April is a very special month to be published in, because not only does my book feature the exploits of the original Anzacs themselves, those brave men who left Australia and New Zealand to fight on the beaches at Gallipoli and on into the Eastern and Western Fronts during the First World War, but it is also the month of Anzac Day, the day when all of Australia remembers the sacrifices of the men and women of the armed forces.
Looking back on the process of writing Where the Line Breaks, I realised how important Anzac Day was not only in giving me ideas, but also in helping me realise what it was I wanted to write, and inspiring me to write the novel I did. So, after writing about my trip to Gallipoli in 2013 in the form of a letter from the writing trenches for the Fremantle Press Open Book Blog in March (read all about it, here), I decided to continue the story with another Letter from the Writing Trenches, this time from the battlefields of the Western Front, which I was lucky enough to visit for Anzac Day 2014.
You can read the letter, which details more about the writing process, features some terrible First World War French as spoken by the soldiers at the time, and even includes some sections that have been censored – whether in the interests of Military Intelligence, or just in the name of good taste, you will have to find out for yourself – by clicking the following link: Chocolate and fresh undies: Fremantle Press novelist Michael Burrows’ latest dispatch is from the trenches of the Western Front on Anzac Day.
Thanks, also, to my good mate Yolly Gentle, with whom I travelled to both Gallipoli and the Western Front, and who provided me with a number of photos when I found I had lost most of mine in the years following our trip. It’s fair to say that without Yolly, Where the Line Breaks would be a completely different book.