September 15, 2010 – Blood Sausage… Why Didn’t I Think of It Sooner?

I can’t seem to quit tinkering with my book.  One of the agents I was going to apply to wanted 50 pages up front, and that sort of threw me for a loop (pretty much everyone else just wants the synopsis and no materials), so I started re-reading to make sure I had everything as grammatically perfect as possible (and in the case of dialog, as realistic as possible—which is not necessary grammatically correct, especially where Southern people are involved).

To make a long story short, I had a thought that now has me rewriting part of my Prologue—why does Ciaran have to have human blood?  Poor Ciaran has been a vampire (Imuechmeh) for a year, and he has to have blood once a week.  He doesn’t bite people, because anyone he bites turns, so he sneaks up on someone who is out alone and knocks him out and bleeds him.  (Kind of like the urban myth of the kidney stealers, LOL.)  But if you think about it, life would be very stressful like that.  In a year you’d have to hunt down 52 people.  And Galway, Ireland, is not exactly known as a centre of muggings. 

Then it dawned on me that vampires can drink animal blood—to an extent.  Among the Canichmehah, it’s against religious law to drink animal blood.  I kid you not, but it’s not kosher (even vampires have to have some standards).  But Ciaran, being Imuechmeh, would not have known that rule—not that it would have applied to him anyways.  So, what’s a kind-hearted, rational vampire going to do when confronted with the desire to drink blood?  Eat raw meat, I think.  Or—in an even more brilliant idea of mine—order blood from the butcher.  Blood pudding/sausage (aka black pudding/sausage) is made from—you guessed it—blood.  Eating it is not a substitute for drinking blood (it’s a lot like eating stuffing/dressing, only with a sausage taste), but butchers in the UK surely will sell blood to people wanting to make their own.

Animal blood does not meet all of a vampire’s nutritional requirements, so they can’t live on it exclusively, but it will work for a little while.  Suddenly Ciaran is only knocking out people and stealing their blood once every few months.  Life is easier. 

It’s not going to be hard to write that little part into the Prologue, but I am going to have to give a look over other parts of the book and see if I have to tweak any information to account for the addition.  Kalyn’s father, Rob, will still be feeding Ciaran once a week, once he moves in with Anselm, because the Canichmeh are sensitive about the drinking animal blood thing, and they wouldn’t make him do that unless there was no way around it.


4 comments on “September 15, 2010 – Blood Sausage… Why Didn’t I Think of It Sooner?

  1. Julia Morgan Scott says:

    I wonder, though, if maybe clotted blood that has been away from the body for a while loses its value. And blood sausage is cooked. Would that matter? I watched a woman in Iceland, I think, on Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmer making blood sausage. She thickened it with something — oatmeal! Andrew said the texture resembled heavy chocolate cake.

    • Keri Peardon says:

      You’re right; blood sausage/pudding would definitely not suffice in lieu of blood, because it is cooked. When you make it, the blood is soaked up in the meal, just like butter or oil is soaked up in dressing (the blood pudding I had in Ireland pretty well had the consistency and texture of dressing, only it had a sausage taste). But, I’m thinking because people actually use pig’s blood to make the pudding, it would be something that one could obtain from an Irish butcher. I doubt very seriously if an American butcher would have blood to sell–and can you imagine asking for it?

      It’s kind of humorous that blood sausage (aka black pudding) was on a show about bizarre foods. Bizarre to Americans, yes, but not to Europeans or Britains. And once you get over the idea of it (it does help, when you look at it, that you can’t see any hint of blood), it’s actually quite good. I’d rather have it for breakfast than American-style meat sausage because it has the flavor of sausage without all of the heartburn-inducing grease. It’s easier on the guts to start the day.

      I don’t think clotting of straight animal blood would be a problem. For one thing, vampires are going to want to drink their blood at body temperature–98.6–so that means heating up whatever they’ve got, and I think that will take care of most of the congealing. Secondly, meat and blood both are probably treated to prevent clotting.

      This actually mentions what is put in human blood at blood banks to keep the blood liquid. If you think about raw meat, it bleeds. So butchers are likely adding something to the meat, or doing something that also keeps the blood in the meat from congealing. – More than you ever wanted to know about how beef carcasses are processed to make them edible. It’s actually quite complicated!

      So, in the case of food-grade blood, I’d bet money there’s something that’s been added to it to keep it from clotting. So heat and eat! LOL

  2. weighty says:

    gonna send this to my mom

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