The Last Smile in Sunder City

The Last Smile in Sunder City


I'm Fetch Phillips, just like it says on the window. There are a few things you should know before you hire me:
1. Sobriety costs extra.
2. My services are confidential - the cops can never make me talk.
3. I don't work for humans.

It's nothing personal - I'm human myself. But after what happened, Humans don't need my help. Not like every other creature who had the magic ripped out of them when the Coda came...
I just want one real case. One chance to do something good.
Because it's my fault the magic is never coming back.

The Last Smile In Sunder City is a brilliantly voiced fantasy for fans of Ben Aaronovitch, Rotherweird or Terry Pratchett's Discworld, and the debut novel from actor Luke Arnold - known for his lead role in Black Sails!

Luke Arnold was born in Australia and has spent the last decade acting his way around the world, playing iconic roles such as Long John Silver in the Emmy-winning Black Sails and his award-winning turn as Michael Hutchence in the INXS mini-series Never Tear Us Apart. When he isn't performing, Luke is a screenwriter, director, novelist and ambassador for Save the Children Australia. The Last Smile in Sunder City is his debut novel.

The Last Smile in Sunder City
Hachette Australia
Author: Luke Arnold
ISBN: 9780356512884
RRP: $22.99

Interview with Luke Arnold

Question: What inspired The Last Smile in Sunder City?

Luke Arnold : I grew up reading old noir detective stories from people like Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. That familiar mix of pulp and romance serves as an easy gateway into a new kind of fantasy world. Fantasy comes with its own set of expectations and I love taking a different kind of character into that setting and letting it bounce him around a for a bit. We can have the grand questions of an epic adventure story told through the gritty introspection of a lazy gumshoe.


Question: How much of your inspiration comes from real life and real people?

Luke Arnold : None of my characters are based on anyone in particular, at least not consciously, but it all comes from real life in some way. Fetch is working out how to do some good in a world that feels like it's falling apart, and I get plenty of inspiration for that every day. A lot of people are wondering what they can do to make things better. I haven't found the answer yet, but the questions keep me writing.


Question: Why did you choose to write for the fantasy genre?

Luke Arnold : Reality comes with a lot of baggage, for the writer and the reader. Most people have locked and loaded opinions about everything and it takes a lot of work to unpack it. Fantasy sets me free. I can explore guilt, war, shame, depression, masculinity, identity and all kinds of issues, hopefully approaching them from an angle where I catch the reader off guard.


Question: What was the best part about creating the character of Fetch Phillips?

Luke Arnold : When I was young, I looked at those tough, hard-boiled characters and dreamed of being like that one day. When you're going through adolescence, the idea that one day you just won't care what people think of you seems like heaven. With Fetch, the part I most enjoy is taking that character and actually exploring what it would be like to be someone like that. Because it must be awful. There is nothing romantic about being broken in that way. Being cynical isn't something to aspire to. Sometimes readers will just want Fetch to be more like that hard-boiled hero we have in our heads, but I think that's kind of the point.


Question: What's next, for you?

Luke Arnold : I'm appearing in a Foxtel series called The End that should be hitting screens really soon. It's a truly special show and I feel privileged to be a part of it. It's a darkly funny family drama that explores dying with dignity from a bunch of different angles. The scripts by Samantha Strauss are exceptional and it feels like a new kind of Australian show.

I've just put the finishing touches on the sequel to The Last Smile in Sunder City and there should be more coming after that. I'm always acting but I'm making more of my own projects in between that you can follow on twitter and Instagram @longlukearnold


Interview by Brooke Hunter

The Last Smile in Sunder City 
Hachette Australia
Author: Luke Arnold 
ISBN: 9780356512884
RRP: $22.99 



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