Writer Jane Rusbridge is to publish her first novel, following her experience of Gold Dust mentoring by Kathryn Heyman.
Jane Rusbridge’s novel The Devil’s Music will be published in July by Bloomsbury. Fans of Sadie Jones will delight in Jane’s haunting and lyrical debut about love, betrayal and family secrets. In the acknowledgments Jane thanks her Gold Dust mentor novelist Kathryn Heyman ‘who, with her gift for language and trademark energy and humour, has been such an inspirational mentor and friend.’
Jane applied for a Gold Dust award after meeting Jill Dawson who was the tutor on Jane’s Arvon course.
Here is Jane’s response to the mentoring, written a few months before her publishing deal:
‘I found this mentorship invaluable. When I first met Kathryn last May, I had been working on my novel on and off for three years, struggling to make the transition from short stories. I was wallowing around in almost 70,000 words which were not really going anywhere and I’d given myself one last year to sink or swim. Kathryn and I made a plan, set deadlines to keep up the impetus and – with wonderful brio and humour – she encouraged me to be brave, to put aside sentence by sentence fiddling until I had tackled the larger structure of my novel. The focus on plot and structure was just what I needed and, with her consistent support and guidance over the months, I grew confident enough to cut away great chunks and rearrange others, and to keep pushing on. Kathryn is a stimulating and inspirational teacher. At each stage, with clear thinking, infectious energy and enthusiasm, she provided detailed verbal and written constructive criticism, mixed with praise, and she was particularly skilful at prompting me to ask myself questions, about each character and their role in the narrative, about tension and the ordering of scenes. It was exactly what I needed. Kathryn’s guidance helped me to ‘discover’ what my novel was actually about. Well within my target year, the novel was out there in the real world, with an agent.’