A Visit with Austrian Spencer on Writing, Gorgons & Orange Chocolate
Updated: Dec 2, 2020
Greetings! If this is your first time to my Interview with an Author blog, welcome! For all those returning, thank you! Settle in folks, for today I would like to introduce one hell of a writer and a really nice guy, Austrian Spencer.
His debut novel, The Sadeiest, will release on November 27, 2020. I have already ripped through it, and let me tell you, it is AMAZING! A full-blown, five-star remarkable tale not for the faint of heart.
Isn't the cover fantastic?
Before we get to the novel, let's hear from the author. So, Austrian, thank you for agreeing to the interview!! What was your favorite game to play as a child?
I was run over by a lorry as a 9-year-old, and had severe concussion and a coma, and woke up with almost no memories – and was then bed ridden for a long, long time. So, I used to read and play chess with my dad. He was a strict teacher, he didn’t just let me win, I had to earn it. We played for years, and I never won, and then one day, I won, and he refused to play with me ever again. How mean is that! He wanted to teach me to the point that I could beat him, and then – he just lost the interest. I can’t even remember how I beat him, it came as a total surprise, so you can imagine, If I could choose to play against anyone again, it would be him, and I would video the damn thing.
Whoa, run over by a lorry? I am unashamed to admit I had to look up what a lorry was...I mean, I was pretty sure, but A LORRY? And your dad never gave you a free win? Well, he obviously figured he taught you right!
What is the first story you remember telling?
So this is a bit complex lol! See the first question for the reason, but I don’t remember anything before aged 9, and can only really remember writing stories in school. But I was an actor, and wanted to be an actor in school, so most of the stories I told were in plays, and I had a riot.
How many languages do you speak? Which is your favorite?
I speak English and German, and mix both up because I use both every day, so I don’t have a favorite.
What language do you dream in? I asked a friend who speaks fluent Spanish and English. She interchanges words all the time.
Who inspired you to write your debut novel?
Comic writers. Alan Moore. Dave Sim. Neal Gaiman. Garth Ennis.
Novelists Iain Banks and Isaac Assimov.
One of my favorite authors is Neil Gaiman. You might even say that I "met" him through Sir Terry Pratchett. One of the small animal veterinarians at college recommended the Discworld series, and I was hooked after the first page. Then I came across a book written by both Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, Good Omens. That was well before digital books. Oh boy, I might be aging myself. (Back when I was in college, we had to wait at least five minutes for the dial up to buzz through for our email...) What a colorful life.
Speaking of colors, what if you are asked to name your least favorite color knowing that it will forever be erased from existence. Would you give your answer?
Damn that’s hard – I am totally colourblind and have only recently bought a pair of Enchroma sunglasses that allow me to see some colours for the first time! Pink is amazing! Purple! Green! Red! All the colours are amazing. How can one choose? I think I’ve had the colour absent from my life for too long so I am exempt from this question – I earned the right to see them forever.
Yes, Yes, you did earn that right!
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Damn this is hard. Star wars. Because Empire strikes back blew my mind as a kid. I mean, I thought Han had died! Luke lost his hand! The empire won! WHAT?! It was the first time I went to the cinema and realized there was a bigger picture, a greater story, and that the story couldn’t end at the end – that there was MORE. And that was the start of how I write, even now.
Star wars...what a rich and powerful tale. And Luke kissed his SISTER! Poor guy.
If you were to be gifted a superpower that you had to use continuously for 8 hours every day, what would it be?
Patience with stupid people.
Now that is a power that would be helpful. Counting to 10 works, but if not, then walking away helps.
What are your hobbies (besides reading and writing)?
I train 4 days a week, with my wife and daughter, an hour each time, Monday to Thursday. They are kind and pretend not to notice me struggling to keep up. I read lots. Like – really, really lots. And I enjoy cooking. And here’s a weird one – cleaning. I have a little OCD in me somewhere that dislikes a messy house, and I feel better if the house is clean. It’s not a very cool trait, is it?
Ok, so every time I chat with you via message, you are cleaning or have to clean. I can vouch for the cleaning! LOL.
What is your favorite sport to play?
I loved to play badminton, but have broken so many bones playing it, it is a bloodsport! I had to give it up. My daughter loves to play volleyball, and that is what we play too, but I got a table tennis table for my birthday this year, so I aim to use that a lot. I don’t watch sports. Life is too full of books to read.
Totally agree with watching sports unless my kids are playing them. Cross country is one of my favorites. At the meets you have to physically move around the course to see any action.
What is your favorite author/book?
The impossible question. I can’t answer. I really like lots of books.
Whenever someone asks me this question, I really struggle, too. To quote one of our favorite authors, Neil Gaiman, "Picking five favorite books is like picking the five body parts you'd most like not to lose."
Have you ever played Kubb? Did you have to look it up before answering?
I have never played Kubb. I still haven’t looked it up but will do so when you are not watching.
Well, I know you already looked it up.
Zombies! They were all the rage; maybe they still are. One of my daughters has planned out how we will survive any zombie pandemic. So I ask you, Austrian, the zombie apocalypse will happen in two days. You are fully stocked with food, water, and toilet paper. What is the one thing you will have stocked up on as your guilty pleasure?
Terry’s Chocolate Orange. Damn it.
Really? Those are coming into season now, aren't they? Hint. Hint.
If you could have authored a book, which one and why?
An existing one? Hmm. Iain M. Banks’ Inversions because it is brilliant and says everything without saying anything. It is genius. And you can’t just go read it, you need to have read his culture series for it to make any sense.
What movie sequel would you erase from history and why?
Highlander. Good god. Although that has dated terribly too.
Hmm, glad I haven't wasted my time on it!
You won the mythical lottery and are granted the use of a magical creature for one week. What creature would you pick and why?
A gorgon. I would hunt down the assholes ruining the planet and turn them into statues, and have the angry mob tear them down.
What is one food you could never bring yourself to eat and why?
Lol. Good question. And not very healthy. – Fish – or more specifically, anything that comes from the sea or a river. I just – no. It’s fish. Ugh.
Hmm, I am unable to agree with you on this. I love fish! Cajun/beer-battered walleye deep-fried...delish. But jellied eels? Definitely NO.
Tell us your favorite "dad joke."
What’s brown and sticky?
What’s white and silly?
A window sill
Cake or pie?
Damn that’s hard.
My favourite food is Quiche, but I have a sweet tooth… Man…
Pie (dammit), No! Cake! Forgive me!
It's okay. Trick questions are supposed to be tricky!
Tell us about your latest book.
My latest book is a horror book called The Sadeiest. It’s an origin story, about a man that becomes Death himself. My death is unlike any other Death though – he doesn’t let you die then deal with your soul, he dies for you. And if that’s not bad enough, he’s got to protect a 10-year old boy from the other Horsemen of the Apocalypse. It took me 25 years (Yes. You heard that right) to complete, because life and kids and more life happened. It will change your life because you will realize that books can be written in a way that doesn’t give you all the answers, and which makes you think. So that part of the book, when it all clicks into place and you think – oh my god! – that moment of revelation – can be in the book all the way through, it’s just that authors are scared the reader won’t get it, and spell out everything for them.
That has to change, so I’m starting.
You know, it's a brilliant start. I so enjoyed your book and am anxious for the sequel.
Do you have a favorite character that you created?
Oh Man! That’s tough. Probably Pez, though Mortis is a lot of fun too. I love Pez. Pez is an ant, that becomes the living embodiment of Pestilence. Writing him is a blast. Ant POV. You get to learn with him as he expands his hive mind, take over other species, and learn what those species can do. Writing the spider attack was really, really fun. But no insects or arachnids were harmed in the writing of The Sadeiest…But Mortis is a close second, and I’m not going to give you any clues on that!
Pez is such an interesting character! I thoroughly enjoyed his character development. My fav character was Death.
And the artwork in this book is amazing! (Pictured below is Henreich.)
Is today a good day to die?
Death – a walking skeleton armed with a scythe, a rider of the apocalypse, it has always been assumed – is a man that brings the souls of the dead to wherever they are destined to go.
But what if we got that wrong? What if he were a ghost that, instead of moving your soul on silently after you had died, actually did the hard part for you?
The Sadeiest is the story of a Death that has to die, again and again, to pay for his sins, to help free trapped souls leave their bodies before those bodies perish – and replace those souls, to die for them.
A Death who's existence is a curse, where the other riders of the Apocalypse are not his allies, but his enemies.
Armed only with his morals, his memories and the advice of a child teacher, Williams, a Sadeiest, travels through the deaths of other people, on his way to becoming something greater. Something that will re-define the Grim Reaper.
Death just came to life, in time to fight for a child hunted by the other horsemen of the Apocalypse.
How do you want to die today?
Well, I don't want to die today. I want to share the news of your debut novel, The Sadeiest. Thank you so much for joining today and sharing about yourself.
Warmest congratulations on your achievement and best wishes on your next adventure. I cannot wait to see what your dedication and energy will bring forth!
While you are waiting for your book (to arrive/download), check out the playlist for The Sadeiest Austrian had put together.
You can find more about Austrian and what he is up to, as well as links to other social media on his website. It is a very cool website, and you all should check it out.
YOU ARE INVITED TO AN ONLINE BOOK LAUNCH: On Saturday 28th November 2020, Austrian will be joining four other authors for a joint event via Zoom called Darkstroke Defined: The five writers will talk about their new books, read extracts and answer questions. For your free ticket, go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/darkstroke-defined-tickets-125793372363
This is an event I don't want to miss!