Nailed By The Heart
Welcome to the Official Website of Simon Clark

Blood Crazy (1995)

Blood Crazy Hodder.jpg

Hodder cover 1995

Hodder & Stoughton, UK, 1995, ISBN 9780340625743 hardback

Hodder & Stoughton, UK, 1995, ISBN 9780340625750 paperback

Leisure Books, USA, 2001, ISBN 9780843948257 paperback

Cemetery Dance, USA, 2011, ISBN 9781587670282 hardback

It’s Saturday. Going shopping? For a meal? To the movies? Everything nice and normal, right?

By Sunday, civilization is in ruins. Adults have become murderously insane – literally. They’re infected with a crazed, uncontrollable urge to kill the young.

Including their own children.

This is the way the world ends…

Blood Crazy is the post-apocalyptic hypershocker by one of the most potent forces in modern horror fiction.

Blood Crazy Hodder.jpgCoverHodderCrazy2002.jpgCoverCrazyLeisure.jpgBlood Crazy Cemetery Dance.jpgCoverBloodCrazyFusosha1.jpgCoverBloodCrazyFusosha2.jpgCoverBloodCrazyAcid1998CoverBloodCrazyRussiaCoverBloodCrazyFallOut

Simon writes:

Blood Crazy was my Vesuvius of a book. One minute all was calm. Then with a kind of mental eruption suddenly it was there. A fiery volcano of a story that I couldn’t stop; I couldn’t shape. All I could do was let it happen. The story lava flows erupted from me for perhaps two months then as suddenly stopped. And there I had it. Blood Crazy sat there in the hard drive of my computer.

It may have stopped there forever. At the time I’d written my first novel, Nailed By The Heart, which I still had to place. Before then I’d published short stories and Blood and Grit, a collection issued by BBR Books. I’ve written once or twice – or is it four or five times? – about selling Nailed By The Heart to Hodder & Stoughton in 1994. When Nick Austin, the editor at Hodder, made an offer on Nailed By The Heart he’d already seen three sample chapters of Blood Crazy.

“We’d like to make an offer for a two book deal,” he told my agent. “Nailed By The Heart and for the second, Testament” (Blood Crazy’s original title).

My agent agreed. Then I had a telephone call from Nick. “Simon,” he said, “we’re interested in publishing Nailed By The Heart and the second book.”


“But –”

“But?” My heart sank.

“But the title of the second book, Testament. It sounds like a non-fiction book.”

“You don’t like the title?”

“Let’s say I don’t think it does the book justice. Can you think of an alternative title?”

My mind went back to the title that came roaring out with the lava flow of story a few months earlier. “Blood Crazy,” I hazarded.

“That’s great,” he enthused. “That suits the book perfectly.” Then he added, “When do you think you’ll have the second book finished?”

Testament? Uh, I mean Blood Crazy?”


“It’s all ready finished.”

So that was that. I’d labored for years to write and sell one novel. Now I’d sold two the same day. That was a sweet moment; a very sweet moment indeed. Nailed By The Heart appeared in hardcover in the March of 1995. Blood Crazy appeared just three months later in June. Talk about heady times. Or the times I’d walk into my local library to see it there on the shelves, and to count the times it had been stamped out. If you’re already a writer you’ll have been there. Believe me, if you’re planning on becoming a writer you will do that. And you’ll display other forms of compulsive behavior, too. Such as finding it impossible to walk by a bookstore without checking to see if your books are on the shelves. Or looking at your book ratings on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

But back to Blood Crazy. Since it first appeared in 1995 it has been translated into Greek and Russian, and in January 2001 it appeared in paperback from Leisure in the USA (and I’ve just checked the Amazon ratings; it appears in the top twenty list of their best-selling horror titles – way to go! But see what I mean about compulsive behavior?). Cemetery Dance is to publish it in a limited edition hardcover soon. When I re-read the book again in proof form for the Leisure edition, which was the first time I’d read it in five years, I still found myself caught up with the story. It still seemed fresh and exhilarating. I’m not attempting any kind of boastful arrogance here. There’s enough years between writing it and reading it again for it to seem as if someone else had written it. I found myself being shocked by the ‘carrying the can’ scenes. By the way, if you haven’t read Blood Crazy (I’m running ahead of myself here) it tells the story of a group of teenagers who survive the end of the civilization when adults are driven insane en masse. That insanity in turn drives parents, grandparents, and every adult to kill everyone under the age of 18 in a kind of wholesale cull. The surviving children and teenagers find refuge in a big country house where they try and build a safe home for themselves away from the murderous adults. In the power struggle that follows a bunch of teen tyrants take over. They turn most of the survivors into slaves. If anyone commits a crime against the community – or simply piss off the leadership – that individual is forced to ‘carry the can.’

This is a metal tube packed with explosive that is handcuffed to the person’s wrist. A fuse to the explosive is lit, then the victim’s only chance of survival is to run to the top of a nearby church tower. There, they’ll find a key that fits the cuff. They unlock it. Remove the chained bomb from their wrist. Hurl it from the church tower and … BOOM! Only sometimes the victim doesn’t run fast enough, or the fuse is shorter than usual. Then when the BOOM comes it distributes internal organs and limbs all over the place. I still find those sections of Blood Crazy shocking and hunger for the victims to be revenged.

And I wrote the book. I know what happens. But I still get a kick out of it. And I get a kick out of knowing people are reading it and enjoying it. It’s a book that somehow gets under people’s skin. I get feedback from readers (or even from their family and friends) saying it’s a novel they have to talk about to others. As if they’ve undergone the experiences in the story themselves.

When that story erupted from me, I think an ingredient X came with it. That ingredient X has the power to get under the reader’s skin, maybe even into their blood, and for Blood Crazy to even obsess them a little bit. I don’t what it is. I don’t know how the hell I did it. I wish I did, believe me. Because I want to use that potent ingredient X in everything I write.

Some have said they’d like to see a sequel to Blood Crazy.

I did write a sequel in my head a few Christmases ago, just for my own entertainment as I walked the dog. So, maybe. Maybe.

See the story got under my skin, too. I don’t know why. I don’t know how.

It just did.

And I find myself thinking about the characters and wondering what happened next.

Exclusive extract: Chapter 24 – A Different Kind Of Pain

‘Do you want to go first?’

‘No. I’m scared. It’s dark down there?’

‘I’ll be with you, Susan.’

‘I’m still scared.’

‘We’ll go down together, then. Hold my hand … There – that’s better, isn’t it? Now, hold it tight.’

The voices of the little girls, the Singing Sisters, although nearly whispers, were enough to wake me. I came to groggily, still tasting the whisky on my lips.

I rubbed my face and sat up in my sleeping bag. That night I was in the barn. Dave thought it best if we took turns sleeping near Mr Creosote’s lock-up. In case he started behaving differently, started talking, or simply tried to break out.

I looked round for the voices. The Singing Sisters should be asleep in the farmhouse. I listened.

‘Now. I’ll count to three.’

‘Are you sure it’ll be all right?’

‘Yes, Susan. It will be all right. Hold onto my hand. Tighter.’

‘I’m frightened.’

‘Remember what I told you. This is magic. We will see mummy and daddy.’

‘Will mummy and daddy be nice again?’

‘Yes, of course they will. Now, hold onto my hand tightly. One, two, three … jump.’

A terrible, terrible feeling of dread cut through me. My head snapped up.

From out of the darkness two girls glided down, halos of blonde hair around their heads.

I held up my hands in this futile, this fucking stupid futile attempt to catch them both.

They stopped five feet above my hands with a sound like a gunshot that still echoes in my head. Then they swung like little blonde dolls on the end of their ropes.

At that moment, my heart felt as if it had cracked like an egg.

Stiff, I walked out through the doors of the barn into the farmyard, the mud cold beneath my bare feet.

I did not know whether I wanted to shout, or just run and run and let the night swallow me whole. I wrapped my arms around myself and shivered.

When I was five, dad would wrap me in a blanket and carry me out to show me the night sky. He’d point out the stars. Those same stars that burned harder and brighter now the streetlights had died.

Far away in the distance, someone began to whistle. A slow, haunting sound. It was faint, but the night air carried the notes well enough for me to recognise the tune.

Ten green bottles hanging on a wall,

If one green bottle should accidentally fall…