‘I liked Lesley Glaister as soon as I met her and it’s been wonderful having someone so experienced to work with. My novel was at a very early stage when I began the mentorship, and I’ve been stuck several times already – I really struggle with first drafts. But Lesley’s brilliant, always ready with suggestions and reassurance. I usually sense when something’s working, but when things go wrong can take me ages to recognise why. Lesley will tell me when she can’t ‘see’ a character I’m working on, or if the voice isn’t right. But crucially, she also has an instinct for when to simply leave it to me – the novel is still very much mine and there are some things I need to figure out through trial and error.
‘In April I signed a two book deal with Random House Australia. My first novel, Desert Fish, will be published early in 2011 in their Vintage imprint and I want to deliver the novel I’m writing now as my second book. I’m about half way through and I aim to finish a first draft by the end of the year.
‘I felt completely stuck when I applied to Gold Dust and it was a real step forward. Getting a publishing deal has been brilliant, but it’s a beginning, not an arrival. I won’t have the luxury of time that I had when I wrote Desert Fish, and I’m finding Lesley’s guidance and support invaluable. Gold Dust is for people who take their writing seriously. It’s been a brilliant investment for me, worth every penny.’
– Cherise Saywell