Kevin Hearne: Five Things I Learned Writing Ink & Sigil

When his most current apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al discovers proof that Gordie was living a secret life of criminal activity. Now Al is forced to play detective– while preventing actual detectives who are wondering why death seems to constantly follow Al. Investigating his apprentices death will take him through Scotlands magical underworld, and hell need the assistance of a naughty hobgoblin if hes to endure.

But he is likewise cursed. 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. And his apprentices keep passing away in strange freak accidents. As his personal life collapses around him, he devotes his life to his work, all the while trying to crack the trick of his curse.

Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an amazing white moustache, an appreciation for craft mixed drinks– and a most special wonderful skill. He can cast spells with magically captivated ink and he utilizes his gifts to protect our world from rogue minions of different pantheons, particularly the Fae.

Glasgow is an impressive city

Edinburgh and the Highlands get a lot of attention when folks consider visiting Scotland– and for great factor– but Glasgow has layers, like onions and ogres and parfaits. Its the third-largest city in the UK behind London and Birmingham, however much more budget-friendly. It has universities, plural; a 37-acre Necropolis loaded with creepy Victorian-era gravesites and mausoleums for all the goth vibes you require; numerous 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 utilized to be that all the New Worlds tobacco was delivered to Glasgow initially and from there to the remainder of the European continent. That was a great deal of money and cancer. It was rather the industrial center in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding market was huge for a long period of time, but when it collapsed a few years earlier, the city population generally halved from 1.2 million to 600k– part of what makes housing more reasonable there. Now theres a great deal of financing and tech stuff happening in Glasgow, and the city has this fantastic richness of different architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history coexisting alongside modern-day structures. Basically its a great city in which to set a city dream, because quite much anything can take place there.

There are countless recipes for ink and great deals of them are flammable

Unintentional 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 racket was boiling linseed oil, which smells really horrible, produces harmful vapors, and can blow up at any time. Without heating the oil adequately in advance, the ink would dry too slowly, absorb oxygen, and polymerize like rubber. The commercial process now is much safer, however doing it the old-fashioned way is flirting with spontaneously combustible doom.

I discovered a lot about the history of inkmaking from Ink by Ted Bishop, which I highly advise as a good start, and it has an extensive bibliography for additional reading. The widespread use of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean animals for pigments was particularly unexpected to me. (If youve ever eaten food thats worn or red lipstick, youve most likely been smearing or taking in uponst thy lips the vibrant guts of bugs who like prickly pear cacti.) A small portion of the research study I did wound up being utilized in the book; it was an enormous beautiful bunny hole that operates as deep background for everything Al does, and a few of it that I didnt use for the very first book will likely find a location later in the series.

Public transport 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 easily satisfied. Glasgow has a small train that circles 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 tourists. The majority of impressively, regular paths get you out of the city to captivating wee villages that typically use an old stone church, a bar, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had existed as soon as, which is probably true because its not an enormous nation and those dudes navigated. The relative ease of getting around both metropolitan and rural areas without owning an automobile revealed me that my protagonist didnt need a vehicle. Taxis and hitchhiking would choose up the slack whenever public transportation and a stretch of the legs could not manage the journey.

Haggis is freaking delicious

Now, as a counterpoint: I am not a fan of black pudding, due to the fact that I attempted that too and it did unkind things to my palate. Super pleased for everyone who likes it, though! You can have mine. Ill trade you for your haggis. Dang, I actually need to find some where Im at now. I miss it.

For reals. And I love tatties and neeps too. It gets portrayed as this things you just eat on an attempt, and yeah, I admit I winced the first time I tried it since it had 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 was there, because it is not widely available outside of Scotland.

The accents are pure fantastic

The Glaswegian (or Weegie) accent is its own thing, but fifty miles away in Edinburgh you get a totally different sound. Because the Weegie accent and dialect is unique from other areas of Scotland, I needed a specialist reader from Glasgow to take a look 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 attempt to reproduce everything you hear– that would be a giant task– however I did pick a couple of words and expressions to regularly render the method a Weegie might say them to provide the flavor of the language while (ideally) keeping it easy to read. Obviously, you can listen to the audiobook told by Luke Daniels and value the accents that method.


Kevin Hearne hugs trees, animals doggies, and rocks out to heavy metal. He also believes 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

Now theres a lot of finance and tech stuff taking place in Glasgow, and the city has this wonderful richness of different architecture and community owing to its long history coexisting alongside contemporary buildings. A tiny fraction of the research I did wound up being used in the book; it was an enormous lovely 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 discover a place later on in the series.

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

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Glasgow has a little train that circles around the city core, however likewise has a rail and bus system that allows individuals to get around quite well without a cars and truck– which is what we did as tourists. Most impressively, routine routes get you out of the city to lovely wee villages that usually use an old stone church, a pub, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had been there when, which is most likely real considering that its not a massive country and those men got around.

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