Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution is a nonfiction murder mystery set in seventeenth-century France and England. The story centers around a court case related to the first blood transfusions which were animal-to-human. These early transfusions were performed 150 years before anesthesia and antisepsis – and a full 200 years before the discovery of blood types. (Seriously, this is nonfiction! I couldn’t begin to make this story up.)
The first challenge of parenting while writing a book like this is that my young daughter learned to cringe when walking into my study. Books and photocopies were always strewn across my desk: images of centuries-old surgical tools and illustrations of anatomical drawings. I often could not flip the documents over fast enough to hide them from her, which means she is either going to grow up to be a doctor or that I’ll be paying for therapy bills for a very long time.
A second challenge was finding a way to find the time and space to write this book – to reach my goals – while also making sure that there was plenty of time for my daughter. I was heartbroken at one point in the process when she asked earnestly: “Mommy, do you love me as much as you love your book?”