Updates and Emotions

Hello again! Yes, it’s been a long time between posts. In my defense, I’ve been working on all kinds of things that will be coming your way soon.

Some updates:

The Last Smile in Sunder City is now at the copy-editing stage. Soon I’ll be able to share things like release dates, excerpts, and the incredible cover! I just visited London and New York and was able to meet the awesome people at Orbit Books in both cities. I’m in very safe and experienced hands and my luggage is weighed down with all kinds of amazing books written by the other Orbit authors.

On the acting side of things, I filmed the third season of Glitch (check out the first two seasons on Netflix) and another program in Australia called The End which I am really proud to be a part of. I’ll have more to say about that as it gets closer to release.

While I was back in Australia, my brother George and I got the cameras out and filmed a little project of our own called Level Up Lance. The post-production is going to take a while but it will hopefully be one of many things we’ll produce this year.

A short film called Gutterpunks that I wrote and directed is days away from being completed. It’s pretty special. Once we hit up some festivals I’ll make it available online.

But mostly, I’ve been working hard on the next book in the Sunder City series. I’m actually feeling pretty good about it so far. Because The Last Smile isn’t out yet, I still feel like I’m writing in my own little bubble, which I will enjoy while it lasts. I imagine this will all feel different once an audience has something in their hands.

Now, a little ramble…

While traveling, writing, and balancing both careers, I’ve realized that there’s a part of this job I hadn’t quite anticipated, and that’s the emotional effect that writing can have on my day.

A few times this month, I’ve caught myself feeling emotional, not understood why, and then realized that it was linked to whatever I’d been writing about that morning. I would find myself sitting in the same emotional state I’d sent Fetch Phillips into a few hours earlier.

This reminded me of my first year at drama school when our improvisation teacher (shout-out to Chrissie Best) took us through a series of lessons that I’ve never forgotten.

We’d drop into a particular emotional state, then force ourselves to come out of it and move on.

Emotions are addictive. It can be really tempting for actors to take their one-stage (or on-screen) lives home with them. Whether it’s joy or anger or grief, once those feelings have hold of us, we don’t want to let them go. But it’s indulgent and it can make us insufferable to be around if we don’t keep it in check. In those classes, we would go to the deepest emotional point possible, then shake it out and try to go back into the real world as decent human beings. (Well, we were drama students, so maybe not that decent).

Learning not to cling to those feelings was an important lesson as a young actor, and it turns out to be just as important as an author. Writers go to some strange, deep, vulnerable places. If you don’t break free of those feelings, they can turn you into a grump or a bundle of tears.

As creators, it’s tempting not to leave our little worlds. Sometimes we fear that if we step too far away from them, they won’t let us back in. But, in my experience, those emotions always return when called and don’t need to be kept on a leash.

That’s how I feel about it anyway. It’s important to suffer for our art while we’re doing the job – take risks, shed tears, scare ourselves, be as honest as we can – but then we wash our hands of it before we sit down at the dinner table.

I’ve really enjoyed hearing from you in the comments and on twitter, so let me know your thoughts on this. Have you ever found yourself too caught up in the emotional world of your work? Or maybe as a reader?

Thanks for hanging out. I’d better get back to Sunder City and push Fetch into the next chapter. I left him in a pretty rough place and he won’t be able to get out of it on his own.

Thanks for hanging out x

 

23 thoughts on “Updates and Emotions”

  1. I am happy to hear news from you. I am anticipating for your books, and can’t wait for your films, tv and project with your brother, sounds exciting and I’d love to watch it someday 🙂

    I am glad you took time off to travelling, focusing on writing and balancing your career at same time. It is not easy to do multitask on both, and quite consuming my energy and soul. Yes, I do get myself too caught up in the emotional world of my own work, it wasn’t pleasant experience and journey for me. It took few month to get myself out from there and I managed to reconnect with my trusted friend, stepping back to find what exactly I am want. And of course, more time for self care. Everyone deserved to have self care, acknowledging your need and lastly, loving yourself. It won’t hurt little bit for you to take care your happiness and wellbeing 😉

    As a reader, I found few books and it’s quite hard for me to let go of that characters. I feel emotionally attached to this characters and I could relate with them. You could feel their anger, sadness and pain and wishes you want to give them warm hug, telling them everything are fine. Which it’s unrealistic for reader, but I could understand that we feel strongly attached to them. It is not about their characters or personality, it is all about their journey and their healing process to be a better person.

    I hope all the best from you, Luke. You have very big heart, and you are blessed with wonderful kindness. Everyone are rooting for you, so with your fans. Cheer up and stay healthy, I am looking forward from your future post.

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      1. (i dont think you asked it directy to me…. but however, this is my reply)
        I think i will really LOVE your novel…. i think i will get the first copy…
        lately i didnt read any book…. I read alot in summertime… Last summer i’ve read a lot books about piracy story…. In this period i fly with my imagination…and i writing during the night….and what i write is just about a fantasy world…a world of feelings…. strange feelings, but i really love, they makes feel alive…. and and if you want take a look on my blog, there is everything i write….
        If you asked it directly to well… i feel …. speechless, and i thanx you. Blushing A big kiss
        Sincerly
        Daria

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      2. Thank you for taking time to read my comments. Sorry for my lateness due time zone in Malaysia 😉

        A friend of mine suggested to this book ‘Michael: My Brother, Lost Boy of INXS’ by Tina Hutchence. I wasn’t big fans of them back then, (now I am, and I also watched your shows too! You portrayed Michael’s character so well, I’d love to give you thousands applause)

        Why I love this books so much and is how traumatic brain injury can change yourself from personality, mentally and physically and people around you. How people viewed mental illness back then and there wasn’t any awareness to educate people on this issues.
        And the rest on this book are heavily focus on Michael’s life before/after being superstar, his accidents, his close relationship with his mother and his sister and lastly after his death. The more I reading for next chapter, the more I feel sad for his life and everything he had were taken away from these people he trusted so much and they left nothing for his family.

        Being deaf and wearing with hearing aid since I was kid, I could understand his pain, losing his sense of smell and taste. I couldn’t hear anything and wasn’t taught with sign language, it is hard for me to live as normal people. It wasn’t easy for me to pretends that everything are normal and.. I had anxiety and depression. It is not easy to break out from this dark place, luckily I have many caring friend and understanding my struggle. I wishes we have safe space for people have mental illness that catered to disable people too. I wishes everyone took part and spread this awareness and help others. Nobody should left alone in darkness.

        Sorry for long comments! I doesn’t realise that I am suddenly feel emotionally attached to this books and this person. To be honest, this is my first time I am reading autobiographical book after other fiction books 🙂

        Hopefully your books are available for worldwide and ready to hit bookstore in Malaysia anytime. Cheers and good morning from Malaysia, Luke! 🇲🇾

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  2. Great to hear from you again. Your description of getting caught in emotions sounds very familiar. I draw and paint a lot, and one of the reasons I keep at it is because the intensity of the emotions I feel when drawing is so addictive. When someone disturbs me or forces me to let go of that feeling, I can get very irritated. I find those emotions don’t always return (or at least, they cannot be returned at will) and I’m always trying to ride the emotional high for as long as possible.

    Exciting to hear your book is nearing completion. Looking forward to reading it 🙂

    Take care!
    Saskia

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I know that feeling. I was writing at my parents’ place at the beginning of the year and my Mum loves to burst into my room and start talking, but often I’m in the middle of something in my mind and don’t want to leave. That generally means that I’m only half listening and I act impatient and annoyed.
      We both learned that it was best for her to ask to chat, then I’d take 5-15 minutes to finish what I was doing, clear my mind, then go be completely present with her. It’s nice when people understand that snapping out of that creative space isn’t always easy.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I completly understand what you feel, when you try to write and the people enter in the room, when you are in middle of your thoughts.
        When i write…when my feeling, emotions, pushes me to write, i leave what i’m doing, in that moment and i begin to write.
        Usually, each day, i write two thoughts on my open diary…. One on evening, the other one during the night. The First one is always interrupetd by my parents… they knows what im doing, but always, they interrupt me. Sometimes, my thoughts are fast and i write with no problems, also with my parents around. But sometimes it’s very hard. The moment i really love write is the night. The calm. No noises and people arounds.
        I put on my headphones, my relaxing music, and i begins to write what i really feeling. And can i be sincere with you? Sometimes, what i write, overwhelms me, and i can’t hold back my tears…
        I’ve told you…. in these last three months i’m living an emotional period
        Daria
        (https://longdariavampysilver.net/)

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  3. Looks like you’ve cornered the market on the joyous kind of busy! Congrats on the next stage of publishing, too. I’m looking forward to your novel and finding out which of books you brought back you liked the best.

    I know for me, the thought of writing something I know is going to be emotional for me can stop me in my tracks. It’s probably the biggest obstacle I face when sitting down to certain topics. Perhaps all writers should take an acting class first to learn to manage it. As a reader, I seem to be able to manage my emotions better (even though I will cry at pretty much any animal-related video I watch) and can process what I’ve read easier, and part of that probably has to do with being able to talk about something I’ve read with people who have also read it. If I’m writing something emotional, I’m less likely to share because I’m not ready for feedback about it, so there’s no outlet.

    Thanks for sharing your insights (and your packed schedule!).

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    1. Thanks. Yeah, I’m learning that I shouldn’t enter into certain chapters without consideration. The emotional hangover is real. But, a lot of it is acknowledging why the feeling is there and choosing to break out of it afterwards. It’s not always easy but I think it can be practiced. Acting training can definitely let you play with your emotions and learn how to harness them, rather than always feel like they control us.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love your reflection. That feeling of taking work home and affecting personal relationships is very common, unfortunately.
    I have had various jobs, from prison therapist, teacher in institute, until now in the customer service department, and you always need to play a bit so that it doesn’t affect you personally and to distance yourself a bit from the situation.
    In my current job for example, many times clients insult you and shout you , and many days, when leaving work you just want to cry or you find yourself in such a nervous situation that the first one you meet at home you would like to bite …
    Normally that person will support you and know that it is not really you, but the situation.
    As for the books and series / movies, as I find it very easy to empathize with the characters, I usually feel what they feel and if something bad happens to them… Uff. One case that struck me was a book by V. C. Andrews, that the story seemed like it was going to have a happy ending and it ended in the worst possible way and I couldn’t stop crying. If at that moment I had had a death note … Sorry I’m a bit ” geek”.
    I hope that all your projects are very successful and that you continue to delight us with your stories and performances. Hope you play more videos in YouTube Scrambled Studio, they’ re really funny, and even if I have a bad day, it make my day.

    *Forgive me if I make a mistake, my English is not very good.

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    1. Thanks Paloma.
      You’re right, this isn’t something exclusive to the arts. I’ve finally started meditating and so much of it is about not holding onto emotions when they don’t serve us, which is good practice for everyone.
      I know exactly what you mean about that kind of ending in a book. At the moment, I LOVE it when an author breaks my heart. I don’t think I do that kind of character-killing in my own work yet, but I’m also not one to write overly happy endings. It’s a tricky balance to make it believable but rewarding so that the reader leaves feeling satisfied.

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  5. It’s been a long time since I went deep into those creative and vulnerable corners of my mind, but I remember doing so as a teenager. Back then I used to write and draw whenever I had the chance. And I really did go some strange places, and many of my pieces of writings puzzle me as I look back at them as an adult. There was quite a lot of feeling, but I can’t remember ever being emotional while or after creating them. So I think that to me it wasn’t so much an addiction or an indulgence. It was more a matter of exploring my brains to see what I was able to imagine. Then I would describe what I saw, or sensed, rather. I would also collect bits and pieces that I came across and analyse them before putting them together in one way or another. When a story or a poem or a sketch was done, I would look at my new piece of art and think “Huh, that’s quite something!” and happily move on to the next imaginative adventure.

    I haven’t really thought too much about this before, but your writing got me thinking. So thanks! Rather fascinating that one’s approach to creating can be so different from someone else’s way of doing it. I guess there is no right or wrong, but perhaps I should give you way a chance. After all, you’re the one who is making art professionally.

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    1. Thanks Ragnhild. Yeah, it’s not always necessary when making art to go to those depths. It was more obvious as a performer because our bodies don’t always know whether we’re acting or not. We get full of adrenaline just like it’s happening for real.
      It sounds like you have a pretty healthy relationship with your work. One of the things I can do that same thing; stand back from the work and say “Huh, that’s quite something.” Which is hard to do as an actor when you ‘are’ the work.

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  6. HI Luke
    I am always impressed by authors’ abilities to transport me to such emotional depths, but I wonder sometimes of readers truly see what the author intends- or is it colored by their personal experiences, all of which are different. I guess the mark of a good writer is to elicit any emotional response- and hope it’s what you’re aiming for.

    I spend a lot of time looking for books that do just that- and sometimes find myself lost in a fog created by those books- the most memorable being the ones that leave me in a sobbing mess or completely distracted from my normal daily existence. I do find that I am frustrated by not having anyone to share these emotions- my husband’s reading materials seem to be limited to on-line news and motorcycle parts catalogs.

    Anyway, I am looking forward to your book. I’ve always thought that writing would be the best job in the world- but lacking the necessary creative ability I can only experience it vicariously; hence my interest in your decision to become a writer. Good luck to you on your 2 books and all future endeavors!
    BarbaraJ.

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    1. Thanks Barbara. Yeah, I’ve noticed a lot of times recently that moment in books\films\tv that I find particularly emotional don’t hit other people in the same way. Editing my short film has been really interesting because there are moments that bring some people to tears, but other people think don’t even need to be in the film at all. A lot of it is based on personal taste, but also life experience. In short form work, this is probably more hit-and-miss whereas, in a novel, there is more time to bring everyone onto the same path.
      And yeah, finishing a good book always puts me in a weird place. Often, we watch films with other people (or at least at a similar time to a big audience) so we can find someone to talk about it with. A book is usually a more intimate journey. Which I kind of like, but it can make the aftermath a little lonely.

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  7. Ah yes, the emotional carry-over from acting is fairly taxing. In college, it was always a reality check when I’d come home from rehearsal to my best friend and roommate, totally high on adrenaline or moody or whatever, and she’d just call me on it. “You’re not on stage. Who are you performing for?” It took her, someone who had known me since I was fourteen or so, to really bring me back to earth.
    (Damn, we’ve been best friends for 20 years next year. That doesn’t make me feel old at 33… not at all. Ugh.)
    I actually didn’t get a lot of education in coping when I was in theater school. I feel like I developed rituals to get in and get out. Now that I’m thinking about it, I think a lot of my peers did that too. My personal gateway is putting on and taking off costume and makeup. I think of it as ‘wiping her off my face’ and ‘hanging her up’ for the night.
    Actors are so weird, lol. (But we throw the best costume parties, so you win some, you lose some, right? 😉
    I think there is also some comfort in getting lost in the emotional pull of art and creation when it’s a job. There is added pressure to really apply yourself and prove that you deserve to get away with being paid to do something you enjoy. But, inevitably, some days it feels so much like a job that you need to disappear into the emotion of it just to remind yourself why you loved it so much in the first place. I was a professional artist for a little while (I made practical art projects for art supply companies to use in their marketing) and adding business to art makes a world of difference. Now that I don’t do that professionally it can be an emotional outlet for me again and I don’t feel like I need to escape it… because it is the escape.
    ANYway, I am pretty excited for all the 2019-2020 stuff you’ve been working on to start rolling out! I’m ready to see some teasers for Last Smile (!) and I’m always ready for more Glitch.
    Any plans to submit Gutterpunks to an LA-based film festival? Let a girl know! Cool ish like that is what makes the smog and the LA traffic worth it. (Well, the ocean is pretty spectacular when I can make it there. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

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  8. So I’ll have to read the last chapter first to check if the main characters are still ” alive ” at the end and then continue with the story, as I do with Stephen King’s books… Well, I can’t wait!
    I would like to ask you if you can recommend me a good book, one of those that breaks the heart and marks your life.

    Thank you for your time!

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  9. Luke so great to hear about everything you have been doing, it is really a lot to take on but from our past conversations I know that you don’t like to be idle for too long. I know that getting caught up in your creations as you are writing is a very common situation. I told you before that when my daughter is immersed in her writing mode she is always extremely emotional as she becomes so intertwined with the characters. I know that even when she is just in the thick of it all she has managed over the years to know when it’s overwhelming her and she has to take a bit of time away from it just so she can separate herself and go back into it clear headed. She has been an published best selling author for a while now so I think it is different for every writer and their process but worth keeping in mind that taking a short break to clear out your mind may be a good idea once in a while. x Carolyn

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  10. Thanks for your update… I cannot wait for Glitch 3. It is really a great show to watch here in the U.S because we get to see Australia along with enjoying an intriguing storyline. Happy to hear about you and George on a project. I have always enjoyed The Buskers Guide. I am stuck at home taking care of an elderly parent and it gives me a bit of a taste of all the things I enjoyed when I was able to travel. I sincerely think you, George and Jin should consider a travel show… it would be fantastic. I bet Netflix would pick it up.

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  11. I definitely get this way when I’m reading. Just recently I was reading a novel and found myself feeling weird for hours after I put it down. I just get in the characters’ mental space without even realizing, and it’s hard to get out of. I can imagine it’s especially hard when you’re acting a part. It was great to read this update! I can’t wait for the book 🙂

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  12. I am a new fan of yours. I am definitely going to check out your writing. I love to read and have been expanding my authors. I have a feeling your depth as an author are as deep as your acting. Do u find yourself creating a movie in your head as you are reading? This is how I get caught up in the characters

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