The Ever-Present Curiosity About Beamshell Tincture

Let’s talk about the beamshell tincture - I know I’m not the only one who is concerned and curious about it. What real-world substances or concepts inspired it? Do you need a healer to cleanse you from it, or will you eventually get over the addiction?

I was listening to a podcast for writers 2 or 3 years ago, and the hosts were discussing something to do with character flaws, and “negative” character arcs. I had the idea then that Siobhan really has an obsessive—addictive—personality, and that she would be vulnerable to substance abuse problems.

The idea kind of rolled around in the back of my head for a while, and then after what happened to Newton, it seemed reasonable that she would look for the wrong kind of “fix” for what she was going through.

At the same time, I didn’t want her to entirely ruin her life with substance abuse. (The story is already pretty dark, and I just felt that was a little too depressing and demoralizing. Getting too depressing can make me write slower, too, as I sink into the feel of the story while writing.)

She’s very, very lucky. I’ve had some experience with meth and cocaine addicts, and while the beamshell tincture isn’t exactly like that, I just kind of wanted to touch on how easy it can be to become addicted without even realizing it’s happening.

You think you’re fine, that you’re in control, until you’re forced to admit that you’re not.

And people, like Siobhan, who don’t have a good support structure/network can be particularly vulnerable in hard times.

Physically, Siobhan’s over the addiction, what with not using it for months now, as well as taking a cleansing concoction to get any lingering remnants. It’s the mental/emotional/habitual aspect that’s still causing her issues.

Can you imagine Siobhan on quintessence of quicksilver? She values her intelligence too much to do something that might damage her brain, but that would be another almost immediately irresistible substance, after experiencing it once. Genius-in-a-bottle.

P.S. — We’re going to touch on follow-up to this little beamshell tincture plot thread again coming soon, in the next few chapters.


My Grandfather quit drinking because, according to him, “one day a chair walked over and tripped me.”After drinking to excess for years, he eventually just hated that it ruined his control over himself. He never drank again. Siobhan’s response to beamshell feels just like that, so this always felt relatable to me. It seems like she could be just as obsessive over something like food, and that would be much harder for her to deal with.