Book Buzz
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‘an unforgettable ride’
Nigel Featherstone, author of Bodies of Men

‘gripping to the last page’
Mary Moody, author and broadcaster

Margo Kingston, author and journalist

‘raw and powerful’
Nicole Alexander, author of The Cedar Tree


The Book:

James Brandt didn’t look back when he got away from his rural hometown as a teenager. Now, he’s returned to Kippen for the first time in twenty years because his cousin Tony has been found dead under the local bridge.

The news that Tony has left him the entire family farm triggers James’s journalistic curiosity – and his anxiety – both of which cropped up during his turbulent journey to adulthood. But it is the unexpected homophobic attack he survives that draws James into a hunt for the reasons one lonely Kippen farm boy in every generation kills himself.

Standing in the way is James’s father, the town’s recently retired top cop, who is not prepared to investigate crimes no-one reckons have taken place. James must use every newshound’s trick he ever learned in order to uncover the brutal truth.

A coming-of-age story and crime thriller with a large and gentle heart.

Read an extract of Tank Water.


The Trailer:

Click on the image to watch the Tank Water trailer.


The Lowdown: 

Click on the image to watch an interview with Michael Burge about the origin, themes and content of Tank Water.


The Author:

Michael Burge is an Australian author and journalist who lives at Deepwater in the New England region of NSW with his husband and their dogs. After graduating from the National Institute of Dramatic Art, Michael undertook media studies in the United Kingdom. His non-fiction debut Questionable Deeds: Making a stand for equal love lifted the lid on familial and institutional homophobia in Australia during the marriage equality campaign. Michael has written, edited, directed and broadcast for Fairfax Media, Intermedia, United News & Media, Margo Kingston’s NoFibs and a range of lifestyle mastheads. He is director of the annual High Country Writers Festival in Glen Innes. His complete works can be found at
Tank Water is his first novel.

(image: Michael Burge by Max S Harding)


The Reaction:

“Clear-eyed and suspenseful, Tank Water exposes more than one taboo of Australian life away from the big cities. An unforgettable ride.”
—NIGEL FEATHERSTONE author of Bodies of Men

“The parochial under-belly of rural Australia is laid bare in this raw and powerful story that delves into the emotional toll and tragic consequences of gay-hate crime.”
—NICOLE ALEXANDER bestselling author of The Cedar Tree

“Written in a matter-of-fact way, Mike’s confrontational first novel made me think about life, death and sexuality in the country, because Burge has the rural lineage to make it real.”
—MARGO KINGSTON author and journalist

“A poignant insight into the dynamics of an extended rural family with all the secrets, contradictions and prejudices that family members inevitably confront.”
—MARY MOODY author and broadcaster

“It’s time to move beyond a city perspective on rural gay Australians – so often imbued with pity, condescension and silly stereotypes – to hear our own voices on our own terms. Michael Burge is one of our most compelling, nuanced and enjoyable voices.”
—RODNEY CROOME AM LGBTIQ equality advocate


The Giveaway:

For your chance to receive 1 of 5 advance copies of Tank Water please email MidnightSun Publishing, be sure to include your mailing address.




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Kelsey Oldham

Digital editor
Brad Jefferies

Acting editor, Daily
Matthia Dempsey

Editorial assistant
Anthea Yang

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