Kevin Hearne: Five Things I Learned Writing Ink & Sigil

When his newest apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al finds proof that Gordie was living a secret life of criminal offense. Now Al is required to play investigator– while avoiding real investigators who are wondering why death appears to always follow Al. Investigating his apprentices death will take him through Scotlands wonderful underworld, and hell require the assistance of a mischievous hobgoblin if hes to survive.

Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an amazing white moustache, an appreciation for craft cocktails– and a most distinct wonderful skill. He can cast spells with amazingly enchanted ink and he uses his presents to safeguard our world from rogue minions of various pantheons, specifically the Fae.

Anybody who hears his voice will begin to feel a mysterious hatred for Al, so he can just interact through the written word or speech apps. As his individual life falls apart around him, he devotes his life to his work, all the while trying to split the trick of his curse.

Glasgow is a remarkable city

Edinburgh and the Highlands get a lot of attention when folks believe of checking out Scotland– and for excellent factor– but Glasgow has layers, like ogres and onions and parfaits. It was quite the commercial hub in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding market was big for a long time, but when it collapsed a few decades earlier, the city population essentially 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 happening in Glasgow, and the city has this wonderful richness of diverse architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history coexisting alongside contemporary buildings.

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

I learned a lot about the history of inkmaking from Ink by Ted Bishop, which I highly suggest as an excellent start, and it has an extensive bibliography for further reading. The extensive use of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean animals for pigments was particularly surprising to me. (If youve ever consumed food thats used or red lipstick, youve probably been consuming or smearing uponst thy lips the colorful guts of bugs who like prickly pear cacti.) A small fraction of the research study I did end up being used in the book; it was a massive charming 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 find a place later in the series.

Unintentional 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 sufficiently beforehand, the ink would dry too slowly, absorb oxygen, and polymerize like rubber.

Public transport is quite rad

Ive resided in locations without a decent public transportation system most all my life, so whenever Im in a city that has it, Im quickly satisfied. Glasgow has a small subway that circles the city core, but also has a rail and bus system that enables people to get around quite well without a car– which is what we did as tourists. The majority of remarkably, routine paths get you out of the city to charming wee villages that generally use an old stone church, a club, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had actually existed as soon as, which is probably real given that its not a gigantic nation and those guys navigated. The relative ease of getting around both rural and urban locations without owning an automobile showed me that my protagonist didnt need a vehicle. Cabs and hitchhiking would pick up the slack whenever public transport and a stretch of the legs could not manage the journey.

Haggis is freaking delicious

It gets depicted as this things you only eat on an attempt, and yeah, I admit I winced the first time I attempted it since it had been developed up in my head as A Gross Thing You Will Only Try Once, but damn, I liked it. A lot.

Now, as a counterpoint: I am not a fan of black pudding, because I tried that too and it did unkind things to my taste buds. Super delighted for everybody who likes it! Dang, I really need to discover some where Im at now.

The accents are pure dazzling

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

I didnt try to replicate everything you hear– that would be a big job– however I did choose a couple of words and expressions to consistently render the method a Weegie might state them to offer the taste 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, family pets dogs, and rocks out to heavy metal. He also thinks tacos are a pretty clever 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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Now theres a lot of financing and tech stuff taking place in Glasgow, and the city has this fantastic richness of different architecture and community owing to its long history existing side-by-side along with modern buildings. A tiny fraction of the research I did wound up being utilized in the book; it was a massive beautiful rabbit hole that runs as deep background for everything Al does, and some of it that I didnt utilize for the first book will likely discover a location later on in the series.

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

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Glasgow has a little train that circles around the city core, however also has a rail and bus system that permits people to get around quite well without a cars and truck– which is what we did as travelers. Many remarkably, routine routes get you out of the city to lovely wee villages that typically use an old stone church, a pub, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had actually been there once, which is probably real since its not a gigantic country and those dudes got around.

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