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Blood Work Origins 1 - Blood

So, I thought I’d do a little series of posts about the origin of Blood Work, just in case anyone was interested…

Blood Work Origins 1 - Blood

Blood Work started, as most books do, as an idea. An idea that came to me years and years ago. Way back when I first discovered Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire I was also learning about blood and all its properties. It was, you could say, kismet.

Rice’s vampires are all broody, introspective, depressive creatures. Fascinating and magnetic, yes, but let’s face it, some anti-depressants wouldn’t have gone astray. Consider then the mechanism of a blood transfusion. You take blood from one person and put it in another. Vampirism, no? It is, of course, much more complicated than just extraction and infusion. A lot of testing goes into making the procedure as safe as possible, right from collection, through processing, to transfusion. First, the donor blood has to be confirmed as healthy. No HIV, hepatitis or bacterial infections. It is also typed for the blood group (A, B, O or AB, negative or positive).

The blood groups of A, B, O or AB are simply the most common antigens/antibodies found in plasma. If you have A antibodies antigens*, your group is A; B antibodies antigens for B; both A and B for AB and none at all for O. Antibodies, in fact, are the driving force behind the majority of the pre-transfusion testing done. ABO incompatibility is the biggest risk in a transfusion. If you don’t get the right blood group, you have an adverse reaction. I won’t go into the full details of which groups are compatible and which aren’t. Rest assured, we have it down to a fine science.

What is interesting about ABO incompatibility (transfusion reaction) is one of the symptoms. A transfusion reaction occurs when foreign antibodies are introduced to a body. If the donor red cells don’t have the corresponding antigens to the native antibodies, things go bad fast. It results in haemolytic anaemia, basically the destruction of red cells. Imagine a little assassin racing through your body, shooting red cells at an alarming rate. Now imagine how that might feel? The destruction of vital if microscopic portions of your body… Would you, perhaps, get a sense of something very bad going on? Maybe, it would feel like a sense of impending doom?

Yes. A sense of impending doom is a noted symptom of a transfusion reaction. Rice’s vampires seem a bit more relatable now, don’t they? They’re not depressive, they’re just suffering a transfusion reaction!

And so, after years of deliberation and pondering, the basic idea for Blood Work is born. Vampires that suffer constant transfusion reactions, battling through nightly cycles of gluttony followed by the big physical and psychological crash of acute haemolytic anaemia.

Vampire literature is more often than not dependant on blood and how it affects the vampires. What I tried to do was bring the reality of science into the myth, of why, when red cells have an average life of three months, vampires are thirsting for blood the next night. Of why they may sleep so deeply through the day. Of why they might be broody, darkly philosophical creatures, or bat-shit crazy maniacs.

Second instalment will be about characters.

Adios!!

* this is what I get for doing these things very late at night. My apologies for the mix up re antigens/antibodies. Antigens are on red cells, antibodies are in the plasma. If you have A antigens on your red cells, you are A group and have B antibodies in your plasma and vice versa. If you have both A and B antigens on your red cells, you are AB and have neither antibodies in you plasma. If you have no antigens on your red cells, you're O group and have both A and B antibodies in your plasma. Clear as mud??

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Apr. 27th, 2014 03:07 pm (UTC)
Hey .
Just wanted to say that I'm grateful you decided to self publish. Thanks.
Read this book on err ... smashwords and was very happy it was not of the sparkly vamp variety. How that tripe gets published and yours doesn't just does my head in. Thought you might want to know your book has appeared on at least one common very major site and downloaded probably hundreds of times in the last few days. Unfortunately that doesn't really do you a lot of good. Still maybe in the afterward you could add a PayPal donation link for people who appreciate it and then get the book download links on those sites updated.
Best regards and please write a sequel soon. Cheers and thanks again
l_j_hayward
Apr. 27th, 2014 09:34 pm (UTC)
Hi, Anonymous,
Thank you for the wonderful thoughts. It's good to know word is spreading about the book!
Blood Work was put out for free and while I can't say donations wouldn't be nice, it's not something I'm really looking at doing at the moment.
I would be interested in this... major site, though. Sounds intriguing. And if all those downloads resulted in reviews or ratings on Smashwords or Goodreads, then yay! ;)
I'm glad you enjoyed it and yes, sequel soonish.
Cheers!
livejournal
Aug. 1st, 2014 01:02 pm (UTC)
LJ Hayward's Writing Process
User jennyblackford referenced to your post from LJ Hayward's Writing Process saying: [...] to use vampires as a main foundation for Night Call, I used science, specifically blood properties [...]
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )