The Sadeiest – A dark, bizarre horror by Austrian Spencer

Austrian, author of The Sadeiest, had an unfortunate trauma aged eight, when a truck drove over him and his ‘Grifter’ bike. This made him bedridden and a captive of books for too many years. The habit persisted throughout his life (reading books, not staying in bed), to the extent that his daughter’s first painting was of him holding a book, rather than her hand. He has the picture framed in the upstairs toilet, to look at whilst feeling vulnerable.

He is the ‘glass-half-full’, an eternal optimist and believes passionately in you. You are doing exactly what you need to be doing at this moment in your life. He often thinks this, while staring at his daughter’s first painting.

Austrian does not watch horror films, though enjoys horror books.  His influences include Alan Moore, Dave Sim, Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, The family King, Iain M.Banks, from whom he wishes to learn. Be inspired.

He owes them everything, despite their beards.

So, to get started, please tell my readers a little about yourself!

Hi – My pen name is Austrian. I’m an Englishman, living in Austria for 23 years. I adopted my name in reaction to Brexit, which is something that I was not given an opportunity to vote on (ex-pats living outside of England after 15 years are not allowed to vote – even for things like Brexit which impact our lives more than anyone else). I am first and foremost, a European.

What inspired you to become a writer/author?

I always wrote, but the series The Sadeiest is a part of, is a story I have in my head since I was 23. I wanted to do it as a comic, but it took too long – a year for 25 pages. I then took 25 years to develop it in my head before committing it to paper, so that one year looks pretty sweet on reflection.

What is the best thing about being a writer/author?

Drinking coffee and biscuits, and meeting awesome fellow writers like Dean (the cheques in the post, right?)

What is your writing routine like?

I’m not prolific, but I write when it’s time. I just know – I sit down and out it comes. No problems. The story is writing itself, because I’ve thought about it for over a quarter of a century.

How much time is spent on research?

Um. 25 years? I had to do actual research for a year. I needed to know how to remove faces, how the body dies from hypothermia, how strangulation actually kills your body, the feelings of drowning… um… are you ok? You look a little pale…

How much of the book is planned out before you start writing it?

I have the story planned out in my head, but allow whatever comes out in the writing to have it’s moment. There are some great lines in The Sadeiest that just landed on the page, that I spent a good deal of time looking at afterwards, and having this cool feeling of smugness over lol.

The Sadeiest began life as a comic

What do you think is most important when writing a book? Characters, plot, setting, etc

Character and story. I have the benefit of knowing my characters and their story for a very long time.

What is your latest book about?

It’s the continuation of The Sadeiest. It’s called The Masocheist, and completes the origins of Death story arc. Then we have War, which is where we really get into the nitty gritty of the apocalypse, and that will be followed by Pest, a pov book of a lot of people’s favourite character, Pez the ant.

What inspired it?

Oof. Um – great books. I like books that aren’t mainstream or that can surprise me. As a teenager I loved The chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen Donaldson, because it’s such an bast##d main character. The idea of the character of death comes from lots of places. Piers Anthony for sure. Neil Gaiman. Comics (I am a huge fan of Alan Moore, Dave Sim, Garth Ennis etc. The list is extensive)

Why did you pick the genre or genres that you write in?

It couldn’t be anything else with the subject matter. People would be upset if I called it erotic, even though there’s a sex scene in it, because it’s surrounded by material only Horror readers can unpack.

How did you go about getting a publishing deal? Or how did you become self-published?

Probably the same way everyone does – trial and error. I approached Lit agents, but the story is told in multiple perspectives, which is a hard sell. Plus, it is written in a way that expects intelligence and lateral thinking on the part of the reader. I don’t give the reader all of the answers, I expect them to be at least as intelligent as I am. That’s a hard sell.

The Sadeiest
The incredible cover for The Sadeiest

Any new books or plans for the future?

The series. It’s an ongoing elephant in the room. It’s only just learned how to speak. No it won’t shut up.

What authors have been an influence on your writing?

Alan Moore (v for vendetta, watchmen, from hell etc), without question. Iain Banks – genius. Dave Sim for scope. Isaac Asimov for dry fact. Lee child for well thought through fight scenes. I can go on but I would not stop.

What writing advice would you have given yourself when you started?

Do what you did – join a writing community. Meet fellow writers and learn from them.

What writing advice would you give to an aspiring writer or a new author to the block?

Have absolute belief in yourself and your writing. Never doubt. People can correct your grammar and suggest edits and sentence structure, but no-one but you knows your story like you do. You rock.

What has been your favourite book so far this year?

Ugh. Damn. I actually haven’t read much due to editing, marketing and promoting. But I loved Anne Legit’s “The End Of The Road”. I’m really excited to start my new graphic Novel that arrived in the post, yesterday in fact, called “A letter to Jo.” By Joseph Sieracki and Kelly Williams. And there’s a horror book by this guy named Dean I am keen to read too.

What is your all-time favourite book and why?

Oh man. Seriously? Umm… Probably… There are a lot of contenders, but reading “The player of games” by Iain M.Banks feels like coming home. It’s just genius. The concept. The scope. The character work. Just – wonderful. But right up next to that has to be a follow on book by him – “Inversions”, because of everything the book doesn’t tell you. It’s genius. Readers of his culture series understand all of the things that are happening, but which he never says. Knife missiles, sex changing – all the culture benefits are there, in a medieval society right under their noses, but only the reader and the author know the truth. Stunning. Just go and buy all his books today.

What genre do you read most often?

None. I don’t limit myself, though I tend to stay away from Fantasy, I over indulged that genre as a kid.

What are you currently reading?

The very dark (so far) “The Dark Chorus” by Ashley Meggit and also “Inside Voices” by the lovely Sarah Davis.

Anything else you would like to add?

Yes! Black Lives Matter!

To purchase The Sadeiest, check it out on Amazon at

Book Blurb:

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?

Death has to die, again and again, to pay for his sins, and to free trapped souls before their bodies perish – only to replace those souls, to die for them.

A Death whose 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?

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To purchase The Sadeiest, check it out on Amazon at