depicted as this stuff you just eat on a dare, and yeah, I admit I winced the very first time I attempted it because it had 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 fantastic

The Glaswegian (or Weegie) accent is its own thing, however fifty miles away in Edinburgh you get a completely various noise. Given that the Weegie accent and dialect is distinct from other areas of Scotland, I required a specialist 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 nation here and there, but was not actually a thing that Weegies say.

I didnt try to recreate everything you hear– that would be a gargantuan task– however I did pick a few words and phrases to consistently render the method a Weegie may state them to offer the taste of the language while (ideally) keeping it simple to check out. Naturally, you can listen to the audiobook told by Luke Daniels and value the accents that way.

***

Kevin Hearne hugs trees, pets doggies, and rocks out to heavy metal. He also thinks tacos are a quite nifty 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

Amazon Like this:
Like Loading …

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

Now theres a lot of finance and tech stuff taking place in Glasgow, and the city has this fantastic richness of varied architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history coexisting together with modern-day structures. A tiny fraction of the research study I did wound up being used in the book; it was a massive charming rabbit 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.

Glasgow has a little 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. Many remarkably, regular paths get you out of the city to captivating wee villages that typically offer an old stone church, a bar, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had been there when, which is probably true because its not a massive nation and those men got around.

Leave a Reply

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