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 criminal offense. Now Al is required to play investigator– while preventing actual detectives who are questioning why death seems to always follow Al. Examining his apprentices death will take him through Scotlands wonderful underworld, and hell require the help of a mischievous hobgoblin if hes to survive.

Anyone who hears his voice will begin to feel a mysterious hatred for Al, so he can just communicate through the written word or speech apps. As his individual life falls apart around him, he commits his life to his work, all the while attempting to crack the secret of his curse.

Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with a remarkable white moustache, an appreciation for craft cocktails– and a most unique magical talent. He can cast spells with magically captivated ink and he utilizes his presents to safeguard our world from rogue minions of different pantheons, specifically the Fae.

Glasgow is a remarkable city

Edinburgh and the Highlands get a lot of attention when folks think about visiting Scotland– and for good reason– but Glasgow has layers, like onions and ogres and parfaits. Its the third-largest city in the UK behind London and Birmingham, however even more budget friendly. It has universities, plural; a 37-acre Necropolis filled with scary Victorian-era gravesites and mausoleums for all the goth vibes you need; several 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 first and from there to the remainder of the European continent. That was a lot of money and cancer. It was rather the industrial center in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding industry was substantial for a long time, however when it collapsed a couple of years earlier, the city population basically halved from 1.2 million to 600k– part of what makes real estate more sensible there. Now theres a lot of finance 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 with contemporary buildings. Essentially its a fantastic city in which to set a metropolitan dream, because pretty much anything can take place there.

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

Accidental 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. Without heating up the oil adequately beforehand, the ink would dry too slowly, take in oxygen, and polymerize like rubber.

I learned a lot about the history of inkmaking from Ink by Ted Bishop, which I highly recommend as a good start, and it has an extensive bibliography for further reading. The widespread use of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean creatures for pigments was specifically unexpected to me. (If youve ever eaten food thats used or red lipstick, youve probably been smearing or consuming uponst thy lips the vibrant guts of bugs who like prickly pear cacti.) A tiny fraction of the research study I did wound up being used in the book; it was an enormous beautiful bunny hole that operates as deep background for whatever Al does, and a few of it that I didnt utilize for the first book will likely find a place later on in the series.

Public transportation 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 easily impressed. Glasgow has a little subway that circles around the city core, however likewise has a rail and bus system that permits individuals to navigate pretty well without a vehicle– which is what we did as travelers. The majority of remarkably, routine paths get you out of the city to lovely wee villages that typically provide an old stone church, a bar, great deals of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had been there as soon as, which is probably real considering that its not a gigantic nation and those men navigated. The relative ease of navigating both rural and city locations without owning a lorry revealed me that my lead character didnt need a car. Cabs and hitchhiking would get the slack whenever public transport and a stretch of the legs could not manage the journey.

Haggis is freaking scrumptious

For reals. And I like tatties and neeps too. It gets depicted as this things you just consume on an attempt, and yeah, I admit I recoiled the very first time I tried it because it had been developed up in my head as A Gross Thing You Will Only Try Once, but damn, I liked it. A lot. Had it as frequently as I might while I was there, because it is not widely offered outside of Scotland.

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

The accents are pure fantastic

I didnt attempt to reproduce everything you hear– that would be a big task– but I did decide on a couple of words and phrases to consistently render the method a Weegie might say them to supply the taste of the language while (ideally) keeping it easy to read. Of course, you can listen to the audiobook told by Luke Daniels and appreciate the accents that method.

The majority of Americans familiarity with the Scottish accent comes from Shrek and other home entertainment, however invest 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 an entirely various noise. Given that the Weegie accent and dialect is distinct from other locations of Scotland, I needed a professional 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 told that word may get used in the nation here and there, but was not really a thing that Weegies say. Also, calling somebody a jammy bastard has definitely nothing to do with jam and even pajamas.


Kevin Hearne hugs trees, family pets doggies, and rocks out to heavy metal. He also believes tacos are a quite clever concept. 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 financing and tech things taking place in Glasgow, and the city has this wonderful richness of varied architecture and community owing to its long history coexisting alongside modern-day buildings. A small fraction of the research I did wound up being used in the book; it was a gigantic 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 find a place later on in the series.

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

Glasgow has a small train that circles around the city core, but also has a rail and bus system that allows individuals to get around pretty well without an automobile– which is what we did as travelers. The majority of impressively, routine paths get you out of the city to captivating wee towns that typically offer an old stone church, a pub, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had been there once, which is probably true because its not an enormous country and those dudes got around.

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