Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Enough Blood for Your Vampire Party? You Do the Math Guest Blog by J.R.R.R. (Jim) Hardison

When writing horror, you sometimes have to know…what’s the best way to put this? Odd things. You might need to know the effects produced by a lightning strike to the human head. You might need to know exactly how long it takes a person to suffocate in a pile of cat litter. Or you might need to know the volume of blood in a given kind of animal so that you could, for example, figure out what to bring to a vampire party.

With some creatures, you can easily look up how much blood they contain. The amount of blood in an average human is pretty well documented. A healthy, 5’10” adult male is going to have between 1.32 and 1.5 gallons of blood. That’s actually a lot of liquid to try to drink in a single sitting. When was the last time that you drank a whole gallon of anything at once? And yet, vampires are routinely portrayed sucking people completely dry of blood. Now, I get that vampires don’t eat solid food, so they need to compensate by drinking their entire diet, but imagine drinking 1.32 gallons of blood. That’s 11.682 pounds. Have you ever eaten more than eleven pounds of food in one sitting? Even figuring for a supernaturally dark appetite, that’s a lot to eat in one go. Most people only eat between 3 and 5 pounds per day. So, if a vampire is drinking a whole human, it’s probably only eating every two or three days.

For those of you concerned with feeding a large group of vampires, either in real life or in fiction, here’s the simple rule of thumb my research has uncovered: the average blood volume of a healthy animal is 7-9% of that animal’s total body weight. So, if you want to figure out how many gallons of blood there are in a creature, simply take its total body weight, multiply it by .08 and then divide the resulting number by 8.85. Why 8.85? Because a gallon of blood weighs 8.85 pounds, so that’s an easy way to convert the blood weight into gallons.

And just in case you are super busy or your vampire party is tonight, here’s a quick reference list:

African Elephant: 65 gallons of blood
Giraffe: 23.5 gallons of blood
Large Bull: 21.69 gallons of blood
Draft Horse: 14.8 gallons of blood
Standard Horse: 12 gallons of blood
Holstein Cow: 11.5 gallons of blood
Llama: 4 gallons of blood
Silverback Gorilla: 3.61 gallons of blood
Human: 1.32 gallons of blood
Labrador retriever: Just over half a gallon of blood
Cat: 8.5 ounces of blood
Rabbit: 4.3 ounces of blood
Mouse: 0.05 ounces of blood

So, if you are throwing a medium sized vampire party, say 15-20 vampires, I’d suggest you bring a giraffe. Not only will it provide enough blood, it has a long enough neck that they can all sit down to eat at the same time.

Demon Freaks
J.R.R.R. (Jim) Hardison

Publisher: Fiery Seas Publishing

Release Date: October 3, 2017

Genre: YA Horror/Comedy

Book Description:

It’s the night before the SAT test. The forces of darkness are stirring.

Twin brothers, Bing and Ron Slaughter, know they’ve got to cram like their lives depend on it because their college plans sure do. If they don’t ace the test, they’ll be doomed to spend the rest of their days flipping burgers at the McDonald’s their parents run. That’s why they hatch a plan to meet up with the members of their punk band, the Ephits, spend the night studying at a secluded cabin in the woods, and maybe squeeze in a little jamming. What could go wrong with a brilliant plan like that? 

Ancient evil. That’s what.

As a cataclysmic lightning storm rolls in, Bing, Ron and the rest of the Ephits find themselves tangled in a sinister plot to summon a demon. Yes, demons are real. To survive the night, the band must find a malevolent artifact, battle bloodthirsty monsters and stand against the most dangerous and powerful foe humanity has ever faced…the Golfer’s Association.

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“Wait, wait, wait,” Ron interrupted. “The Golfers Association? Don’t you mean insane cultists or Satan worshipers or evil wizards or something?”
“Insane cultists, Satan worshipers and evil wizards are like elderly nuns compared to the Golfers’ Association,” their prisoner responded. “You’d be much better off if it were something that simple. These guys are demon freaks.”

“Demon freaks,” Bing repeated in a whisper. “That sounds…bad.”

“Oh, it’s bad alright,” the prisoner shuddered. “You have no idea.”

About the Author:

Fish Wielder is J.R.R.R. (Jim) Hardison's first novel novel (He wrote a graphic novel, The Helm, for Dark Horse Comics). Jim has worked as a writer, screen writer, animator and film director. He started his professional career by producing a low-budget direct-to-video feature film, The Creature From Lake Michigan. Making a bad movie can be a crash course in the essential elements of good character and story, and The Creature From Lake Michigan was a tremendously bad movie. Shifting his focus entirely to animation, Jim joined Will Vinton Studios where he directed animated commercials for M&M’s and on the stop-motion TV series Gary and Mike. While working at Vinton, he also co-wrote the television special Popeye's Voyage: The Quest for Pappy with actor Paul Reiser.

Jim has appeared on NBC's The Apprentice as an expert advisor on brand characters, developed characters and wrote the pilot episode for the PBS children's television series SeeMore's Playhouse and authored the previously mentioned graphic novel, The Helm, named one of 2010's top ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens by YALSA, a branch of the American Library Association. These days, Jim is the creative director and co-owner of Character LLC, a company that does story-analysis for brands and entertainment properties. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his lovely wife, two amazing kids, one smart dog and one stupid dog.

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