Kevin Hearne: Five Things I Learned Writing Ink & Sigil

When his latest apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al discovers evidence that Gordie was living a secret life of criminal offense. Now Al is forced to play investigator– while avoiding real investigators who are wondering 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 make it through.

However he is also cursed. Anybody who hears his voice will start to feel an inexplicable hatred for Al, so he can just interact through the composed word or speech apps. And his apprentices keep passing away in strange freak mishaps. As his personal life collapses around him, he dedicates his life to his work, all the while trying to crack the secret of his curse.

Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an amazing white moustache, an appreciation for craft cocktails– and a most special magical talent. He can cast spells with amazingly captivated ink and he uses his gifts to secure our world from rogue minions of numerous pantheons, especially the Fae.

Glasgow is an impressive city

Edinburgh and the Highlands get a lot of attention when folks believe of checking out Scotland– and for great factor– but Glasgow has layers, like onions and ogres and parfaits. It was quite the commercial center in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding industry was substantial for a long time, but when it collapsed a couple of years earlier, the city population generally halved from 1.2 million to 600k– part of what makes real estate more reasonable there. Now theres a lot of financing and tech stuff happening in Glasgow, and the city has this wonderful richness of diverse architecture and community owing to its long history existing together with modern-day structures.

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

Unintentional fires and residential or commercial property damage were so typical in the old days that inkmakers needed to do their thing outside city walls on a calm day in case shit went bad. The main culprit behind the ruckus was boiling linseed oil, which smells actually horrible, produces toxic vapors, and can explode at any time. Without warming the oil sufficiently beforehand, the ink would dry too gradually, take in oxygen, and polymerize like rubber. The commercial process now is much more secure, however doing it the old-fashioned method is flirting with spontaneously flammable doom.

I learned a lot about the history of inkmaking from Ink by Ted Bishop, which I highly recommend as an excellent start, and it has a comprehensive bibliography for further reading. The extensive use of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean creatures for pigments was especially surprising to me. (If youve ever consumed food thats worn or red lipstick, youve most likely been consuming or smearing uponst thy lips the vibrant guts of bugs who like irritable pear cacti.) A tiny fraction of the research study I did wound up being used in the book; it was an enormous charming bunny hole that operates as deep background for everything Al does, and a few of it that I didnt utilize for the first book will likely discover a location later in the series.

Public transport is pretty rad

Ive resided in locations without a good public transportation system most all my life, so whenever Im in a city that has it, Im easily satisfied. Glasgow has a little train that circles the city core, but also has a rail and bus system that permits individuals to navigate pretty well without a vehicle– which is what we did as tourists. The majority of remarkably, routine routes get you out of the city to lovely wee towns that generally offer an old stone church, a club, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had existed when, which is probably true given that its not a massive country and those men navigated. The relative ease of navigating both rural and metropolitan areas without owning a lorry revealed me that my lead character didnt need an automobile. Cabs and hitchhiking would choose up the slack whenever public transportation and a stretch of the legs could not manage 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 palate. Super happy for everyone who likes it! You can have mine. Ill trade you for your haggis. Dang, I actually require to find some where Im at now. I miss it.

For reals. And I enjoy tatties and neeps too. It gets portrayed as this things you just eat on a dare, and yeah, I confess I winced the very first time I tried 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 frequently as I could while I existed, due to the fact that it is not widely readily available beyond Scotland.

The accents are pure fantastic

I didnt attempt to reproduce everything you hear– that would be a colossal task– but I did decide on a couple of 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 read. Of course, you can listen to the audiobook narrated by Luke Daniels and appreciate the accents that way.

The majority of Americans familiarity with the Scottish accent originates from Shrek and other home entertainment, however spend some 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 totally various noise. Considering that the Weegie accent and dialect is unique from other locations 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 individuals often associate with Scotland: Laddie. I was informed that word might get utilized in the country here and there, but was not actually a thing that Weegies say. Likewise, calling somebody a jammy bastard has definitely nothing to do with jam or perhaps pajamas.


Kevin Hearne hugs trees, family pets doggies, and rocks out to heavy metal. He also thinks tacos are a quite awesome 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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He can cast spells with amazingly enchanted ink and he uses his presents to secure our world from rogue minions of different pantheons, particularly the Fae.

Now theres a lot of finance and tech stuff happening in Glasgow, and the city has this wonderful richness of varied architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history coexisting along with contemporary structures. A small portion of the research I did wound up being used in the book; it was an enormous lovely rabbit hole that operates as deep background for whatever Al does, and some of it that I didnt use for the very first book will likely discover a place later in the series.

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Glasgow has a small train that circles around the city core, however 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. The majority of impressively, routine paths get you out of the city to charming wee towns that normally provide 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 real since its not a gigantic country and those guys got around.

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