Kevin Hearne: Five Things I Learned Writing Ink & Sigil

When his newest apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al discovers proof that Gordie was living a secret life of crime. Now Al is forced to play investigator– while preventing real detectives who are questioning why death seems to constantly follow Al. Examining his apprentices death will take him through Scotlands magical underworld, and hell require the aid of a naughty hobgoblin if hes to survive.

Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an extraordinary white moustache, a gratitude for craft mixed drinks– and a most special magical talent. He can cast spells with amazingly captivated ink and he uses his presents to protect our world from rogue minions of numerous pantheons, specifically the Fae.

However he is likewise cursed. Anyone 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 passing away in peculiar freak accidents. As his personal life falls apart around him, he dedicates his life to his work, all the while attempting to crack the trick of his curse.

Glasgow is a remarkable city

Edinburgh and the Highlands get a great deal of attention when folks consider 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 much more budget-friendly. It has universities, plural; a 37-acre Necropolis complete of scary Victorian-era gravesites and mausoleums for all the goth vibes you need; 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 utilized 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 rather the industrial hub 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 years ago, the city population basically halved from 1.2 million to 600k– part of what makes real estate more reasonable there. Now theres a lot of financing and tech things taking place in Glasgow, and the city has this wonderful richness of different architecture and community owing to its long history existing together along with contemporary buildings. Basically its a fantastic city in which to set a city fantasy, because basically anything can occur there.

There are thousands of recipes for ink and great deals of them are combustible

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. The primary offender behind the commotion was boiling linseed oil, which smells truly dreadful, produces harmful vapors, and can explode at any time. Without warming the oil adequately in advance, the ink would dry too slowly, soak up oxygen, and polymerize like rubber. The commercial procedure now is much more secure, however doing it the old-fashioned method is flirting with spontaneously flammable doom.

The prevalent usage of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean creatures for pigments was particularly unexpected to me. A tiny fraction of the research 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 utilize for the first book will likely find a place later on in the series.

Public transportation is pretty rad

Ive resided in locations without a good 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, but likewise has a rail and bus system that allows people to navigate pretty well without a car– which is what we did as tourists. A lot of remarkably, regular routes get you out of the city to lovely wee towns that normally offer an old stone church, a pub, great deals of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had actually existed as soon as, which is probably true given that its not a massive nation and those men navigated. The relative ease of getting around both urban and rural locations without owning a car showed me that my protagonist didnt need a vehicle. Taxis and hitchhiking would pick up the slack whenever public transportation and a stretch of the legs could not deal with the journey.

Haggis is freaking tasty

For reals. And I like neeps and tatties too. It gets represented as this things you just consume on an attempt, and yeah, I admit I recoiled the very first time I attempted it because 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. Had it as typically as I might while I was there, due to the fact that it is not widely offered outside of Scotland.

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

The accents are pure dazzling

A lot of Americans familiarity with the Scottish accent comes from Shrek and other entertainment, however invest a long time in Scotland and youll recognize that there are a wide range 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 sound. Given that the Weegie accent and dialect stands out from other areas of Scotland, I required a specialist reader from Glasgow to have a look at the manuscript ahead of time and make corrections. One word that had to go that individuals often associate with Scotland: Laddie. I was informed that word might get utilized in the country occasionally, but was not actually a thing that Weegies state. Also, calling somebody a jammy bastard has definitely nothing to do with jam or perhaps pajamas.

I didnt try to replicate everything you hear– that would be a colossal task– but I did pick a few words and phrases to regularly render the way a Weegie may state them to provide the flavor of the language while (ideally) keeping it simple to check out. Naturally, you can listen to the audiobook narrated by Luke Daniels and appreciate the accents that method.

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Kevin Hearne hugs trees, pets doggies, and rocks out to heavy metal. He likewise believes tacos are a pretty awesome 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 gifts to protect our world from rogue minions of different pantheons, specifically the Fae.

Glasgow has a small subway that circles around the city core, but likewise has a rail and bus system that permits people to get around pretty well without a cars and truck– which is what we did as travelers. A lot of impressively, routine routes get you out of the city to charming wee towns that typically provide an old stone church, a pub, 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 a massive nation and those guys got around.

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Now theres a lot of financing and tech things occurring in Glasgow, and the city has this fantastic richness of diverse architecture and community owing to its long history existing together along with modern structures. A tiny portion of the research I did wound up being used in the book; it was a massive lovely rabbit hole that runs as deep background for everything Al does, and some of it that I didnt use for the first book will likely find a place later on in the series.

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