Karen Holmes

Caring for your project


Editor, Author, Copywriter, Mentor

Boot Camp

Author's Bootcamp in the Charente

What is Bootcamp?

Bootcamp allows you the space and time to focus on your writing with no distractions. You will stay in a small village in the Charente in self-contained accommodation and have the services of an experienced editor, writer and mentor – that’s me – on hand to help you develop your book.

Fresh Vegies from the garden

Who am I?

I’ve been working in publishing for more than thirty years. I started as a fiction writer – and yes, I did publish a best-selling novel – but have moved into non-fiction, editing and mentoring. I am known by various names, including “Genghis Karen”, because of my ability to get authors to focus and complete their projects

Where are we?

We are situated in the small village of Curac, close to the market town of Chalais, on the border of the Charente Dordogne regions Surrounded by glorious countryside it is an ideal area to “switch off” and concentrate on your writing. The weather is good and there are plenty of places such as Aubeterre and Riberac market to visit when you need some down time (or inspiration, as we writers call it)

...or garden!

What is included?

Packages can be tailored to suit your exact requirements.

Everything. We’ll collect you from Angouleme, Limoges, Bergerac or Bordeaux airport; if you don’t want to fly, the new Paris–Bordeaux express passes close by: Eurostar to Paris or Lille, TGV to Angouleme and forty minutes to here. You will stay in a self-contained gîte in our courtyard and eat with us – though for the real recluses, we’ll leave your food at the door. Food and wine are all included and there’s good whisky for creative crises. There’s plenty of room for two people if you’re bringing along a partner. You will have as much help with your work from me as you need. We’ll also take you around the local area so you can get a change of scene when you feel you can’t write another word. This is good walking country, we have bikes and there is a lake nearby for swimming.

What is a typical bootcamp day like?

You’ll have breakfast and then we’ll work together to plan your writing schedule. That gives you chance to discuss any problems and decide what you want to achieve during the day. You’ll work on your own until lunchtime when we’ll get together again to check your progress (and eat). In the afternoons we take a couple of hours off to rest or take a trip out, then you’ll work until seven pm when it’s time for an aperitif and dinner. After dinner, we’ll review your progress, explore any issues that have arisen and do some forward planning. If at any time during the day you need additional assistance from me, I’ll be there.

What about partners and spouses?

They are more than welcome. This is a good place to relax, read, walk – and sit and smell the roses. They will join us for meals and are welcome to potter around with my husband while we are working. We have two very friendly border collies (and a fat cat) who are always up for some company.

How much does bootcamp cost?

As we offer bespoke packages there are no fixed prices.

Please feel free to contact me direct to discuss your requirements.